1. Dubai Government Human Resources (DGHR): Still flying the Seven Stars

    September 21, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    – A revisit of ‘Dubai We Learn’ Exemplar Benchmarking Projects –

    By Professor Dotun Adebanjo and Dr Robin Mann

    The great appeal of benchmarking is its ability to enable organisations to identify best practices from other organisations and adopt or adapt those practices to improve performance. The benchmarking process itself can be both demanding and exciting as the benchmarking team seeks to understand their organisation’s performance; identify, shortlist and visit benchmarking partners; determine the most suitable best practices; and work with internal (and sometimes external) stakeholders to implement the best practices.

    Although many aspects of the benchmarking process can be underpinned or driven by prescriptive guidelines and also managed along pre-determined timelines, the implementation of best practices is less amenable to prescriptiveness and time limitation. This is principally because the numbers, nature, scope and ease of implementation will vary significantly with the type of project and particulars of the organisation. Indeed, where many best practices are selected for implementation, it may be necessary and beneficial to implement the practices in stages or batches. It is also important to note that the benchmarking process does not end with the identification of best practices or indeed their implementation, it is also necessary to evaluate if the desired outcomes have been achieved and if not, to understand why and refine the practices as necessary.

    With this in mind, we returned to a sweltering Dubai in August 2019, 15 months after the completion of the second round of ‘Dubai We Learn’ (DWL) to visit three exemplar ‘7 Stars’ projects. ‘Dubai We Learn’ is an initiative of the Dubai Government Excellence Programme (DGEP) in collaboration with the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER) based at Massey University New Zealand. The second round of ‘Dubai We Learn’ benchmarking projects consisted of 11 projects in different Dubai Government entities and took place between March 2017 and April 2018. Details of the 11 projects and their achievements by April 2018 are available in an e-book (to be published soon). Three of the eleven benchmarking projects were 7 stars for benchmarking proficiency based on the TRADE Benchmarking Methodology that was adopted to drive the DWL projects.

    So, 15 months on, how have Dubai Government Human Resources (DGHR), Dubai Health Authority (DHA), and Dubai Police fared with their respective projects.

    Case Study No. 1 – Dubai Government Human Resources (DGHR)
    The DGHR project was entitled, ‘Launching a Dubai Government HR Think Tank’ The aim of the project was to launch a ‘Dubai Government Human Resources (HR) Think Tank for HR future shaping, research driven decision making and pioneering HR’s role for Dubai Government.’ At the formal close of the benchmarking project in April 2018, the DGHR benchmarking team had identified 87 best practice ideas from several sources including benchmarking visits to 9 organisations and desktop research. Of the 87 best practices, 63 were approved for deployment.

    The primary achievement of the DGHR Benchmarking Team by April 2018 was the development and widespread stakeholder agreement of a Blueprint for a Dubai Government HR Think Tank to shape the future of HR within Dubai. The Blueprint consisted of a 73-page document describing in detail the purpose, structure, services and operating model of the Think Tank. The vision of the Think Tank was initially set as “Pioneering HR for the world” with three prime services; research, smart library and consulting services.

    Professor Dotun Adebanjo and Dr Robin Mann catching up with the DGHR team (Assim Al Khaja, Shamsa Al Mheiri and Soobia Kazmi)

    What has happened since then?

    The Dubai Government HR Think Tank has now formally started. It is continuing to follow a 5-phased approach, as identified in its initial Blueprint, to build its capabilities and services. It currently offers two main services – Research and Implementation. At present, the services are offered ‘internally’ to DGHR staff with plans afoot to offer the services to other Dubai Government entities as the Think Tank improves its capacity and capabilities.

    Between April 2018 and our visit in August 2019, two projects had been launched by the Think Tank. The first project was a research study on Employee Performance Management Systems. The objective of this study was to understand current EPMS practices, their perception across Dubai Government workforce, challenges in implementation and degree of variation. To enable this study, DGHR collaborated with the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) to conduct a multipronged study encompassing literature review, survey, focused group interviews and CEO interviews. Covering 46 entities across Dubai Government, this robust research considered diverse perspectives of Dubai government workforce including line managers, heads of sections and directors, and top management. Based on their input, a number of common challenges were identified and actionable recommendations were proposed.

