Deming's Quality Experiments Revisited

Published Online:

This paper revisits two classic experiments used by W. Edwards Deming to teach concepts of quality management. The first, the red bead experiment, demonstrates how managing based on underlying system randomness can be highly problematic. The second, the funnel experiment, demonstrates how adjusting a system based on underlying random variations can significantly degrade system performance. This paper describes adjustments to these experiments that retain their key learning points while making them more suitable for in-class demonstrations and increase the “fun” component of the experiments.

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