The Importance of Quality Systems with
Mr Potato Head

As part of our Company Day activities, our Quality Focus Group arranged an activity for our team to get us thinking about the importance of Quality Systems; including why we need them; and how they have been designed to meet regulatory expectations and be clearly understood and followed.  The activity also reinforced the reasons why we must control any changes in the way that we do.

After splitting into teams, each table was handed a package with a Mr Potato Head and instructions to build the character.

As you can see each team created a completely different set-up for Mr Potato Head.

After we completed the first part of the task it became clear that there were different versions of the activity:

  • Very explicit (but long-winded) instructions, ensuring the Mr Potato Head was built using exacting standards.

  • Vague instructions, which were left open for interpretation by team members.

  • Open-ended instructions that allowed the team to create whatever Mr Potato Head they wanted.

Looking at the instructions and evaluating their ability to be misinterpreted, we could easily see how the finished product could be impacted and not meet the standards expected by the client.

The teams re-wrote the instructions, using a change control procedure to capture any updates and giving a full history from start to finish.

This engaging and fun activity meant that everyone whether from a Quality, Administrative or Regulatory background could understand the importance of clear procedures, highlighting and capturing changes and the impact misinterpreted instructions can have at all stages of the process.

(No Mr. Potato Heads were harmed in this activity)