UK Accounting Glossary
Zero defects is a Total Quality Management (TQM) philosophy that reinforces the notion that mistakes are not acceptable and aims to change workers’ attitudes to quality by stressing the importance of error-free performance.
Zero Defects is a component of total quality management (TQM) that aims to change workers’ attitudes to quality by stressing the importance of error-free performance.
In practice however, error-free performance is neither economic or practically feasible.
Experience suggests that, whilst short-term improvements may be achieved using this approach, performance usually returns to it’s previous levels within the medium to long term.
Zero Defects is a management tool aimed at the reduction of defects through prevention. It is directed at motivating people to prevent mistakes by developing a constant, conscious desire to do their job right the first time.
Quality Assurance strives for zero defects in the manufacture of goods.
Over a long enough timescale zero defects is not an achievable goal.
The desire for zero defects can be particularly unsettling in a customer service setting due to it’s wildly unpredictable nature.
A technical manager’s role calls for the ability to test large software projects and “execute them on time, within budget and ideally with zero defects”
Literally zero defects corresponds to a defect level of infinity sigma, which most practitioners will admit is not possible. “There is no such thing as a benign defect.” “If we can get rid of the defects, then we can get rid of the testing.”
Zero Defects, a term coined by Mr. Philip Crosby in his book “Absolutes of Quality Management” has emerged as a popular and highly-regarded concept in quality management – so much so that Six Sigma is adopting it as one of it’s major theories.
It means ensuring the highest quality standards in projects.
Unfortunately, the concept has also faced a fair degree of criticism, with some arguing that a state of zero defects simply cannot exist.
“zero defects” in quality management isn’t usually understood to mean literal perfection, but rather refers to a state where waste is eliminated and defects are reduced.
It may be considered as an attempt to try and to ensure the highest quality standards in projects.
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This glossary post was last updated: 4th May 2019.