1. What is the link between positive energy, diabetes prevention, ambulance service KPIs and an innovation hub?

    June 23, 2017 by ahmed

    The answer to the question is that all of these are the topics for benchmarking projects that are being conducted by Dubai government entities as part of the initiative Dubai We Learn. This initiative is led by the Dubai Government Excellence Programme (DGEP) “Dubai We Learn” in partnership with the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER). In April 2017, 11 project teams from 11 government entities began their benchmarking projects which were expected to take one year. Two months later on the 11 June 2017 the project teams came together to give a 10-minute presentation on the progress of their benchmarking projects.

    The 11 “Dubai We Learn” project teams

    To maximise the engagement and learning of the participants the audience were invited to vote on which two teams they believed had made the most progress with their projects. A panel of judges selected another two teams and then one winner was selected.

    Dr Zeyad El Kahlout, Quality and Excellence Advisor, DGEP, coordinating the voting activity

     

    The Panel of judges, from left Ahmed Abbas, Dr. Robin Mann, Prof. Dotun Adebanjo

    The team judged to have made most progress was from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs Dubai (GDRFA) with its project to “To identify and implement best practices in enriching a positive energy culture”. The other three government entities recognised for their progress were:

    • Dubai Health Authority for their project which aims to identify and implement best practices in the prevention of diabetes.
    • Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services for their project which aims to develop and implement a world-class performance management system for ambulance services.
    • Dubai Municipality for their project which aims to Identify and implement best practices in managing, sharing, and utilising knowledge across the organization.

    The four teams that were recognised with HE Dr. Ahmed Nuseirat, General Coordinator of DGEP and Dr Robin Mann, COER

    The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs Dubai (GDRFA) aims to understand what is meant by a positive energy culture and how such a culture can support innovation and employee happiness. Currently, GDRFA is working on analysing the current status of positive energy at GDRFA, which includes analysis of key contributors toward a positive energy culture within the organisation. The next step for GDRFA will be studying the concept of positive energy on a personal and organisational level, this is to understand the environment needed for a positive energy culture to thrive.

    In the next few months, the teams will be looking for benchmarking partners to learn from. Are you implementing a best practice in any area related to the 11 projects below? If so, we would like to hear from you. Please email ahmed@bpir.com for more details.

    Government entity Project title
    Dubai Civil Aviation Authority Happy Skies
    Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services Treat the patient not the Clock
    Dubai Customs Dubai Accredited Clients
    Dubai Electricity and Water Authority AFKARI Ideas Management System
    Dubai Health Authority Prevention better than Cure
    Dubai Human Resources Department Launching a Dubai Government HR Think Tank
    Dubai Municipality Innovation Hub
    Dubai Police Call Of Duty: Police Edition
    Dubai Public Prosecution A Smarter Public Prosecution Services
    General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs Dubai Positive Energy
    Knowledge and Human Development Authority Holacracy Safari

    For more information about this initiative download the attached article and sign-up up to COER’s newsletter to receive the latest updates.


  2. How many KPIs do I need? (fewer than you think)

    June 18, 2017 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on Intrafocus

    If there is one thing that we are really good at, it is measuring things. If it moves, measure it. If it doesn’t move, measure how long it stays still. We are convinced that if we can measure it, then we can manage it. And the result? We spend more time measuring than managing. When running a large operation, clearly we need to measure a lot of things, but when we are managing a business, day to day operational measurements become less important. Running a business requires us to measure those things that contribute to our business objectives and ultimately our vision for the future.

    We therefore concentrate on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The measurements that are key to the performance of our business strategy. So how many KPIs are required? It is here that we often fall into the trap of mixing operational measures with business KPIs. On the whole, operational measures are easy to find or define. For example, on a manufacturing assembly line, it may be important to clock people in and out to ensure they get paid correctly, but the hours they work may or may not be relevant to the business strategy. It all depends on whether or not there is a strategic (or business) objective related to the workforce. At best, hours worked may be a contributor to a KPI.

