1. Dubai Municipality Leading the Way in Government Initiatives

    January 23, 2016 by ahmed

    Dubai We Learn Logos

    The Dubai Government Excellence Programme’s (DGEP) Dubai We Learn” initiative consists of a range of organisational learning and benchmarking activities as described in a previous blog “Identifying and Applying Best Practices for Government”

    At the 2nd Progress Sharing Day held on 18 January 2016, 13 project teams from 13 government departments shared the progress of their benchmarking projects. To maximise the engagement and learning of the government entities the audience were invited to vote on which teams had made most progress.

    The team judged to have made most progress were from the Dubai Municipality with its project to “Improve Purchase Procedures and Channels”. Other government entities recognised for their progress were the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Service for its project on “Development of Emirati Paramedic Leaders” and Mohamed Bin Rashid Enterprise for Housing for its project on “Improving Customer Experience” particularly through using SMART applications. Regardless of the voting, all teams demonstrated an exceptional dedication to their projects.

    Dubai_Municipality_Team

    All projects are using the TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking methodology with an expectation that most projects will be completed within a year (the projects began in October 2015). Currently most projects are in the “Research” stage of TRADE and making sure that they have a deep understanding of their processes, systems and performance before moving to the “Acquire” stage. The Acquire stage is where the teams will be identifying benchmarking partners and learning best practices.

    Dubai Municipality have made substantial strides in its procurement process in recent years including becoming the first government department in the Emirate to introduce web-based automation across its entire procurement cycle and achieving recognition at a number of international awards (CIPS Middle East Awards 2015 – Most Improved Procurement Operation ). The procurement department’s project for Dubai We Learn aims to reduce the average cycle time of processing purchase requisitions from 16 to 12 days or less. The team have studied in depth their current procurement system and performance using process analysis tools such as: workload analysis, value stream analysis, influence – interest matrix, customers segmentation, fishbone diagram, process flowchart analysis and waste analysis. As a result of this analysis a number of areas for improvement were identified such as ensuring that technical specifications are correctly detailed and how to quickly evaluate potential suppliers for technical purchases, and how to automate these processes. The next stage of their project will be to identify relevant organisations to learn from.

    At the Progress Sharing Day the performance of all the teams was commended by the Executive Council of Dubai and Dubai Government Excellence Programme (DGEP). His Excellency Abdulla Al Shaibani – Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai and Dr. Ahmed Al Nuseirat – General Coordinator of Dubai Government Excellence Programme, both delivered speeches and encouraged the teams to maintain their momentum.

    Are you implementing a best practice in any area related to the 13 projects below? If so, we would like to hear from you. Please email ahmed@bpir.com for more details.

    Government Entity Project title
    Dubai Cooperation for Ambulance Services Development of Emirati Paramedic’s Leaders
    Dubai Courts Personal Status Smart Certifications Services
    Dubai Culture Developing National Human Resources for Museums
    Dubai Electricity & Water Authority Shams Dubai Initiative
    Dubai Land Department Towards Happy Employees
    Dubai Municipality Improving Purchase Procedures and Channels
    Dubai Police Head Quarter Smart Police Officer
    Dubai Statistics Center Innovative Statistics
    General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs Dubai Developing a World-Class Customer Service Design Process
    Knowledge & Human Development Authority People Happiness
    Mohamed Bin Rashid Enterprise for Housing Improving Customer Experience
    Public Prosecution Judicial Knowledge Management
    Road and Transport Authority RTA’s Knowledge Repository Gateway

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

     


  2. Managing By Commitments – 5 Disruptive Practices To Improve Execution

    January 10, 2016 by ahmed

    commitment

    Originally posted on Management Exchange by David Arella

    Summary

    Failure to execute is the key 21st century management problem. Current work-norms are dysfunctional. There is one profoundly simple thing we can change that will dramatically improve execution – we need to get better at making and keeping commitments. Simple, but radical practices are described. New supporting systems are coming.

