1. Which is most popular – Benchmarking, Best Practices, Business Excellence, Innovation, Lean, Six Sigma, Balanced Scorecard, Knowledge Management, ISO 9001 or IS0 14001?

    March 7, 2017 by ahmed
    My friend from the Australian Organisation for Quality – Michael W McLean, Managing Director, McLean Management Consultants Pty Limited brought to my attention the usefulness and fun of using Google Trends. Michael had compared the popularity of business excellence with a number of other improvement methodologies and techniques. His point was the relative lack of awareness or popularity of business excellence in comparison to other improvement approaches, in particular in comparison to ISO 9001. This was disappointing but no great surprise as it supported the findings of a study that COER undertook for SAI Global on the Australian Business Excellence Framework (ABEF) in 2007 (study shown here) – this revealed that only 9.5% of senior managers/directors in Australia had heard of the ABEF and only 1.3% had used the ABEF to improve their performance over the last 5 years.
    The graphs below are from my own comparisons using Google Trends. The first graph shows the popularity according to the number of searches for Benchmarking, Best Practices, Business Excellence and Innovation. These topics are the areas of expertise for my organisation, the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER). The graph shows the popularity of these approaches over 5 years from a worldwide perspective and only including results of searches of a “business and industrial” nature rather than on “games” or “sport” for example.most_popular1The graph shows clearly that innovation is the most popular search item, approximately four times as popular as searches for best practices and benchmarking. Business excellence is a 1/100th as popular as innovation. (Note the numbers on the left hand axis represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. Likewise a score of 0 means the term was less than 1% as popular as the peak).

    The second graph shows the popularity according to the number of searches for Benchmarking, Lean manufacturing, ISO 9001, Innovation and ISO 14001. This graph reveals that Innovation is the most popular topic with ISO 9001 second (at 50% popularity), Benchmarking third, ISO 14001 fourth, and Lean manufacturing last.

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    The third and final graph shows the popularity according to the number of searches for Benchmarking, Six Sigma, Balanced Scorecard, Innovation and Knowledge Management. This graph reveals that Innovation is again the most popular topic with Six Sigma second (at 50% popularity), Benchmarking third, Knowledge Management fourth and Balanced Scorecard last.

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    These searches reflect the interests of business people around the world and therefore should be taken seriously. Innovation can be seen as the hot topic over the last 5 years and yet systems/approaches/methodologies to help organisations become more innovative are still in their infancy. Those of us that understand business excellence will recognise that business excellence models have innovation integrated into the model criteria and yet the models are relatively unknown and unused. This presents an opportunity for the administrators and promoters of business excellence to leverage off the interest in innovation to offer their holistic business excellence model as a guide to building innovative organisations.

    This article was written by Dr Robin Mann, Head of the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, NZ.


  2. Podcast: Benchmarking – An interview with Dr Robin Mann

    February 12, 2017 by ahmed

     

    Listen to Dr Robin Mann, Head of the Centre of Organisational Excellence Research at Massey University, discussing one of the most powerful, yet greatly underused organisational improvement methods – best practice benchmarking. This was an interview by Michael Voss (CEO of Pyxis and MichaelVossNZ.com).

    Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.

    Topics covered were:

    • Tell us about what benchmarking is and why a business leader should pay attention to it?
    • Our listeners will know about benchmarks – and I am sure that many are comparing their performance measures with others in their industry, but will probably not have heard about best practice benchmarking. Can you briefly explain how these two are different?
    • I have noticed the term ‘best practice’ seems to have lost favour with many lately – everything today seems to be put forward as best practice. Do you think the term has lost its meaning?
    • There are many benchmarking processes on offer, what made you decide to develop the TRADE methodology?
    • I know that you have taken TRADE further than just Singapore where we used it to pilot the Jumpstart Benchmarking programme for the Civil Service College back in 2006. What impact has it made in Singapore and elsewhere?
    • What are the key things that a leader needs to know to run a successful benchmarking project in their organisation?
    • Tell us what made you set up the BPIR.com?
    • You have also set up the International Best Practice Competition. How does this work? And what types of organisations is it for?
    • There does not seem to be much appetite recently here in NZ for excellence or benchmarking other than in the local and central government sectors. Why do you think this is?

