An information gap is a known unknown, a question that one is aware of but for which one is uncertain of the answer. It is a disparity between what the decision maker knows and what could be known The attention paid to such an information gap depends on two key factors: salience, and importance.
The salience of a question indicates the degree to which contextual factors in a situation highlight it. Salience might depend, for example, on whether there is an obvious counterfactual in which the question can be definitively answered.
The importance of a question is a measure of how much one’s utility would depend on the actual answer. It is this factor—importance—which is influenced by actions like gambling on the answer or taking on risk that the information gap would be relevant for assessing.
Benefits of Written Rules: Capture important learnings and assumptions Establish a standardized, organized and reproducible, method of conducting work safely Ensure effective transfer of knowledge to new members of the group Require disciplined thinking to formally document thus reducing errors in processes Create a framework for delegation of decision-making Demonstrate the organizations commitment to safety
I don’t think there is a quality person who would read that list and not nod knowingly. Reading the excellent article quoted above reminded me that we all probably do EHS, Quality and compliance in general all wrong.
Yes, Health & Safety is about the employee; Quality is about the product (and legal is about following the law and finance does something about money) but what when you look at the tools we pretty much have a common tool-box. Root cause analysis, procedures, risk management, system thinking.
What is truly different is the question we ask:
Quality asks about the customer
Health and Safety asks about the employee
Environment asks about, well, the environment
I find it fascinating that it became environment, health and safety and most companies, as again, the question asked is rather different. In companies where care of the environment is separate (such as the energy industry) you will definitely see it as a separate entity.
I have only been at one company that was on the path of looking at quality, environment, health and safety were all similar disciplines and united them under a chief compliance officer (who was also head of legal). My current company is still struggling along the path of uniting standards and tools.
There is definitely a lot of different domain knowledge between the three, the same way quality is different between industries. However the commonalities that unite us are many and ones we should spend more time exploring.