Out of the Crisis

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Out of the Crisis – W. Edwards Deming
The “Red Bead Experiment” was an interactive teaching tool that W. Edwards Deming made use of in his four-day seminars. In the experiment, a corporation is formed from workers, quality control personnel, a data recorder, and a foreman. The corporation's product is white beads, which are produced by dipping a paddle into a supply of beads. The paddle has 50 holes in it, and each hole will hold one bead. Unfortunately, there are not only white beads in the bead supply, but some defective red beads. Various techniques are used to ensure a quality (no red bead) product. There are quality control inspectors, feedback to the workers, merit pay for superior performance, performance appraisals, procedure compliance, posters and quality programs. The foreman, quality control, and the workers all put forth their best efforts to produce a quality product. The experiment allows the demonstration of the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of the various methods. Some humor is also included along the way.

This experiment displays what Deming was arguably the most famous for throughout his life: Quality Management. As Dr. Russell discussed in class, Deming’s quality preaching was not initially a hit in America. Deming proceeded by traveling to Japan and eventually was credited with the transformation of Japan into one of the world’s leaders in the production of high-quality goods. Albeit, Japan, respectively, has been credited with pioneering and successfully implementing their adaptations of Dr. Deming’s teachings. As stated in, The Manager’s Bookshelf, Japan has had an annual competition throughout the country for quality improvement since 1951. Japan also has many published journals and books devoted to the exploration and development of Deming’s theory. The evidence that the United States was reluctant to pick up the teachings of Dr. Deming is shown in the fact that only within the last few years have books on “Deming Theory...
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