    For more information about TRADE and Best Practice Benchmarking go to COER.


  3. A successful first year for Dubai We Learn

    December 14, 2016 by ahmed

    This first year of “Dubai We Learn – Knowledge Sharing and Innovation Initiative” came to an end in October 2016. This initiative, for government entities in Dubai, has seen the Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP) and COER working closely together to deliver a range of knowledge sharing and organisational learning activities designed to fast-track organisational improvement and stimulate innovation.

    On 5 October 2016, the first wave of 13 benchmarking projects were concluded. Each project team gave a presentation and submitted a benchmarking report which was assessed by an expert panel. Three of the teams achieved a 7 Star recognition according to the new assessment system with all teams achieving certification at the Benchmarking Proficiency Level (an admirable achievement within one year). Initial results from the 7 Star projects are highlighted in the table below.

    dwl 7 stars

    COER’s TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking Methodology and BPIR.com were the key tools supporting the projects.

    TRADE

    dwl02dwl01The photo to the left shows Dr Ahmad Al Nuseirat, Coordinator-General, DGEP (2nd to the left), Dr Zeyad Mohammad El Kahlout, Quality and Excellence Advisor, DGEP (far left), Dr Robin Mann, Director, COER (centre) with His Excellency Abdulla Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani – Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai (far right). All of these people, along with Ahmed Abbas, Senior Benchmarking Researcher, COER, (photo above with Dr. Omer Al Sakaf who was the Team Leader for the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Service’s project) played a vital role in the success of the program.

     

    dwl03The expert panel consisted of Arndt Husar, Deputy Director, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Global Centre for Public Service Excellence, Singapore (left side of photo), Professor Dotun Adebanjo, University of Greenwich, London (right side of photo), and Dr Robin Mann.

    An overview of the 7 Stars stars Dubai We Learn projects

    The 7 Stars projects are described below. Information on the other projects is shown here.

    Dubai Municipality

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    The project aim was to increase the percentage of processed purchase requisitions from 74% to 85% within a target of 20 days, thereby improving the overall throughput of the purchasing channels.

    The team conducted an in-depth study of their current procurement system and performance using process analysis tools such as workload analysis, value stream analysis, an influence-interest matrix, customer segmentation, fishbone diagram, process flowchart analysis and waste analysis. As a result of this analysis, a number of areas for improvement were identified. These included the ensuring of correctly detailed technical specifications, how to quickly evaluate potential suppliers for technical purchases, and how to automate these processes.

    During the Acquire stage, the team collected more than 55 improvement ideas gained from the learning from benchmarking partners and the team’s own ideas. The team integrated these ideas and practices into a total of 5 main best practices for implementation. One of the best practices relating to contracts was parked under a new benchmarking project so that its feasibility could be further investigated.

    The actual outcome of the project exceeded expectations; from 85% of purchase requisitions to be completed within 20 days as the original aim, to an actual performance of 97% of purchase requisitions completed within 12.2 days. Finally, at the Evaluate stage of the project, Dubai Municipality calculated their savings to be in excess of US$600,000 per year.

    Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA)

    khda

    The aim of the KHDA project was to identify and implement best practices to increase people happiness. Prior to this project, KHDA was in the top 15% of organisations for employee happiness, based on an independent international measure. It was therefore a challenging task to improve its already very strong position.

    During the Research stage of TRADE, the team reviewed its current performance and challenges associated with people happiness. Specific areas to focus on during the benchmarking exercise were determined by the lowest scoring attributes in a Happiness @ Work Survey. This resulted in focusing on more specific areas such as employee well-being and work-life balance.

    One of the unique features of how KHDA utilises its resources is the way it leverages off planned business trips to obtain benchmarking information. For example, when some of the senior management team travelled to the United States to attend a conference the benchmarking team took advantage of this opportunity. They scheduled a number of benchmarking visits for their senior managers to acquire best practices on people happiness. As a result, the benchmarking team acquired many best practices through site visits both internationally and locally, in addition to obtaining best practices through internet research.

