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Template: Correction of Errors (COE)

[Insert Topic Here] Correction of Errors

Overview & Instructions

Correction of Error (COE) is a scalable, repeatable process designed to enable organizations to:

  1. Identify and fix the root cause(s) of outages, and events (typically one-time or edge case events) that negatively impact the customer experience and/or business/financial results.
  2. Continuously improve the quality of customer-facing products and services by not letting defects persist. 
  3. Foster a company culture of growth, learning, and continuous improvement.

1. Description of problem and its impact


Data Collected

Customer Impact

Financial Impact


2. Root causes


Triggering event(s) 

Root Causes

[In this section, employ the “Five Whys” method (or other root cause analysis tool) to drill down to the root cause(s) of the issue. Five whys (or 5 whys) is an iterative technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem. Each answer to the question “why did this occur” then becomes the starting point for the next why.  The "five" is because, typically, if you repeat the why process five times you will bottom out and reach the root cause(s).  If there are multiple root causes, then multiple strings of whys beginning with different first answers need to be explored which requires multiple iterations.

The method doesn’t drive or inform which questions to ask, or how long to search for additional root causes. In other words, the method is no guarantee of success -- it requires the right inputs, team members, and willingness to iterate. Here is an example problem:

The problem is that the customer didn’t receive their package on time

  1. Why?  Because Dayton Freight delivered the package to FedEx 2 hours after the cut-off time.
  2. Why?  Because the Dayton Freight truck left our dock 4 hours late.
  3. Why? Because our picking team was 5 hours delayed.
  4. Why? Because we had 30 pickers on the floor but needed 40 to complete the wave.
  5. Why?  Because we didn’t anticipate the spike in demand for products x, y and z.]








3. Corrective actions taken






4. Lessons learned…good and bad

[It isn’t easy to be forthcoming about the mistakes we have made. We all make mistakes.  Internalizing and learning from mistakes (so they can be avoided in the future) is one of the important goals of this process. Sharing mistakes broadly throughout the organization enables those who have not (yet) experienced this particular type of error, to learn and also avoid making a similar error in the future.  This is why it is so important that the errors and learnings are clearly documented and disseminated broadly through the organization (as uncomfortable as that might be).]


Here are the errors we made and/or hard lessons we learned





Here are some things we did well during the event




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