The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog

Archive for the ‘data’ Category

The Red Bead Experiment with Dr. W. Edwards Deming

The Red Bead Experiment is an activity Dr. Deming included in his 4 day seminars. The webcast shows excerpts of Dr. Deming carry out the Red Bead Experiment with participants from the audience. Dr. Deming used the Red Bead Experiment to clearly and dramatically illustrate several points about poor management practices. This includes the fallacy […]

Ron Moen Webcast: Prediction is the Problem

Prediction is the Problem, Ron Moen’s presentation at the 2012 Annual Deming Conference. “Planning requires prediction. Prediction requires a theory.” In the video Ron Moen talks about the Associates for Process Improvement model for improvement. The enhanced PDSA cycle includes an explicit focus on prediction in the planing phase and then evaluation of that prediction […]

Unknown and Unknowable Data

From Out of the Crisis, page 121: the most important figures that one needs for management are unknown or unknowable (Lloyd S. Nelson, director of statistical methods for the Nashua corporation), but successful management must nevertheless take account of them. We need to manage systems even though we cannot collect data that would be extremely […]

Improving Problem Solving

I suggest reading this excellent paper on Improving Problem Solving by Ian Bradbury and Gipsie Ranney. As they note, problem solving is not a substitute for innovation and improvement as solving a problem solving only returns you to the status quo. The paper also considers the relationship between problem solving and system improvement. There paper […]

Enumerative and Analytic Studies

An enumerative study is focused on judgment of results. These studies are meant to enumerate (explain, evaluate, describe) the condition that exists with the existing population. On the other hand, an analytic study is focused on improvement of the process which created the results and which will continue creating results in the future. An enumerative […]

Distorting the System, Distorting the Data or Improving the System

In Fourth Generation Management (I highly recommend this book, by the way), Brian Joiner provided an excellent summary of the options to get better “results” (as measured by the data used). The options are to: distort the system distort the data improve the system Obviously we hope to improve the system; and we would like […]

Where There is Fear You Do Not Get Honest Figures

Fear invites wrong figures. Bearers of bad news fare badly. To keep his job, anyone may present to his boss only good news. W. Edwards Deming, page 94, The New Economics Using data to make decisions is important to effective management. But using data goes far beyond math. To make judgements we need to understand […]

The Improvement Guide

The Improvement Guide is a fantastic book on using the PDSA cycle well. The 2nd edition was published in 2009. The power of applying the PDSA cycle properly is huge. It leads to successful improvements which is important. Using the PDSA cycle also reinforces many aspects of applying Dr. Deming’s principles. Together with Leader’s Handbook […]

The Essential Deming – New Book on Dr. Deming’s Work

The Essential Deming: Leadership Principles from the Father of Quality is filled with articles, papers, lectures, and notes touching on a wide range of topics, but which focus on Deming’s overriding message: quality and operations are all about systems, not individual performance; the system has to be designed so that the worker can perform well. […]