Chapter 3. Embracing the Human Elements

As we all know, humans will need to make judgment calls during response and recovery of IT problems. They make decisions regarding what tasks to execute during remediation efforts based on what they know at that time. It can be tempting to judge these decisions in hindsight as being good or bad, but this should be avoided.

Celebrate Discovery

When accidents and failures occur, instead of looking for human error we should look for how we can redesign the system to prevent these incidents from happening again.1

A company that validates and embraces the human elements and considerations when incidents and accidents occur learns more from a post-incident review than those who are punished for actions, omissions, or decisions taken. Celebrating transparency and learning opportunities shifts the culture toward learning from the human elements. With that said, gross negligence and harmful acts must not be ignored or tolerated.


Human error should never be a “cause.”

How management chooses to react to failure and accidents has measurable effects. A culture of fear is established when teams are incentivized to keep relevant information to themselves for fear of reprimand. Celebrating discovery of flaws in the system recognizes that actively sharing information helps to enable the business to better serve its purpose or mission. Failure results in intelligent discussion, genuine inquiry, and honest reflection on what exactly can be learned ...

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