Quality management and innovation
Is the creation of something new, an innovation? One can say that Innovation is innovation only if somebody needs it. It might seem a complicated matter, but it is, actually, not the case - you have to be able to recognize the needs of people, or the need for improvement in a process in your school, organization or elsewhere. Innovation is something that is responding to these needs to improve life.
resized/uploaded---tiny---images---leirasokba/800/800/innovation-zemgale-introduction.jpg Very often, when something goes wrong, we blame a concrete person, but, in fact, very often the process of which this person is part of is the one to blame. Why? It is important to understand that each person that you meet, when receiving some service, is part of the bigger system “behind the scene”. And so, even though you meet the person, and maybe nowadays some imagined person – artificial intellect - they are just part of the process that has gone wrong. That is why, to keep up a good service, you need to understand the meaning of quality management.
What is the difference between the quality of a product and the quality of a service? We, as customers, should know that the quality of the product is possible to test only in the long run, therefore products have a time of guarantee, sometimes very long time, even 5 years or more, but the quality of the service is known right away, and the feedback can be received immediately. And, of course, an immediate answer can be yes - it is good service, or it can be – no, it is bad service. And none of us is willing to receive bad service, neither in public service, nor in private service.
It is always good to expect quality from someone’s performance, but to learn about quality management is good also for the purpose of understanding if you, yourself provide the best service, when you do something for others.
This webquest provides you the opportunity to learn to identify processes and build consensus about quality standards, identifying priorities with the group and trying to improve and solve challenging issues in a concrete context. You will in the process of the webquest – learn theoretical aspects about the quality management, will think and debate about the methods entrepreneurs can use in finding out opinion of clients and will create the process card, what is the basis in the insurance of the Total Quality Management in services requiring high standards, therefore you will create presentation on quality management to catalyse learning process and sharing your findings. The aim is to discover the secret of innovation and to understand how important is the process, in everything that we do.
resized/uploaded---tiny---images---leirasokba/800/800/innovation-zemgale-task.jpgImagine you are the owner of a small boutique type five stars hotel. Lately, you started to receive complains about the service of your front desk and room service. You have some important guests arriving in two months’ time and you would like to improve the service as soon as possible. You call up a management meeting and realize that lately, nobody has completed the customer's satisfaction survey. You are trying to identify the causes and process of solving the problems.
This webquest is a role play, applying realistic challenges that people face when working in the context of service provision. Innovation is something that solves somebody’s needs with regard to the product or service.
1. Make small groups! 
Maximum 5 people in each group – and initiate a brainstorming session in which each person in the group should mention at least one thing they would like to know about the quality of the hotel and its services on different levels and steps of the service.

2. Draw up a list!     
On a piece of paper or on the computer, put together a list of at least seven things you would like to know/ check about the quality of your hotel’s service. Please be precise.

3. Name three methods!     
Name at least three methods you can use to obtain opinions about the quality of the service of your hotel. Bear in mind that the quality of the service should have certain criteria. It is against those that you will measure the quality and promote its improvement.

resized/uploaded---tiny---images---leirasokba/800/800/innovation-zemgale-process-method.jpg 4. Describe each method!
Describe each method - aim of the method’s application, specifics, what should be taken into consideration when applying a concrete method in needs assessment, some characteristics, pluses, and minuses of each concrete method.

5. Analyse the feed-back from customers!     
When you have decided on the methods for gathering clients opinion, choose one out of the seven things you have put on the list in step 2 and start to prepare the solution for solving this problem.

Example – you have recognized that in the satisfaction surveys people complain about late response to the room service. Your internal standard foresees that room service should respond to the clients’ call in 15 minutes, but almost in 85% of the calls, the response takes 20-30 minutes.

6. Create a description of the process!      
Please create the description of the process (each step of the process should correspond to one sentence), trying to include all the steps of the process you can imagine. You should imagine and try to identify where the problem is – in our example: why has the room service become so late in their response.

NOTE: Use all your imagination to make up the concrete example. You can imagine all worst-case scenarios for why the service has become so bad and is facing delays.

7. Draw a diagram about the possible solution
In the group, please draw a diagram of the possible process, behind the need of the customer the hotel is trying to satisfy. The diagram of the process should contain at least 5-7 steps and don’t forget that, for each step in the process, you should mention who is responsible.

8. Think about Demming's statement:     
W.E.Demming states: “the quality is not a fault of the workers, but the fault of the leaders.” Do you agree with this statement in the context of the customers’ requirements in the settings of the hotel? Discuss in a group and write down your conclusion.

9. Make a presentation!    
For the next steps, make a presentation and find answers to the following questions:
a) Research on the internet about W.E.Demming  - who is this person and what was his main achievement in the context of quality management?
b) What is the most precise explanation of the definition of quality management?
c) What is the difference between external and internal customers in the hotel business, selling cars and in a children's’ hospital?
d) What is the definition of Taguchi “ideal quality”? Read the material and prepare three examples where, in everyday life, you can recognize Taguchi’s ideal quality.

10. Identify the improvement!
Please identify, for each step of the process, how you will check or measure the progress or improvement in the process itself.

11. Analyse the identified needs! 
Please analyze one of the things you have mentioned as a need - identified in the customer's survey - interlinking those needs to concrete processes that you can identify as being responsible for the concrete steps to satisfy the customer.

12. Prepare a description!
Prepare a process card and description, highlighting the main and most crucial aspects of the process you have created for the satisfaction of customers needs.

13. Discuss your finding between the groups!   
Other groups ask questions, each group should receive at least three questions, related to their process card, specifically related to the service and its quality measurement.

14. Provide personal experiences!
To conclude - provide personal experiences from the small group members stating: resized/uploaded---tiny---images---leirasokba/800/800/innovation-zemgale-process-last-photo.jpg
- when you received service that was completely dissatisfactory
- when you received service that was completely satisfactory

Please explain if these experiences influenced your decision about continuing or stopping co-operation with those service providers.
Evaluation and Learning Outcomes
After the completion of this webquest, learners will:

( be able to...)
(be able to...)
· Basic knowledge of  the theory
of quality management
· Apply the theory of quality management into
practice, when developing or providing a service
or an event or when creating an enterprise.
· Recognize the process “behind” the service
· Interlink theory to everyday life in order to create
new services and products for the community
· Realize that innovation is the answer to
customers’ needs
· See the strong interlinkage between innovation
and quality
· Engage in the group work to obtain the best
result possible
· Willing to interlink theoretical aspects in
the learning process about quality management
· Develop argumentation skills to discuss 
the issues of quality management
· Perceive that all services we use/provide
are developed in complex processes,
whereas people may simply be the
connection point.
· Create and establish innovations based
on own needs, as well as on the needs of the society we are in.
Sometimes people think that innovation is something like a “bright idea” that came into the head of resized/uploaded---tiny---images---leirasokba/800/800/innovation-zemgale-conclusion.jpgsomeone who was obsessed about things in a concrete field. Everything is easier – innovation is simply a response to the needs of people. If people do not need something, there is no space for innovation. You can create something innovative, if somebody needs it and will use, perhaps buy it. Quality management is a source of innovation. It shows you where innovation is born – in the need of the customer.