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Red Bead Experiment at Limited WIP Society Stockholm

In December we organised a second meeting with the Limited WIP Society user group in Stockholm, this time at Crisp. David J Anderson honoured us with a visit and an interesting talk on Kanban and organisational maturity.

Inspired by Benjamin Mitchell and David Joyce, my colleague Marcus Hammarberg and I ran a version of W. Edwards Demings Red Bead Experiment, a tool to teach how slogans and management yelling at workers to “motivate” them won’t affect results – only process improvements will. Marcus did a great job as the nefarious project manager whose only “help” to the team consisted in slogans, threats of punishments and promises of rewards, reassurances about how perfect the process is etc. We had fun running the experiment, but since our prepared Excel sheets couldn’t easily be altered to work with a smaller number of workers it took too much time. As a result we had to replace the group discussions about what happened with an unprepared, and therefore not so good, lessons learned.

If you attended the experiment and want more or if you just want to learn more about the lessons it teaches, check out the recording with Mitchell and Joyce at Skillsmatter. Or why not the one where I (that’s me in the green sweater) and colleague Christophe Achouiantz (the tall guy next to me) participated?



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