Efficiency–thoroughness trade-off principle

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The efficiency–thoroughness trade-off principle (or ETTO principle) is the principle that there is a trade-off between efficiency or effectiveness on one hand, and thoroughness (such as safety assurance and human reliability) on the other.[1] In accordance with this principle, demands for productivity tend to reduce thoroughness while demands for safety reduce efficiency.[2]


  1. ^ Hollnagel, Erik (2009). The ETTO principle: efficiency-thoroughness trade-off: why things that go right sometimes go wrong. Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate. ISBN 0-7546-7678-1.
  2. ^ "The ETTO Principle: Efficiency-Thoroughness Trade-Off–Why Things That Go Right Sometimes Go Wrong–by Erik Hollnagel". Risk Analysis. 30: 153–159. 2010. doi:10.1111/j.1539-6924.2009.01333.x.