Deming’s Red Bead Experiment (or Game)

Thanks for attending my session of Dr. W. Edwards Deming‘s Red Bead Experiment, aka the Red Bead Game. Here's a link to Donald J. Wheeler's book Understanding Variation. I also write about the Red Bead Game in my book Measures of Success

On-Site Workshops and Facilitation:

If you'd like to have me come facilitate this at your organization, please contact me. I can combine the Red Bead experience with a teaching session or workshop on “Better Metrics” and the application of basic statistical process control (SPC) / “process behavior chart” methods to better manage data, metrics, and improvement work.

Mark facilitating this at Lean Startup Week 2017

Blog Posts:

See some of my blog posts on this topic.

See, in particular, this post on managing and improving a stable system:

Ask This Question (Not This One) When Trying to Improve a Stable System

A blog post about the lessons from the Red Bead Game:

Running Dr. Deming's Red Bead Experiment & the Implications for Healthcare

A blog post about using the Red Bead Game and a Process Behavior Chart to compare “willing workers”:

Using Process Behavior Charts to Compare Red Bead Game “Willing Workers” and Baseball Teams

Here is a blog post about the dangers of firing “low performers”:

When “Red Beads” Lead to What Looks Like Workplace Discrimination

Here is my blog post about the red / yellow / green charts and SPC:

What's Demoralizing? The Colors on a Chart or Not Improving the System?

My blog post and video about how to create control charts (“process behavior charts”)

I also recorded a podcast with John Dyer on lessons from the Red Bead Experiment:

Podcast #280 – John Dyer on Dr. Deming's Red Bead Experiment

Other Webinars:

Click the link above for download options

Another webinar by Mark Graban

How to calculate control limits / process behavior limits:

See this blog post about how to do so

or this video:

Other Resources:

Western Electric rules   |   Download this summary

Online Red Bead simulator

Similar simulator, via BBC: “Can chance make you a killer?

Lessons Learned from the Red Bead Experiment (Word .DOC) via

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 10.17.18 PM

Red Bead Videos:

The famed 1980 NBC documentary that introduced Dr. Deming to the U.S.: