Mistaken about mistakes

Broken build rituals are one way to instil good habits in a team that uses Continuous Integration. But the fact of the matter is that people make mistakes: it's part of what makes us human, as many authors and playwrights have explored. (You could argue that making mistakes is necessary to our development: my kids certainly learnt to walk by repeatedly falling over and then trying not to do so next time.*)
Seeking out the reasons why and how we make mistakes after we make them is hard to do. It requires humility and courage, attitudes that are hard to adopt if we are smarting from self-realisation or suffering from embarassment or guilt. But while we may feel that our mistakes are ours alone, it often turns out that the systems and processes within which we work have an enormous influence.
This is the ground occupied by Systems Thinking. Deming and others have made systemic examinations of the culture(s) of work, and describe ways by which our effectiveness can be improved by considering "the bigger picture". This article in particular really strikes a chord: Transformation of an organization, from one that resembles the "win-lose" environment of the "prevailing style of management" to one that is Deming-based ("win-win"), has been shown repeatedly to require systemic change. Vital to this transformation is "better thinking" by individuals in these organizations about systems, variation, knowledge, and psychology.

*Follow up: I just read this conversation with Luke Hohmann in which he says Humans are failure machines. We're not success machines. We're failure machines. We fail all the time. And it's only through processing the feedback of our failure that we learn how to correct for them and do better. That is why it is important to stick with the choices you make and understand how well they worked.