    The number of KPIs is directly related to the number of strategic objectives a company/organisation has. The number of strategic objectives is dependent on the resources and time available to meet the objectives set. Given that just about everyone in a company/organisation has a ‘day-job’, the time left to focus on strategic objectives tends to be small. In a study by Franklin and Covey they talk about the whirlwind of the day job. The whirlwind sucks us into all of the activities that are required to keep the organisation running and leaves no time for anything else.
    To put an effective, measurable strategy in place, the number of strategic objectives has to be small. there is a law of diminishing returns:

    • If I plan to do 1-3 things, I will achieve 1-3 things
    • If I plan to do 4-10 things, I might achieve 1 or 2
    • If I plan to do more than 10 things, I will achieve nothing

    Simply put, I will fail if I spread myself too thinly. When creating a strategy using the Balanced Scorecard methodology, we look to put no more than three strategic objectives into each of the four perspectives. The rationale being, each perspective will have its own skill base and resource set. At a minimum, each strategic objective will have one KPI associated with it and certainly no more than three. So how many KPIs do I need? At a minimum 12 and at a maximum 36. Follow the rules, tried and tested over 20+ years of usage, and you cannot go wrong.


  3. Lots of Activity, No Progress

    by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Harry Hertz

    I recently read an HBR blog entitled, “How Aligned Is Your Organization?” The authors attributed a lack of internal organizational alignment to four reasons. The last, and I thought very important one, was that activity is mistaken for progress. Measurement of activity rather than progress is a common problem in organizations. Frequently, it starts with a desire to measure and manage by fact, and the easiest measures to begin with are activity measures. Activity measurement is not wrong, if you are measuring the right activities. In this blog post, I want to explore activity measurement and the achievement of progress.Activity is undertaken with the intent of producing results. And the direct results of activity are generally easy to measure (e.g., widgets produced, calls answered, time spent). Activity alone generally relates to operations and the results generally answer a question that begins with “What did you do?” You may have made twice as many widgets in half the time. You may have answered twice as many calls in only 120% of the time it previously took to answer half that number of calls. However, what you did may not yield results that relate to progress. Activity alone does not get at progress.

    In the Baldrige Excellence Framework, Results are scored on four factors. The first three are: levels, trends, and comparisons. You can measure all three of these factors for the activities described above and be very proud of your accomplishments. So what is missing?

    What if all the widgets were defective? What if all the calls answered did not resolve the callers’ issues? “Positive” activity, but no progress. The activities were measures of output, but not outcomes. The outcomes, which are measures of progress, were negative. Furthermore, the widgets may not have had the features that customers want. And with the heavy focus on widget production, the company may have missed that a replacement product was coming from another industry (e.g. digital imaging and ink replacing film and processing chemicals).

    All the customer calls you answered may have been due to poor guidance your organization provided at the start, requiring the need for further information.

    The activity measures perfectly answered the “What did you do?” question, but did not address the important questions of how well you did it, why you did it, and how important those activities are. To answer those questions we need more information about organizational context, strategy, leadership vision, and customer desires or needs. We need a systems perspective. We need an integrated set of questions and not just questions about level of activity, no matter how positive that activity’s results may be. The activity you are measuring may not even be an important activity to measure. The Baldrige Excellence Framework provides this systems perspective, through an integrated set of questions that cause thought about key organizational linkages.

    So how do quality improvement tools fit into this whole equation? They fit in very well, if applied to the right processes. Otherwise we could spend time on PDCA cycles or having Kaizen blitzes on unimportant processes, wasting people’s time and organizational resources, both of which are precious. These tools display their great value when applied to important problems. They need to be used with the good of the organization in mind, with a focus on processes that contribute to progress. We can then link the activity measures to not only output, but to the outcomes that will sustain the organization going forward.

    Finally, let me return to Baldrige Results factors. As stated previously, three are: levels, trends, and comparisons. The fourth and vital factor is integration. Are you measuring the results that are important to customers, strategy, financial success, and employee loyalty? And to emphasize the importance of integration, it is the only results factor that is also used as a scoring factor for processes. It is the measure of an aligned and integrated organization. It is the measure of systems thinking on the part of the organization. It is what moves our organizations from activity measurement, to measuring the right activities, to measuring critical outcomes, to achieving progress.

    How is your organization performing on its integration factors?