Dr W. Edwards Deming’s famous Red Bead Experiment

Here is a video of when I ran Dr W. Edwards Deming’s famous Red Bead Experiment at Agile Sydney. The quality of the filming isn’t of professional quality, but many thanks to Rowan Bunning for the ad-hoc filming. I ran the experiment last year at Agile Sydney, Lean and Kanban Belgium, LESS 2010 Helsinki, Agile Australia, and at a number of clients. The learning is always good, even more so when it’s a fun experiment to take part in and watch. The experiment is followed by a discussion on the theory of variation.

I’ve submitted a proposal to run the experiment again at Agile 2011

Some great comments from those that attended.


7 thoughts on “Dr W. Edwards Deming’s famous Red Bead Experiment

  1. Was a very interesting demonstration of why system thinking is a vital part of being a software engineer ! It was done with humour and allowed all who viewed it to come to their own conclusions (which will always sharpen the presented argument)
    However as the best bead sorter (if a sadly failing bead sorter) maybe it is all in the wrist 🙂

  2. A very entertaining and thought provoking experiment, we’re due to run this ourselves to help our teams broaden their minds.
    Would it be possible to get a copy of the spreadsheet you used?

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