Preventive Action

Definition: Preventive actions are actions that ensure the future performance of the project work is aligned with the project management plan.

In quality management, preventive action helps avoid any future defects.

For example, let’s say that you are going to start a production process. You predict that some defects may appear during the production, so you review your processes and make the necessary changes to prevent this.

Unlike defect repair and corrective action, which react to a problem, preventive action is a proactive process that prevents problems from arising.

In other words, the problem has already occurred, you have corrected it, and now you are taking action to ensure that it does not reoccur.

A problem has not yet occurred in preventive action, and you’re taking measures to make sure it never does.

Preventive actions help you find the cause of any future defects and prevent them from occurring. They ensure that the deliverable is defect-free and ultimately saves you and your project time, money, and hassles.

Example of Preventive Action

You are going to begin producing rods, but you then remember that, in your previous company, you faced an issue with the system software code for a similar process. This issue caused the rods to be of different lengths, and you are going to use the same process with similar equipment in the current company.

You don’t want the error to occur this time, so you ask the programmers from your company to check the code. They check it and do not find any errors.

Here, you took preventive action to stop the error from occurring, and this cautionary step saved your project time and money.

Some other examples of preventive actions are:

  • Internal audits
  • Employee training
  • Maintenance
  • Developing emergency and contingency plans

Preventive Actions Vs Corrective Actions and Defect Repair

A defect repair is a process to modify a nonconforming product or product component. It repairs or replaces the defective part as needed. Defect repair takes action at the moment it identifies an error. This process is performed when the product does not meet the quality requirements.

Corrective actions realign the performance of the project work with the project management plan.

Preventive action prevents the occurrence of problems, and corrective action prevents recurrence.

Corrective actions are a future response to the defect repair process. This forward-looking process ensures that the error will not occur again.

Corrective action is a reactive process that addresses the immediate problem and prevents future issues.


Preventive actions help solve problems before they happen. This proactive step stops defects that might have occurred in some other place. They help improve processes and product quality and increase team morale, resulting in better productivity.