Thursday, June 26, 2008


What is the important bit about quality?

Just calling for it doesn't do the job. You've got to put your money where your mouth is!

So when you ask for improving the quality it might pay also off to think about W. Edwards Deming's "Red Beads Experiment" (description for example here). Why is this relevant?

In essence the experiment describes how you limit the quality any process can achieve by not allowing the employees to improve the tools and processes to do their work. In fact allowing for continuously improving tools and processes is one of the most powerful mechanisms to improve quality. And as Deming points out, the decision to empower or prevent employees from doing this improvement comes from management.

So, if you ask for quality improvements and at the same time deny your team tool or process improvements you shouldn't be surprised if the quality level doesn't go up at all or not as quickly as you'd like to.

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