Our company redesigned a valve that was giving us constant manufacturing problems. Having inherited the project from an engineer that was leaving, The first priority became redesigning a valve that would operate reliably at all times. After completing the drawing, the valve was built and tested. I was told the only work still needed was a-single drawing. But shortly after receiving the new valve, an overseas customer complained it did not shift reliably.

After reviewing all the project information, it became clear the valve did not meet customer specifications. The first priority became redesigning a valve that would operate reliably at all times. This involved spending a week with the customer.

After the redesign, I thought about my actions that had let this happen. My major error was taking the project without doing a review of my own. Instead, I took the project further down the-wrong path. In particular, I did not double-check with the marketing department for all known critical specifications, and this project certainly had some.

Upon closing out this project, I issued a memo to all departments regarding mistakes and out-lined steps I felt necessary to prevent similar problems. I also made sure everyone in my department was briefed on this informaton. Although laying out one's own errors for public consumption is scary, often it is the only way to let the lessons shine through.