"Had someone claiemd a year ago that the LEGO Group could have a new global quality mangement system in place in just nine weeks, most would have doubted them. But had they claimed it would be fun, no one would have believed them. The reality is that both are true."
The following is based on an interview with Senior Director of Global Quality, Cornelis Versluis, from the LEGO Group. The past year the LEGO Group has completed a very challenging quality project. New Future Formula has assisted through the project.
Last year the LEGO group was faced with a multitude of challenges. We had just taken back the ownership and management of three manufacturing plants - with a wide array of suppliers.
This left us with several different quality management systems (QMS). At the same time the US legislation on toy safety was about to place major demands on the QMS.
Furthermore we needed to get certified in three sites and re-certified in accordance with ISO 9000:2008 at the other sites.
We turned to New Future Formula (NFF) for assistance on how to approach the task.
New QMS in just 9 weeks
With little time to spare it was important to find a partner who could induce both knowledge and speed into the development of the new global QMS.
Just nine weeks after kick-off the first site was certified.
Quality management is often perceived as boring and perhaps even worse, irrelevant. We needed a way of breaking the ice and let pople know that quality can be not just fun but also very relevant. Together with NFF we came up with the concept of Playful Learning to address this issue. It is composed to two components:
- Focused Message
- Educational Games
Focusing the message is hard for quality professionals in general. We are accustomed to being exact, specific and thorough. The trick to making people listen is to find the core of your message and communicate only this. We came up with one slide showing the QMS as composed of only five components.
When using educational games it is normal to use play as a decoration or add-on to the subject itself. In Playful Learning we separate the two and let people just play. Afterwards the experience from the game can be linked to real life through reflection.
Since the reflection is a critical part of getting the message through it is important that the games or exercises have been designed to allow this.
The annual conference for Quality Management and Organisational Development was held in Verona last week , from August 27th to 29th. Quality is at the core of the culture of LEGO. We felt that the message on Quality by Heart and Playful Learning was so important that we would like to share it with the leading authorities.
NFF collaborated with us on the paper for the conference.The result speaks for itself. I was invited as the main speaker on the conference.
With the assistance of NFF, we gave the participants something to remember.
"I believe NFF made ad difference for us in terms of both speed and quality with the added bonus of a lot of fun and energy."