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Learning by Writing: Applying Continuous Improvement and Innovation Principles to Project Management by Formal Documentation and Publication

Author

Listed:
  • Clark, Richard
  • Griffith, Garry
  • Madzivhandila, Tshilidzi
  • Mulholland, Cynthia
  • Nengovhela, Nkhanedzeni
  • Timms, Janice

Abstract

In recent years we have been involved in designing, implementing, monitoring and assessing a number of agricultural RD&E projects that have had a specific outcome focus on increasing the profitability of the participating businesses. These projects are based on ongoing research and development of the Sustainable Improvement and Innovation (SI&I) model which has Continuous Improvement and Innovation (CI&I) as its key process. A number of issues and dilemmas have arisen in managing these projects. One solution has been to write down in a formal way, at frequent intervals, what we have designed, what we have done, what we have achieved, and consequently what we need to do better. In this paper we describe several of these recent writing tasks, spread over several years. Apart from attempting to resolve the broad range of issues and dilemmas noted above, we have had two additional objectives: first, to expand interest in the concept of CI&I in the broader RD&E community and to stimulate its adoption in RD&E projects; and second, to use the writing task itself as a CI&I process to stimulate new thinking and action and to improve and innovate in our project management. We conclude by offering some lessons we have learnt from this process.

Suggested Citation

  • Clark, Richard & Griffith, Garry & Madzivhandila, Tshilidzi & Mulholland, Cynthia & Nengovhela, Nkhanedzeni & Timms, Janice, 2012. "Learning by Writing: Applying Continuous Improvement and Innovation Principles to Project Management by Formal Documentation and Publication," Papers 234293, University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Land and Environment.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:auagpe:234293
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.234293
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Griffith, Garry R. & Clark, R.E. & Parnell, Peter F. & Timms, Janice, 2007. "The Sustainable Beef Profit Partnership Approach to the Adoption of New Beef Industry Technologies," 2007 Conference (51st), February 13-16, 2007, Queenstown, New Zealand 10430, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    2. Jean Hartley, 2005. "Innovation in Governance and Public Services: Past and Present," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 25(1), pages 27-34, January.
    3. Garcia, Philip & Nelson, Carl H., 2003. "Engaging Students In Research: The Use Of Structured Professional Dialogue," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 21894, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    4. Philip Garcia & Carl H. Nelson, 2003. "Engaging Students in Research: The Use of Professional Dialogue," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 25(2), pages 569-577.
    5. David Albury, 2005. "Fostering Innovation in Public Services," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 25(1), pages 51-56, January.
    6. John Bessant, 2005. "Enabling Continuous and Discontinuous Innovation: Learning From the Private Sector," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 25(1), pages 35-42, January.
    7. Mark H. Moore, 2005. "Break-Through Innovations and Continuous Improvement: Two Different Models of Innovative Processes in the Public Sector," Public Money & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 43-50, January.
    8. David Albury, 2005. "Fostering Innovation in Public Services," Public Money & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 51-56, January.
    9. Mark H. Moore, 2005. "Break-Through Innovations and Continuous Improvement: Two Different Models of Innovative Processes in the Public Sector," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 25(1), pages 43-50, January.
    10. Jean Hartley, 2005. "Innovation in Governance and Public Services: Past and Present," Public Money & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 27-34, January.
    11. John Bessant, 2005. "Enabling Continuous and Discontinuous Innovation: Learning From the Private Sector," Public Money & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 35-42, January.
    12. Griffith, Garry R. & Mullen, John D., 2009. "Using continuous improvement and innovation principles for strategic planning in a government department," 2009 Conference (53rd), February 11-13, 2009, Cairns, Australia 47650, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
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