From the findings of our group presentation, it can be said that quality means doing things right, but the things which the operation needs to do right will vary according to the kind of operation. For example, in the hospital, quality could mean making sure that patents get the most appropriate treatment, that the treatment is carried out in a medically correct manner, it would also include such things as ensuring that the hospital is clean, and that the staff are well informed and friendly towards patients.
It’s not surprising that all operations regard quality as a particularly important object. In some ways quality is the most visible part of what an operation does. Furthermore, it’s some thing that a customer finds relatively easy to judge about the operation. By asking is it right or wrong? Is it the way it’s supposed to be? There is some thing fundamental about quality. Because of this, it’s clearly a major influence on customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
Quality then is simple meeting the customer requirements, and this has been expressed in many ways:‘Fitness for purpose or use’, ‘Conformance to requirements’, and in many other ways.
Clearly, part of the acceptability of a service will depend on its ability to function satisfactorily over a period of time, and it is this aspect of performance that is given the name reliability. It is the ability of the service to continue to meet the customer requirements. It is important to realize that the ‘meeting the customer requirements’ definition of quality is not restrictive to the functional characteristics of services.
A report on your contribution to the group and to the work that was presented
I contributed a great deal in the planning and writing up of the presentation. Our group communicated amongst itself both efficiently and effectively. Although we gathered on only one occasion outside academic hours as a whole group, the meeting was extremely constructive as we were able to discuss and arrange the main sections of the presentation.
My role within the group was to design the slides and research on the topic I was allocated as a member of the group. Firstly, I decided to research on the theory of variation and the Deming cycle, and attempted to link these theories to the results of the care quality commission report on the two care homes of our choice. The other role in the work of the group involved introducing the main points of the presentation and writing up on one of the key points in the conclusion.
A report on how the group worked together
Group work has been defined by various authors, however Kurland and Salmon (2003) states that for some group work is just another way of talking about teamwork, however, working in groups is often presented as a good way of dividing work and increasing productivity. It can also be argued that it allows for the utilization of the different skills, knowledge and experiences that people have, (Cory and Cory, 2002). Kurland and Salmon (2002) describes team work as partnership, therefore he goes to describe partnership working as a variety of arrangements with different purposes, time scales, structures, operating procedures and members between groups and the community as a whole. Lowndes (2002) adding that partnership/group working achieves what would be difficult or impossible for a single person to do on their own therefore collaborative working is also known as partnership working. However, (Wildridge et al, 2004) argues that partnership working is not in and of itself a good thing. Yalom (2005) claims that for a group work to be effective 10 characteristic should be present: Develop goals and plans, Enhance communication among members, Develop and maintain positive relationships among members, Solve problems and make decisions on a timely basis, Successfully manage conflict, Facilitate productive meetings, Clarify roles for team members, Operate in a productive manner, Exhibit effective team leadershipand Provide development opportunities for team members. Our group work lacked the communication skills, hence working in a group proved difficult. Donovan (2005) states that good communication is critical to effective teamwork; it is far more than talking and listening. It is sometimes a complex and puzzling process. However, effective communication is possible with the right approach, techniques and some practice.
Our group could have worked better as a team. The main flaw was our inability to meet up, discuss ideas and become all aware as to which stage of drafting we are. We at times thought different things were occurring and we didn’t all pull in the same direction until towards the end when editing the slides. These are the sessions where we worked well as a group. When editing, we looked at the slides and any idea brought up by one of our group members were considered. This process happened several times and this ensured us that we were all happy with the final copy of our presentation.
Another disappointing thing about our group was the lack of met deadlines. However, this directly came as a consequence as a lack of deadlines set. Although the work was shared between the group, it was much disorganised as to when it should be done. It was very difficult for this reason to know whether we were ahead or behind schedule with the only dates determined was the final deadline for all work (15/04/2010).
My experience in group work has showed that there are many problems that accompany group work that is people don’t pull their weight and one person who don’t turn up leaving other person to complete the task. There are problem’s with time management as some people might not attend time set because of other commitment and lack of commitment towards the task resulting in people not doing what was given to them, this is a big de-motivation factor in group as it pulls the whole group down and effects work.
The day we met for the first time to prepare our presentation, our strategy involved first gathering all information on Deming using research skills like using reputable sources from the Internet, newspaper and articles for the next meeting. On the first of three meeting we covered what points were relevant and how would we structure the presentation and had an agreement on the type of care home we will use for our presentation.
The following week we gathered our research together and highlighted the important and relevant information and set our specific points for each person to cover and what to research, we also began our PowerPoint presentation. My point was to design the slides and prepare a clear explanation of the theory of variation and the Deming cycle.
On the final week we brought in our final version on what each of us would cover and finalised the presentation and practice our presentation and corrected each other if there were any faults and gave inputs to each other on how they improve it even further.
What I learnt in group work with my colleagues while preparing for presentation that people who have good decision making skills will set a vision of what need to be accomplished and setting a structure of how should we aim to achieve it. This part involves being good at making decisions, as it is very crucial part in-group work and a good academic skill to have. This motivates other to decisions rather then leaving it to the end, as it helps’s set a goal to aim for. There are also couple of skills that are crucial they include setting prioritise, communicating between colleague and inter personal skills. For example giving constructive criticism like our group did when we were carrying out presentation to each other. (Rose et al,1989) It could have been wise to adopt Tuckman’s literature on group development, based on a meta-analysis of the complex models which had previously been developed. It has the virtue of being memorable, but the limitation of being rather rigid.(Tuckman, 1965)
 Davis,B.G.(2009)(2nd ed.) Tools for teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
 Brower,A.M.,Rose,S.D.(1989) Advances in Group work research. London: Eurospan/Haworth.
 Tuckman,B. (1965) “Developmental Sequence in Small Groups” Psychological Bulletin 63 pp. 384-399
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