    Some of the practices targeted the improvement of the work environment such as the renovation of the 5th floor of their building. The photos show the new design with the work desks/areas intermingled with the sports apparatus and the presentation/meeting room designed to encourage openness and harmony. Renovation of the 5th floor was already planned before the benchmarking study began but the study enabled enhancements to be made.

    khda

    Other practices targeted improving employees’ well-being, such as encouraging employees to participate in fitness classes and external sports activates such as the “Walk for Education 2016”, “Race for Good”, “Good Move Dubai”, “Spartan”, and the “Vertical Marathon”. There were also practices targeting transparency such as “Open board meetings” where the monthly board meetings become open to all employees with the meeting agenda shared in advance. Another practice being piloted is a move from a traditional management hierarchy to “holocracy”, a new peer-to-peer “operating system” that increases transparency, accountability, and organisational agility. The benchmarking team also, within the one year time frame, introduced the “School of Hearts” to measure student happiness at schools in Dubai. The survey reached out to more than 40 schools and 9,000 students.

    Dubai Statistics Center (DSC)

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    The aim of DSC’s project was to identify best practices in Innovation to enable DSC to develop and implement a strategy for innovation to improve its processes and services.

    DSC started its project by undertaking a number of innovation self-assessments (three of the four were from the www.BPIR.com). DSC found the self-assessment titled “Innovation Maturity (organisation-wide)” the most comprehensive and useful. The self-assessments enabled DSC to identify both its current level of innovation maturity and specific improvement needs. The specific improvement needs were innovation strategies, innovation measurement, innovation labs, suggestion schemes and innovative statistical information delivery.

    During the search for potential benchmarking partners, DSC used the identified areas of improvement as the criteria for selecting benchmarking partners. For example, DSC searched for organisations with an innovation strategy that resulted in an innovative culture.

    DSC conducted benchmarking visits to four organisations locally and obtained many best practices through internet research. They were able to identify nearly 60 improvement ideas. In the Deploy stage they were able to implement a number of best practices in readiness for certification to the innovation management standard TS 16555-1. The suggestion scheme was improved and awareness initiatives enhanced. DSC gained international recognition for its improvement in its innovation capabilities by winning the Most Innovative Company of the Year in the Middle East and Africa at the International Business Awards.

    Future activity

    Due to the success of Dubai We Learn, a 2nd wave of benchmarking projects will start in early 2017. Dubai government entities may join the 2nd wave of projects through contacting Dr. Zeyad Mohammad El Kahlout, Quality and Excellence Advisor, Dubai Government Excellence Program, The General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai, Zeyad.ElKahlout@tec.gov.ae.


  4. Winner of the 5th Global Benchmarking Award

    December 12, 2016 by ahmed

    BPC02

     

    Winner, runner-ups, and the judges

    Winner, runner-ups with GBN members and judges

    The Global Benchmarking Network (GBN) launched the Global Benchmarking Award in 2012 to recognise those organisations that had integrated benchmarking into their organisation’s strategy and processes in order to continuously learn and innovate.

    The winners have been Watson Real Estate (New Zealand) in 2012, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (United Arab Emirates) in 2013, OCBC Bank (Singapore) in 2014, and the Medical City (Philippines) in 2015. For videos on these award winning organisations click here.

    The 5th Global Benchmarking Award was held at the 10th International Benchmarking Conference, 8th December 2016, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. Judges were Dawn Ringrose from Canada, Mark Modena from UK and Holger Kohl from Germany.

    The winner is:
    – Al Jazeera International Catering (JIC) , UAE

    Runner-ups:
    – Nanjing Metro Operation Company Limited, China
    – SVKM’S NMIMS (Deemed to be University), India

    Event photos will be uploaded to Award website soon.


  5. 5th International Best Practice Competition – 1st Call for Entries

    November 18, 2016 by ahmed

    The Best Practice Competition, will be held in Mumbai, India, 25/26th April 2017 courtesy of BestPrax Club.

    To submit your Best Practice please visit http://www.bestpracticecompetition.com/entry-form where you can download an entry form. The First Call for entries closes on 23 January. Last year there were 49 entries with 33 qualifying to the Competition Event.

    The winners of the International Best Practice Competition in 2015 were Al Jazeera International Catering LLC, UAE with a best practice titled ‘Our Planet – Our Responsibility‘. and Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS), UAE, with a best practice titled ‘Cultural Sensitivity Gives Birth to a Maternity Care