Human Error + System Failure = Financial Catastrophe

Human Error + System Failure = Financial Catastrophe Alexander Pope wrote this famous line in his 1711 essay “To err is human, to forgive divine”. There are several ways one can interpret this insightful line . . . here is one perspective: . . . People are potentially one of your most valuable assets, and simultaneously, one of your biggest liabilities. Take for instance, the FAA outage on Wednesday, January 11th, 2023.  More than 9,500 U.S. flights were delayed according to flight-tracker “FlightAware” with over 1300 flight cancellations. The financial impact:  Fred Koopmans, BigPanda CPO cites the average cost of a significant IT outage, according to 2022 research, is $6,912/minute or $414,720/hour – that’s a $7.4M price tag for the FAA. The January 11th, 2023 I.T. outage may have cost – more or less – but it’s absurd to argue that the cost was insignificant, and even more difficult to argue that it was . . . not preventable. In fact, a recent article referencing this 01/11/2023 incident cited the following headline:  FAA outage caused by personnel who ‘failed to follow procedures’.  “The agency determined that a data file was damaged by personnel who failed to follow procedures,” the FAA said Friday. Famous sayings:

  • A stitch in time saves nine.
  • A bird in the hand, is worth two in the bush.
  • A chain is no stronger than its weakest link.

So to err is human, YES, but there are things one can do, ways to increase the probability that human err is less common, less frequent. Here is a process that one can implement:

  • Create solid policies and procedures
  • Provide training
  • Use Job matching
  • Do more training
  • Implement supervision
  • Continue to provide ongoing training and support

This formula can reduce the likelihood of human error, subsequent system failure and save you or your business from potentially catastrophic financial events.

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