    Problem

    The biggest problem today is not creating visions, nor developing plans. The real problem is a failure to execute. Balls get dropped, deadlines are missed, deliveries are half-done, priorities constantly change, projects overrun budgets, initiatives don’t get accomplished. And it’s easy to see why. We have an overload of messages and communication to wade through. Communication about execution is more and more conducted remotely, not face-to-face or even in real time. Coordination is more difficult as organizations become more and more matrixed, and as the need for collaboration increases, personal accountability becomes more diluted and unclear. Employee engagement is in decline. A return to 20th century command and control hierarchy will not work, as today’s workforce wants more influence over decisions that effect their day to day work, not less. The solution is to develop new processes that both improve execution and simultaneously create more commitment.

    Solution

    Managing by Commitments – A Brief History

    Managing by commitments is not a new idea. Commitment Based Management was first introduced as an innovative management practice in the 1980’s with the work of Fernando Flores (UC Berkeley) and Terry Winograd (Stanford). They described a “conversation for action” where two parties make an explicit agreement to deliver a specific outcome by a certain date. The core idea was that the performer was required to negotiate a specific commitment, leading to more buy-in to meeting the commitment and therefore better results and a more collaborative environment. The process of a virtuous conversation between the requester and the performer was defined in three stages: negotiation, delivery, and assessment. Early implementations to enable this process were eventually perceived as too prescriptive and confining, but the core idea offered profound promise.

    Twenty-five years later the need for coordination and collaboration has grown many-fold. Accountability is even more diffused. Communication overload has reached epidemic proportions with new and multiple channels operating at once, but the communication is unstructured and not presented in a useful context. Technology advancements enable better access and easier adoption. It’s time to reinvent and reinvigorate management by resurrecting the core principles and practices of Commitment Based Management, but with better implementations.

    Commitments Drive Better Execution

    There is one profoundly simple thing we can change that will dramatically improve execution – we need to get better at making and keeping commitments. It’s as simple as saying what you’re going to do and then doing what you said. Simple, but not easy.

    Scrutiny reveals that our common work norms do not support this principle. In fact, many common work practices actually get in the way. People make vague requests. Actual performers are unspecified. Delivery dates are proposed without confirmation – if they are mentioned at all. Agreements to deliver, when they are obtained, shift and derail without clear dialog. Expressions of satisfaction with the delivery, or of dissatisfaction, are absent. Closure is rarely achieved.

    Even worse than these mechanical flaws, we are all familiar with the attendant interpersonal breakdowns. Team members are silent about their cynicism toward a proposed request. Real engagement by employees is lacking, and there is little incentive for contributing any discretionary effort. People work on their favored assignments and leave other tasks to decay. Low trust that deliveries will be met on time forces a need for backup systems and frequent check-ups by “management”.

    We all have accepted this dysfunction for a long time. Isn’t it time to disrupt the old system and try something new? Let’s get back to basics and recreate our working relations around the foundational principle of “say what you’re going to do, and do what you said”.

    Negotiating a commitment, rather than being coerced or given an assignment has powerful implications. Accountability is increased since the performer has ownership over the commitment (because they had a real part in creating it). Clarity and transparency build trust between both parties. “Requestor” confidence is increased many fold. The quality of the ensuing dialog between performer and requestor removes vague assumptions and instead forms clear and realistic agreements. Our word creates a bond with the other person.

    Five Disruptive Practices For Making and Keeping Commitments

    Managing by commitments can be readily implemented with a small set of repeatable and observable behaviors. The behaviors are simple, but profound. They are as obvious as they are radical. The following 5 disruptive practices describe what such an approach would look like:

    1. Make requests, not assignments. This practice is not limited to hierarchical roles; requests go down, up, and sideways within and outside organizations. Other roles include stakeholders and observers, but let’s be clear on who is being asked to deliver what to whom.

    The requester formulates an explicit request (i.e. in the form of a question, not a statement). For example, “Bill, can you get the spec to me by August 1?”; not “Bill, I need the spec by August 1.” Bill responds by making sure he understands the specific details and expectations associated with the request. A clear request is composed with a specific due date.

