Defect Repair

Definition: A defect repair is an intentional activity to modify a nonconforming product or product component.

Defect repair is the process of repairing or replacing the defective part as needed. It is instant, and you must act immediately once you identify a defect. This process is performed when the product or deliverable does not meet the quality requirements. 

For example, during an inspection, you find a discrepancy in the deliverable, and the deliverable is not conforming to the requirements.

A defect is also known as a fault, error, deficiency, or imperfection.

If you can correct the defect, do it immediately; if not, replace the deliverable. 

Many experts call defect repair corrections or rework.

Example of Defect Repair

Let’s say you are manufacturing rods that are 10 meters long. During the inspection, you find that the length of one rod is 10.5 meters. As per the quality requirements, this product is not acceptable.

Therefore, you remove this rod from the lot and replace it with another correct rod. The defect repair process is immediate and reactive, and it is a straightforward fix. 

Defect Repair Process

Defect repair is a two-step process. In the first step, you will assess if the deliverable meets the quality standards or not. 

If the deliverable does not meet the quality requirements, you will calculate the cost of repairing it. If the cost of repairing is less than the cost of the deliverable, you will repair the deliverable. But if the repair cost is more than the deliverable, you will replace the deliverable.

In some cases, the deliverable cannot be repaired. So, you will replace it regardless of the cost. 

Defect Repair Vs Corrective and Preventive Actions

You might have heard of two more terms in quality management: corrective and preventive actions. These terms are different from defect repair.

In quality management, corrective action is a future response to the defect repair process. This forward-looking next step ensures that the error will not occur again.

Corrective action is an intentional activity that realigns the performance of the work with the plan.

Preventive action is an intentional activity that ensures the future performance of the project work is aligned with the project management plan.

Preventive action improves the process to help avoid future defects.


Defect repair corrects nonconformity in the deliverable or replaces the part completely. It is a reactive process performed during the inspection by quality control personnel. Defect repair provides feedback so it can be used as a preventive and corrective action to stop errors from occurring again.