Quality Magazine

Responses to: Can You Achieve Zero Defects?

July 28, 2009
Dave Crosby responds to naysayers by commenting on whether achieving zero defects is realistic.

A few comments about zero defects:

1. Zero Defects is not a goal, it's a performance standard. With the right attitude, ability, and work environment, [meeting the zero defects performance standard] can be done. Why not? Zero defects considers the human error in attitude, ability and problem in the workplace.

2. I have experience in the food industry and [zero defects] can be done. There are quality standards by the company and by the government. All can be met. I don't know what a "perfect" turkey is, but unless you're tossing them out, you must know. Since you use them all, they must meet the quality standard.

3. A defect is any characteristic that does not conform to the requirement - the quality standard. Like the field goal example [in Dave Crosby’s podcast], the ball is between the uprights or it's not.

4. A defect is a defect, is a defect, regardless of the type of work. Some defects are more important than others, but, since quality is an absolute--you have it or you don't. Medical devices do not necessarily need tighter standards, they need to conform to the standards they have. I have an implanted defibrillator. I'm very interested in the quality of the company that made it and the guy who put it in.

5. Zero defects can be done. One does not need to make a few mistakes to show they are human.

Also, click here to listen to Dave Crosby’s Q-Cast podcast interview about his book and more about zero defects.