    2. Negotiate clear agreements. This is the part about “saying what you’re going to do.” For delivery dates that you cannot meet, make a counter-promise you can keep. The requester changes from a position of hope (i.e. “I assigned this task to Bill with an August 1 due date, and I’m hoping he will deliver.”), to a position of confidence (i.e. “Bill said an August 1 delivery was really a problem for him, but he committed to getting it to me by August 5”).

    Decline the request if you know you will not or cannot deliver. Make no mistake, however, this is a radical notion. Allowing team members at any level to “decline” requests from upper management would be a very disruptive concept in most organizations today. And yet, where performers never have the ability to say NO, there is not the possibility of a committed YES. The practice of negotiating commitments is not one most workers are adept at or even comfortable with; some personal courage is called for. This practice puts the performer more on a peer-to-peer footing with the requester, but yields clear accountability.

    3. Keep communication going during the delivery stage. Stuff happens along the way. Agreements are not guarantees that the delivery date will be met, but agreements must be honored in a manner that is far different than failing to deliver on an assignment dropped on your lap without dialog. Having made a promise to deliver, the performer is now obliged to alert their customer as soon as anything comes up that may interfere with meeting their agreement. An observable hallmark of this practice is early notice of potential problems with meeting a commitment.

    4. Present the deliverable explicitly. The performer makes a clear statement saying “Here is what I said I would deliver” or “This is why I could not deliver”. This is the essence and evidence of accountability. In our current work norms, this step is frequently “fudged”. Deliveries that are nearly complete slide in more or less on the day they were hoped for. It is rare for a performer to make a clear statement that today I am delivering on the agreement we made.

    5. When the requester, always acknowledge and assess the delivery. Honesty and truth demand an assessment as to whether the delivery met the original expectations. Answering the question – were you satisfied? – completes the cycle and assures closure. This underutilized practice is the minimum quid pro quo to the effort of the performer and serves to represent the customer’s accountability to honor the agreement. Moreover, these are the “golden moments” when feedback can enhance both future performance and trust. End-of-year performance reviews have lost much of their value, and this practice heightens the value of more continuous performance feedback.

    New Systems Are Needed

    Implementing management by commitments will rely heavily on a new generation of software systems. Acquiring and instantiating these new practices will require support and re-enforcement. New system implementations that take advantage of modern web, cloud, and mobile technologies will be needed. Software will help add structure to commitment conversations and then track agreements so they are more accountable, more observable, and more measurable. New systems to support these practices are coming, but leaders must embrace the concepts first.

    Practical Impact

    Accountability is clarified. Task ownership shifts to the performer. Instead of the manager saying “I’m counting on you”, the performer is saying “You can count on me.”

    Honesty is increased as the “unvarnished truth” can be told. Agreements are made around clearer expectations. A culture of openness and transparency evolves over time.

    Trust increases over time as commitments are honored. Meeting commitments is the single biggest contributor to building trust.

    New systems will make commitments observable and outcomes measurable.

    Employee engagement increases as they take a more active part in controlling their day to day work and agree to take on specific commitments.

    Execution improves dramatically. Early case studies have shown rapid and dramatic increases in measurable organization performance.

    First Steps

    Get Back to Basics

    We’ve colluded to make task delivery conversations vague and impersonal. Just assigning priorities masks the more fundamental problems of imprecise requests and lack of clear agreements. Our common work practices are packed with inefficiencies that dilute personal accountability.

    Make requests, negotiate commitments. We need to get back to basics by saying what you’ll do and doing what you say. We need to extract the core principles from earlier implementations and support a rebirth of managing by commitments with modern attitudes, technologies, and implementations.


  3. Identifying and Applying Best Practices for Government

    January 5, 2016 by ahmed

    Dubai We Learn Logos

    The Dubai Government Excellence Programme (DGEP), part of the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai, launched the Dubai We Learn initiative in October 2015. This initiative is in cooperation with the Centre of Organisational Excellence Research (COER), New Zealand. The initiative aims to empower a culture of institutional learning and the transfer and exchange of knowledge within the government sector.

