The American culture’s acceptance of mistakes…

“We are more loyal to a supplier who quickly fixes a mistake he makes than we are to a supplier who never makes a mistake.”

“Most people in product development assume that mistakes are inevitable. Some mistakes are; however, we often confuse some preventable ones with the inevitable ones.”

Ivy Hooks and Kristin Farry, “Customer Centered Products”

This quote is a real slice of truth.

We so often expect and forgive mistakes on product development programs, but we tend to reward problem solvers and overlook problem preventers.

In my 30 years at GM, I found that there is seldom time to document and analyze the design, but there is always time to solve the issues after the parts are made. I have always felt that most product problems are preventable.