What is a source bug

What is the zero defect strategy and how is zero defect management implemented as a CIP method?

The zero error strategy is a method of the continuous improvement process, with which errors are to be reduced as far as possible. This method is also referred to as zero defect management or the zero defect principle. If the employee makes a mistake, he will be punished. Companies are often looking for someone to blame who can be held responsible for the mistake. Unfortunately, that's the way it is in today's economic error culture - errors are bad and shouldn't happen under any circumstances. If there is an error - how can it be otherwise - it is kept secret and covered up. Such behavior has serious economic consequences. The following thought develops: “If I do something, I make mistakes. If I don't do anything, I won't do anything and get promoted ”. In order to avoid these clearly wrong conclusions, a fault-tolerant corporate culture with zero-error management must be built - read below how!

How can you implement the zero defect strategy?

In order to establish a sustainable zero-error principle as a CIP method, the company must first create a cultural basis and define the (process) structure of the organization within the framework of quality management. The necessary CIP tools can then be used through internal or external employee training in order to implement the zero-error principle in the company. In the last section of this page, the three steps to zero-defect management are presented in more detail. So read on and find out how you can implement a tolerant error culture in your company!

Free e-learning course "What is CIP - the continuous improvement process?"

Simply register briefly & the Start the free e-learning course directly!


Or are you looking for training to become a CIP expert, CIP coach or anything to do with CIP basics and methods? Then see our Overview of the CIP training Your dream seminar!

Change in corporate culture as the basis of the Zero defect management

The realization of a “supporting” culture is the task of the top management. This must ensure that a tolerant attitude towards errors and problems is created: Accordingly, the question of the cause of the error is more important than the search for the cause of the error. It doesn't matter who made the mistake or who discovered it. The only important thing is to see it as an opportunity for improvement. If an error has been recognized as such, the search for causes and solutions has top priority so that repetitive errors do not occur.

Capture and analyze errors

Once a company has a tolerance for errors, they have to be systematically recorded and analyzed in the next step for a functioning zero error management. Start at this point with the classification of errors:

According to the nature of the error itself
Personal or factual errors

How were they exposed?
External or internal errors

Personal mistakes
... are to be treated with caution. Often this is a lack of concentration or lack of knowledge. Any kind of personal weakness must be discussed with the employee in private - under no circumstances in front of the entire team! This is the job of managers.

Factual errors
... arise from inadequacies in the processes themselves. The causes could be incorrect work instructions or undefined obligations to collect or deliver at interfaces. All work processes should be checked regularly for such deficiencies and optimized through appropriate measures.

Externally detected errors
... usually lead to customer complaints. These mistakes are particularly critical as they have an immediate impact on the economic success of the organization. These deficiencies require preventive measures or immediate elimination.

Internally recognized errors
... are a thorn in the side of non-error-friendly companies. Employees of such organizations correct their mistakes quietly and secretly and regularly cause enormous internal additional costs.

Then implement the correct methods for the zero defect strategy

In order to make the CIP method of the zero-error principle sustainable, the employee who caused or reported the error must also think about the possible cause. It would be ideal to develop corrective measures in working groups, as the knowledge can also be transferred to other areas of the company through the exchange.

  • Where are there similar incidents?
  • What is the root cause?
  • What is our goal?
  • What is the ideal situation?
  • What do we have to do to achieve this?

The point of any corrective action is to find a solution that will prevent the same error from occurring again. This is the only way to implement zero-defect management and achieve the desired quality goal!

What is a bug anyway?

The online encyclopedia “Wikipedia” defines an error as “a deviation from an optimal or standardized state or process in a system that is determined in terms of its functions.” The German Institute for Standardization (DIN), on the other hand, defines an error as a “characteristic value that specified requirements not met ". An error can only happen if a normalized state is defined. So if you want to use a bug effectively, you first have to define your standards.

How does an error arise?

In the German language one expresses oneself very ambiguously with regard to the term “Fehler”. Accordingly, one says that a mistake is "made". But when one speaks of doing, it is usually a conscious act. In connection with an error, however, one encounters contradictions with this statement: An intentionally generated error is not an error. In the case of an intention, i.e. conscious action, one speaks of sabotage, but by no means a mistake. As long as there is no evidence of sabotage, the mishap has "happened" unintentionally. That's the way it is, mistakes happen. So if the employee makes a mistake, there is no need to blame them. Because that employee is punished enough for the fact that he made the mistake. So there is no need for the leader to read him the riot act as well.