    The initiative consists of the mentoring of 13 benchmarking projects, training in organisational learning and benchmarking, and the provision of a best practice resource, www.BPIR.com, for all 37 government entities.

    The 13 government projects are shown below:

    Government Entity Project title
    Dubai Cooperation for Ambulance Services Development of Emirati Paramedic’s Leaders
    Dubai Courts Personal Status Smart Certifications Services
    Dubai Culture Developing National Human Resources for Museums
    Dubai Electricity & Water Authority Shams Dubai Initiative
    Dubai Land Department Towards Happy Employees
    Dubai Municipality Improving Purchase Procedures and Channels
    Dubai Police Head Quarter Smart Police Officer
    Dubai Statistics Center Innovative Statistics
    General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs Dubai Developing a World-Class Customer Service Design Process
    Knowledge & Human Development Authority People Happiness
    Mohamed Bin Rashid Enterprise for Housing Improving Customer Experience
    Public Prosecution Judicial Knowledge Management
    Road and Transport Authority RTA’s Knowledge Repository Gateway

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


  4. Winners of the 4th International Best Practice Competition

    December 1, 2015 by ahmed

    BPC01

    The 4th International Best Practice Competition was held at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center, Philippines on 26th/27th November. The Best Practice Competition encourages organizations to share their best operational and managerial practices, processes, systems, and initiatives and learn from the experience of others. It provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of individuals and teams that have been responsible for creating and/or managing the introduction and deployment of best practices. The Best Practice Competition has been designed by the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER), the developers of the Business Performance Improvement Resource. Presentation videos will be on the BPIR early next year.

    bpc2015cAl Jazeera International Catering Company (JIC) and Dubai Corporation For Ambulance Services (DCAS) teams with final session judges

    Two winners:

    • Our Planet – Our Responsibility – CSR Engagement Strategy for Sustainability Excellence, Robby Thommy, Managing Director, and Loganathan Murthy, HEAD – HSE and Training, Al Jazeera International Catering LLC, UAE.

    • Cultural Sensitivity Gives Birth to a Maternity Care, Dr. Omer Ahmed Zain Al Sakaf, Director of Medical & Technical Affairs and Dr. Tanveer Ahmed Mohamed Ishaque Yadgir, Acting Head of Research & Studies Unit, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS), UAE.

    Three runners up:

    • Single Window Transaction (SWiT) Modified Business One-Stop Shop (MBOSS), Glenda Zamora-Aninon, City Government Department Head III, City Government of Muntinlupa, Philippines.

    • ONE SHARE (Share History and Reduce Excursion) – Best Practice Sharing Tool, Penelope Jas Dizon, Manager/ One SHARE Champion, Texas Instruments Philippines, Philippines.

    • Strategic Focused Budgeting, Nancy Bartlett, Chief Performance Officer, City of El Paso, United States.

    For event photos click here


  5. 3rd & Final Call for the International Best Practice Competition

    October 3, 2015 by ahmed

    BPC01

    This International Best Practice Competition serves as a unique opportunity to share and learn best practices from around the globe. To date we have received over 40 entries from India, Iran, France, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri-Lanka, United States, and United Arab Emirates.

    Have a think about what systems, processes and practices your organization does well and submit an entry by 26 October 2015 to participate in the 3rd and Final Call for entries. If successful you will be asked to share your best practice in an 8 minute presentation on the 26/27th November 2015, Tagatay, Philippines.

    In addition, to the competition the International Conference on Productivity and Innovation will be held, the APO’s Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Productivity will be announced, and the first participants in the Philippine Government’s Excellence Class Programme will be recognized. The number of delegates is expected to be between 300 to 500.

    If you have not been to the Philippines before this is your chance for a once in a life-time experience to enjoy the warmth of Filipino hospitality. Watch It’s More Fun in the Philippines video to get an insight into this wonderful country.