Innovation, Design, and Creativity for a Competitive Advantage – OI/461March 2, 2009The purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss the four basic phases of the innovative process and how the team will apply the innovative process to change the Greyhound bus lines the team has chosen to discuss. The team will also identify the appropriate tools and techniques to be used in this process and explain why they were selected and measure the results and what steps that Greyhound bus lines will take to ensure continuous improvement.
Phases of Innovative ProcessThe innovative process was very influential in product development. In the 1960s NASA developed the four basic phases which are the Preliminary analysis, definition, design, and operation. As part of the project planning, Greyhound Bus Lines will use these steps to produce a new creative innovation and design that will make the organization a better way for public transportationPreliminary analysis will be the first step the bus lines will approach. The Greyhound organization will work with necessary consultants and gather all the information along with feedback from the consumers in order to address and outline a design that will result in customer satisfaction and profit gain.
The next step of the process is Definition. Definition is where Greyhound bus lines can reexamine future opportunities and review reasons for past profit loss. During this phase it is essential to identify areas that will cost money, mistakes, and other deficiencies that can cause the project to fail or lead to costly and time-consuming changes later in the development process.
Once the preliminary analysis and definition is complete, next will be the design process. As part of the planning process, drawing or mapping out a design to initiate the change is important. With this process the organization can create a time-line and model for the new services the organization would like to change and restructure the locations in several cities. Greyhound would like to add needed security for the safety of its customers and upgrade the computer technology to make the trip more enjoyable. Having a computer system that enables customers to pull up the bus tickets by a click of a button will make the process smoother and avoid long lines at the ticket counter.
Finally, the operation process begins. Now that the design is complete and an outline is finalized, it’s time to put the operation in process. The tools and techniques that Greyhound bus lines will use will ensure a smooth transition and will also enable the team to address issues that arises in a timely manner so that the project is not held up; after all time is money made or money lost.
Tools and TechniquesGreyhound Bus lines will embed the functional structure to plan and execute certain changes within each department. The responsibilities will be clearly defined for each department since most of the changes will be with existing products and services. Greyhound bus lines strongly believe that the current services and products have worked well with the company however; the organization is in need for improvements with the help of certain specialization and expertise. Another tool the organization will use is the development funnel.
The development funnel is a popular tool in the armory to improve new products/services and was developed by Harvard Business School professors Kim Clark and Stephen Wheelwright in the early 1990s. It encourages managers to take an integrated approach to new product/service development. Rather than making decisions on individual projects, the approach suggest the management and coordination of product/service development activities from a company-wide perspective, starting with a link to company strategy.
Greyhound bus lines realize that many of the management team members and employees who have been with the company for a long time play a significant role with the current company strategy and by training these employees will help generate a smooth transition to the new services and products as well as identify or acknowledge new ideas that can help the company be successful. The organization will also need expert advice with upgrading the security at each bus locations to ensure the safety of the customers.
Measures and ResultsGreyhound Bus Lines will measure the results of the innovative ideas implemented into the organization by various methods. The methods used will be customer and employee surveys, internal benchmarking, and trial and error.
Customer and Employee SurveysCustomer and employee surveys are custom designed surveys and feedback cards designed specifically for Greyhound Bus Lines to assess, measure and compare the external customers needs, wants and expectations within Greyhound Bus Lines. The surveys will look at the organizations ability to deliver service. The feedback from the surveys will inform Greyhound Bus Lines where to focus areas of improvement and innovation from the customer perception (Success Profiles, Inc., 1996-2003).
Internal BenchmarkingInternal benchmarking is a self assessment process that identifies the organizations strengths and weaknesses (Success Profiles, Inc., 1996-2003). Greyhound Bus Lines will identify the strengths and weaknesses with regards to the organizational innovation and creativity. Once the strengths and weaknesses are identified new processes will be implemented into the weaker areas of innovation. This process is a repetitive process and incorporates new ideas and best practices into the organizations daily operations.
Trial and ErrorTrial and error links Greyhound Bus Lines customer and employee surveys and internal benchmarking to the actual implementation and execution of the new innovative ideas into the organization. If a product or service is implemented into daily service and fails, the organization will pull or change the product, re-evaluate and admit back into service for further trials. If a product or service is implemented and excels, Greyhound Bus Lines will evaluate how and why that product or service is succeeding and implement additional services of the same level.
ConclusionAt Greyhound bus lines by developing a new innovative process that defines the four phases of the innovative process, identify the appropriate tools and techniques to be implemented, and measure the results and the steps that Greyhound bus lines will take will ensure continuous improvement. The need for innovation is abundantly clear in today’s society. Organizational sustainability and growth is dependent upon it. Organization that do not embrace innovative practices and develop an innovative culture will not survive the turbulence of a global competitive society.
Customer and Employee Surveyshttp://www.successprofiles.com/Products_Services/Customer_Measures/Customer_Satisfaction_and_Loya/customer_satisfaction_and_loya.htmlPrint Information from:Internal Benchmarkinghttp://www.successprofiles.com/Products_Services/Business_Processes/Benchmarking/benchmarking.htmlSuccess Profiles, Inc. (1996-2003). Internal Benchmarking. Retrieved February 27, 2009, from http://www.successprofiles.com/Products_Services/Business_Processes/Benchmarking/Internal_Benchmarking/internal_benchmarking.html