Why Testing Won't Solve Your Quality Problem

The White Bead Corporation is looking for Above Average Employees for expanded production. On the job training provided. Earn bonuses! The White Bead Corporation is a proud producer of shiny, perfect, white beads. We work hard to meet our customer’s exacting demands and won’t settle for anything less than perfection. We need Willing Workers who are Above Average Employees to handle this rigorous task in an inspiring environment. Apply within.

Come watch, and participate, in the classic experiment made famous by Dr. Deming. Let’s explore the link between typical management techniques, human factors and overall quality.


Outline/Structure of the Workshop

Introduction - 5 min

Selection of Willing Workers, “training”, explanation - 10 mins

First round - 10 - 15 min

Debrief first round - 7 min

Second round - 5 - 10 min (it’s shorter now that the people are used to it)

Debrief second round - 7 min (put up posters)

Third round - 5 - 10 min

Debrief third round - 7 min (offer bonus, fire workers)

Fourth round & close experiment - 5 - 10 min

Debrief, discussion, Q&A - 10 min

Total: 70 - 90 mins

If you aren’t aware of how the experiment works, read:


It is one of many scripts, but gives you the basic outline of how the experiment plays out, its structure, and followup.

Learning Outcome

  • How traditional management practices affect employees
  • How well certain practices affect (or don’t) the system
  • Quality is not (just) about the employee

Target Audience

Testers, Test Managers, Product Owners

schedule Submitted 6 years ago