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Catch Phrase – DIRTFT!

April 22, 2010

DIRTFT – “Do it right the first time” is a phrase made popular by Quality Expert, Philip Crosby.  He wrote several books about quality including “Quality is Free”.  He also coined the phrase “zero defects”.

What did Crosby mean by “Do it right the first time”?  Crosby’s work in quality was in response to the difficulties that American manufacturers were facing in the 70’s and 80’s as they were losing market share to other countries, Japan in particular.

My interpretation of his phrase “Do it right the first time”, is that quality requires gathering, understanding and delivering on requirements.  “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  The cost of quality is better spent in the planning and creation of products, services and outputs, and not in testing and rework.

What is the message for Project Managers?  The most basic definition of quality is “conformance to requirements”.  As project managers we need to understand what our customers want and deliver what they request.  Any more or less is not quality.  Simple, yet all too often overlooked.

In the resources section I have listed opposing viewpoints.  It is good to consider alternative viewpoints.


Philip Crosby – “Zero Defects” and “Right First Time”

Trying to Do It Right the First Time Isn’t Always Best

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