A Zero Defects Paradigm

Article

Hoadley, Bruce   (1986, ASQC)   Bell Communications Research, Red Bank, NJ

40th Annual Quality Congress, May 1986, Anaheim, CA    Vol. 40    No. 0
QICID: 3221    May 1986    pp. 460-466
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Article Abstract

The "Zero Defects Paradigm" is a formulation of a general quality improvement problem whose solution provides an operational definition of the "Zero Defects" concept, which lives comfortably with real defects and quality standards. Quality improvement is viewed as part of the broader problem of improving the value added (VA) of all the processes that make up an enterprise. A new term "vador" is introduced to represent all Value Added Detractors such as defects, inventory, wasted time, etc. The VA improvement strategy is based on a VA Improvement Index, which depends on a forecast of output, a "vador" rate learning curve, cost per "vador", and a forecast of life cycle length. The fundamental result is: for each annual budget cycle, rank VA improvement projects by their VA Improvement Index. Work on those projects whose VA Improvement Index is above a certain threshold. The threshold is determined by the budget. The new "vador" rate standards for those projects above threshold, are those values which bring the VA Improvement Index to the threshold. These new "vador" rate standards continually move towards zero (as in "Zero Defects") as long as the VA Improvement Index is above the threshold. However, the introduction of new processes, life cycle dynamics, and the "Law of Diminishing Returns" tend to eventually push the VA Improvement Index below threshold, and progress towards "Zero Defects" slows.

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