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Embedding the ‘No Defects’ culture at Shell


Bottom curve
How do you get a diverse global business to adopt a new daily goal? Break it down into something memorable and easy to put into practice.
Cultural change
Employee engagement
Brand and communications

The challenge

Shell wanted to raise the profile of quality across the business by establishing a common global goal of ‘No Defects’, designed to eliminate quality issues. This would be measured in the same way across all projects to give a consistent benchmark.

Our challenge was to find a way to embed this in global teams with different cultures and sub-contractors who may have their own way of working.

Shell No Defects Laptop shell blocks
Shell No Defects Laptop
shell blocks

Our solution

We decided it was crucial to define No Defects in a simple, memorable and actionable way.

We developed three core principles by gathering together a cross-section of people from the quality and projects communities in a discovery meeting. The stakeholders were involved and consulted throughout the process.

We then created four workshops – an introduction to No Defects and a session on each of the three principles. We deliberately built in flexibility so teams could do the sessions at a time and a pace that was best for them, as some areas needed to do some preparation and complete other priorities first.

We trained a global team of No Defects Champions to deliver the workshops at their regional projects and gave them a toolkit of resources. After the sessions, the attendees can deepen their understanding by visiting a SharePoint site full of resources.

We also proposed a global clock which shows how many consecutive days of No Defects there have been.


A 27% decrease in defects and a 28% increase in observations

Number of No Defects Champions: 192

Number of people attending workshops so far: 687

Some No Defects Champions who have moved on to other roles have chosen to keep volunteering as champions, showing how inspired they have been by the No Defects programme

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