Mistake-Proof Processes and Product Designs

Mistake-proofing in its most ideal form is designing a process or product so that mistakes cannot be made. W. Edwards Deming and Joseph Juran were famous for arguing that the majority of defects and mistakes were management’s fault.1 Deming argued that 85 percent of problems were due to management’s actions, while Juran argued 80 percent. One might argue for management’s overwhelming responsibility for errors by observing that managers are responsible for a vast majority of the factors that affect quality, such as the quality of incoming material, specification of tooling and equipment, ensuring proper maintenance, providing appropriate information and training opportunities to employees, ...

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