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.
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.