A frequent topic in quality management initiatives is measurement. The old saying “you get what you measure” is then used to reinforce interest in measurement. With this rhetoric, it isargued that proper measurement is a prerequisite for an organization’s ability to continuously improve. Simply put, without understanding “where you are”, and later “what you got“ as a result of your interventions, it is difficult to learn. In other words, you become unable to complete the improvement cycle, generally known as the PDCA-cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act). This general logic of organizational learning is hard to argue against. It also illustrates the critical importance of finding “the right” organizational measurements that capture the quality of the desired result. So what measurements and evaluation tools should be used for improving one of the most essential activities of an organization, the activity known as innovation? That is a question asked in the service industry today, and the question of interest in this paper. More specifically, this paper aims to contribute knowledge about and new perspectives on the measurement of innovation quality in service organizations.
The paper is based on a literature review of the phenomenon of innovation quality in combination with an empirical study of public officials’ and managers’ perception and definition of innovation quality. The methodological approach for the empirical study is qualitative and carried out in the form of a desk review and interviews with staff at the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) head office and at Swedish embassiesabroad.
The planning of monitoring and evaluation of the innovation process has to be done early in the innovation process. By defining the concept of innovation and the development of three types of quality indicators, innovation can be evaluated. Concepts and indicators have to bedesigned in context. It is not possible to rely on ready-made definitions. By following a five-step model in the cyclic process of measuring innovation quality, the PDCA cycle will be accomplished and the conditions for InnovAbility will improve.
Value of the Paper
The paper contributes to the understanding of how innovation quality can be measured, andthereby how the ability to innovate (InnovAbility) can be improved, in service organizations.
Comprint , 2012.
Innovation, Innovation Quality, Quality Management, Measure Innovation, InnovAbility
15th QMOD conference on Quality and Service Sciences ICQSS September 5-7, 2012, Poznan, Poland