Dr. Deming's Famous Red Bead Experiment

IMMEDIATE OPENINGS FOR SIX WILLING WORKERS, QA SPECIALISTS, AND DATA ANALYSTS
The White Bead Corporation, Gatineau-Ottawa

The White Bead Corporation is a leading provider of quality white beads to consumers in high-tech and energy industry verticals with over thirty years' experience. We have recently been contracted by the Provincial Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure to provide our products on an increased production scale and require new workers and specialists to join our dynamic team to meet this demand.

We will be conducting our first round of hiring for above-average employees at the upcoming Agile Tour Montreal 2014 Conference with successful applicants immediately joining us in production.

We offer competitive salaries, employee recognition programs, a pay-for-performance program and industry-leading career development opportunities. We thank all applicants for their interest in applying to The White Bead Corporation, however we will only be able to hire above-average, willing workers at this time.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

The Red Bead Experiment will be co-facilitated by Chris and Mike. Mike and Chris have collaborated on presenting this experiment locally at Agile Open Toronto 2014 and Agile Coach Camp Canada 2014 in Guelph.

The experiment itself is run in three phases:

1)      Introductions

2)      Running the Experiment

3)      Workshop to rebuild the White Bead Corporation

As stated above, ten participants from the audience to play the roles of willing workers (6), QA specialists (2), a QA lead (1) and Data Analyst (1). The object of the experiment is to have the workers sift fifty white beads from a shallow bucket that contains a distribution of red and white beads using a small, plastic paddle (which Mike has designed to approximate the original kits used by Deming) - all while following a prescribed methodology and adhering to management directives.

The experiment itself is run in four successive rounds simulating the same number of days in production for The White Bead Corporation. Results are recorded on a whiteboard or flipchart after each round, and there are various management posters and slogans that will be posted as motivational aides to help the workers in their efforts.

Learning Outcome

The experiment itself was originally designed by Deming to give a practical demonstration of his Fourteen Points of Management, which he called it the Parable of the Red Bead. Depending on their experiences, participants can expect to take away a number of key learnings from The Red Bead Experiment, including:

The net-effect of management using extrinsic motivation on a work system to improve production, e.g. slogans, exhortations, financial incentives, employee recognition awards.

  1. Effect of using fixed/closed methodologies to improve productivity to the exclusion of employee involvement.
  2. Using an inspection-based approach to achieve quality outcomes.
  3. Effect of using work standards (quotas) and numerical targets to increase productivity (management by objective)
  4. Separating workers by role instead of working as a true team.
  5. Effect of rigidly-implemented methodologies vs. culture of continuous improvement.

Target Audience

All

schedule Submitted 3 years ago

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