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Innovation Guidelines

ITD has a goal, as part of implementing Total Quality, to innovate or improve all of its processes, services and products. Innovation can be defined as implementing new ideas or making significant improvements to existing ones. Innovation can occur as a part of the natural cycle of Quality Improvement Teams, as a specialized set of steps to use to examine whole processes and focus on the aims of the customer, or as a part of the Quality approach to daily activities.

In addition, since technology plays an enabling role in the innovation of our customer's processes, we need to support innovation in process wherever it may occur.


The uppermost portion of the Quality triangle represents Quality in Planning and Policy. Among these activities the Quality Council has sponsored culture change efforts through developing Management Expectations, ITD Purpose and Values and Statement of Direction, the Work Force Alignment policy and planning, the Work Planning Process and the Recognition and Celebration guidelines. Another of the goals of Total Quality in this arena is to assist ITD in identifying and taking action on the barriers to innovation that occur within the organization. This document identifies some of these barriers and describes action steps and countermeasures that should be taken.

Also from this triangle, Process Innovation Teams (PITs) are formed at the highest level in organizations in order to create strategic system-wide broad-process innovations. These formal teams are composed of managers and/or high-level representatives and are charged with questioning the very aim of the system or process that they are examining. This document contains an outline of a process to use for these teams.

The lower left portion of the Quality triangle represents Quality in Teams. One of the goals of Total Quality is to assist ITD in serving our customers better by achieving process improvements and innovations through Quality work done in teams. Quality Improvement Teams (QITs), be they formal or informal, can be used to improve and innovate work processes within a unit, across all of ITD, or even cross-functionally within the University. These teams use the steps and tools of the QI Story. (Quality problem-solving tools and group dynamics techniques from the QI Story can also be used to improve the functioning of any work done in ITD in teams.)

Kaizen, the Japanese word for the process of continuous improvement, represents the commitment to problem-solving often done in these teams. ("Americans usually feel more comfortable with short, intensive bursts of activity. We like to search for inventions that are breakthroughs, that represent a whole new approach to a problem... This is where we have learned the most from the Japanese, sometimes at a high cost." The Race Without a Finish Line ) In the Appendix of this document are some guidelines for how the innovation principles can be applied in QITs.

Finally, the lower right-hand portion of the triangle represents Quality in Daily Activities. It is important that all staff begin to feel empowered and capable of improvement and innovation in processes and in providing products and services in their daily lives.

Innovative activities can take place in quality improvement teams (QITs), in individuals' daily work activities or in process innovation/redesign teams (PITs or BPR teams).

Last updated 5 May by