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Quality Quiz:Professor Cleary
Another quiz from Professor Cleary

Congratulations: "A" is correct!

Clearly, this approach promises only disastrous outcomes. Deming would say that she is foolishly applying rule #2 of his funnel experiment. As you may remember from last month’s narrative, this experiment demonstrated natural variability in a process by using a funnel to drop small beads on a target. If the funnel never moved, these beads would reflect variation, since no two would fall in exactly the same position.

If, on the other hand, the funnel is adjusted after each drop, as Jan U. Wari insists, the process would reflect increased variability. What Jan is doing reflects rule #2, “At drop k (k = 1,2,3…), the bead will come to rest at point Zk, measured from target. Move the funnel distance –Zk from its last position.” (W. Edwards Deming, Out of the Crisis (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1982), 327.)

Quality Gamebox demonstrates this by simulating the experiment. Figure A shows the beads’ variability when the funnel is left alone; Figure B illustrates the variability when the funnel is adjusted.

One can see that the variability is greater when the funnel is moved or adjusted.

Figure A: Funnel not adjusted

Figure B: Funnel adjusted or moved

Although this is a mathematical concept, Deming used it to point out that the practice of over-adjusting in management leads to unfortunate results.

See the accompanying video to see what Deming has to say about rule #2.

>> Watch a more complete video explanation

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