The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog

Archive for the ‘understanding variation’ Category

Understanding Data is Often Challenging

Using data to understand the system and validate our theories and successful improvements is an important part managing well. In some cases it is fairly easy to understand and collect data that provides a clear and accurate measure of what we care about. But getting data that helps can also be very challenging. Creating a […]

The Real Lessons of the Red Bead Factory

The video shows a recorded webinar for the Healthcare Value Network by Mark Graban and Mike Stoecklein. In the video they explore the real lessons of Dr. Deming’s famous red bead factory demonstration and the principle of understanding and managing variation. Mark mentions how Bill Boller, with Hewlett-Packard, created the red bead experiment as a […]

Specification-based Management is Not Sufficient

Guest post by Bill Bellows (originally written as a comment about the question of how Dr. Deming viewed six sigma). While Dr. Deming was known for his appreciation of continuous improvement, he was also know for encouraging us to think of variation and improvement from a systems perspective. As such, I do not believe he […]

How to Use Data and Avoid Being Mislead by Data

One of the four areas of Deming’s management system is “understanding variation.” The core principle underlying that concept is using data to improve while understanding what data is and is not telling you. The mistakes in interpreting data are very often related to mistaking natural variation in data as meaningful. Combining this with our brains […]

Statistical Techniques Allow Management to do a Better Job

In this post I discuss another wonderful paper by Dr. Deming. The W. Edwards Deming Institute makes this paper, and many more, available on our website. As you would expect from a non-profit focused on promoting the application of his ideas these articles are freely available with no barriers to downloading them. On the Teaching […]

The Intellectual Foundation of Modern Improvement

The video above shows Don Berwick’s presentation at the IHI/BMJ International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health Care, 13 April 2016. He starts the presentation with the Red Bead Game (see related posts on our blog: Lessons From the Red Bead Experiment with Dr. Deming, The Red Bead Experiment with Dr. W. Edwards Deming). […]

Process Behavior Charts are the Secret to Understanding the Organization as a System

The W. Edwards Deming Institute podcast with Dr. Sophronia (Frony) Ward, Managing and Founding Partner of Pinnacle Partners, Process Behavior Charts are the Secret to Understanding the Organization as a System (direct download), is another in our understanding variation series. Frony discusses the importance of Statistical Process Control (SPC) in all parts of an organization. […]

Data is Important and You Must Confirm What the Data Actually Says

“Change the rule and you will get a new number.” Attributed to W. Edwards Deming. Direct quote from The New Economics “If you change the rule for counting people, you come up with a new number.” Dr. Deming emphasized the importance of understanding what the data actually meant (and how easily we can be mislead […]

Podcast with Lynda Finn: The Value of the Simple Run Chart

Lynda Finn, President of Statistical Insight and facilitator for The Deming Institute. Download the podcast with Linda: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Data Points. This podcast is the first episode of our “Knowledge In Variation Series.” Lynda discusses the importance of moving from spreadsheets to plotting data, and the common mistakes that organizations make […]