Zero Defects - Do you agree ?

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Question: Zero Defects - Do you Agree? Substantiate with Reasons. 


Zero defects Quality Standard was developed by Phil Crosby. This concept has received criticism but has the positive site to it too.

The debate is over the fact that there’s a huge difference between reducing defects and eliminating them. To many people Six Sigma or 3.4 defects per million opportunities--is a very  high Quality standard and should be acceptable and leads to high customer satisfaction. Hence the money, time and effort necessary to achieve a zero defects state is simply not feasible.

While the biggest cost of quality would be the company's Quality program, its accepted fact that prevention is better than cure and Quality should be built in and not inspected. Crosby believed that management commitment is key to institutionalizing the zero defects program.

 Many organizations have implemented the zero defects program by Phil crosby and have remarkable success in their Quality program, including reduction in Quality costs, reduced defects, improved customer satisfaction and employee moral.

 Humans are not perfect and  zero defects isn’t about perfection. It’s about every employees commitment and understanding that processes must constantly be improved, and that flawed or defective systems must be reworked and reorganized from the top down. 

With a zero defects in mind, each defect is given great deal of attention and traced to its root cause, and each cause is prevented till we are sure that we have completely eliminated the problem.

Not all industries can survive on Six Sigma. Eg: Life Saving or Healthcare. You cannot say that out of every million tablet 3.4 will be defective. Hence Zero defect does have a place in real world and it advocates the fact that defects are not acceptable and should be eliminated.

Quality Guru Deming believed that slogans like "Zero Defects" are actually counterproductive and may deemphasize the culture and tools associated with continuous improvement.

Since Defects vary in size and severity , not all defects are bad. Some defect actually throw light on some process improvement never thought of before. Zero defect may also mean that all defects are bad and counterproductive if not explained well. It may not leave time for continuous improvement to occur.

Zero defect may also lead to frustration and non-productivity among workers, since they will never meet the unachievable zero defect goal.

Zero defect may also lead to increased cost of testing for both organizations and vendors, while missing out on the concept of optimum testing. 


Zero Defects has its advantages and disadvantages. It should be carefully evaluated given a industry or case. it may apply and produce outstanding results for some and it may be counterproductive for other cases.