    The second project was a HR Benchmarking Study. This project was initiated based on the understanding that the HR function is an important partner in implementing the ambitious strategic agenda of Dubai in supporting businesses. This strategic agenda requires HR to be advanced, efficient and progressive. However, most of the HR departments in Dubai’s public sector struggle in defining standards for HR services. This study enabled DGHR to collect data across Dubai (including Dubai Government, semi Government and private entities) and internationally. The study facilitated the identification of superior HR practices and the transfer and sharing of these practices across all participating entities. DGHR intends to repeat this project on regular basis and build on the participation and partnership of both public and private sector entities.

    New research for 2020 is being planned with one project on the Work Environment and a second project on Return on Investment (ROI) for HR projects. The primary aim of the ROI project will be to investigate high profile HR projects to understand how much value was invested in the projects and compare this with the tangible value realised at the end of the project.

    In its relatively short time in existence, the Think Tank has identified a huge appetite among Dubai Government entities for best practices in HR management. In order to improve dissemination of its research findings, the Think Tank will be launching a HR platform and portal in 2020. The primary purpose of this will be the reporting of HR information and sharing of best practices. In addition, the Think Tank will be publishing a HR Bulletin for sharing through social media. From October 2019, the Bulletin will start to disseminate soundbites on Performance Management and HR in general based on the findings from the two projects.

    The experience of undertaking a benchmarking project and the use of a prescriptive approach espoused by the TRADE Methodology has been beneficial as the skills learnt have been very useful in delivering the projects completed so far.

    It was evident throughout our meeting with the DGHR team that they continue to be excited and energised about their project and how the Dubai Government HR Think Tank will shape the future of HR within Dubai. From the work conducted so far, there is every reason to think that the Think Tank will succeed in its vision of “Pioneering HR for the world!”

    Read the other case studies, Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Dubai Police.

    For more information on Dubai We Learn contact:

    Dr. Zeyad Mohammad El Kahlout, Senior Quality and Excellence Advisor, Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP). Email: Zeyad.ElKahlout@tec.gov.ae


  2. Dubai We Learn – Enabling Happiness

    September 3, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited
    By Dr. Almas Tazein, BPIR.com Limited, COER

    The Community Health Authority answering questions on their project at the recent Knowledge Sharing Summit

    We cannot cherry pick pleasant times – certainly not when we are operating the gigantic machinery called public service and governance. It can sometimes open a Pandora’s box of unpredictable internal complexities. Hence, there are programs like Dubai We Learn – Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP) that can safely anchor the government authorities to their organisational mission. And, the Community Development Authority (CDA) is one inspiring story to tell.

    An external evaluation conducted by the Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP) at the Community Development Authority showed a downward spiral in the employee experiential domains – employee happiness, employee satisfaction, sense of harmony, and commitment & loyalty. The results steadily moved south in 2016-2017-2018. The areas of concern were HR Department & procedures, leadership style, work environment, and issues related to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), motivation, appreciation and incentives.

    But the CDA is determined to swim against the tide and take the horse by its reins!

    CDA’s Enabling Happiness initiative is one of 11 aspiring Dubai Government’s transformation management projects. The Enabling Happiness project wishes to identify and implement best practices that engage, empower, and enlighten employees leading to elevated levels of employee happiness, loyalty, motivation, communication, innovation and productivity.

    On Tuesday 30 July 2019, The Center for Organisational Excellence Research (COER) Team which is facilitating the 11 Dubai We Learn project initiatives alongside DGEP, visited CDA to evaluate the progress of the project. The project had started in February 2019.

    Mr. Ahmad Mofleh Al Gharaibeh, Director General Advisor, Institutional Processes & Services Excellence, CDA shared the early measures taken to combat the situation and this was impressive!

    The CDA decided to positively strengthen the demotivated personnel by engaging in QUICK WINS over the past two months (for Q1 & Q2). The happiness restoration method includes a number of initiatives – three exciting initiatives to motivate the employees, four types of communication channels were designed to promote team solidarity & amiability, and measures taken to fortify training, development & rewards.

    Quick wins already implemented since the start of the project

    During the meeting, Dr. Robin Mann, Director, COER emphasized that, in order to trace the impact of the initiatives it is important to compare the past and the present evaluations, taking into account measures such as employee turnover rate, absenteeism, sickness days and employee grievances. To have factual figures on whether they have produced the desired or near-desired outcomes is only practical. This will prove to be of substantial significance in the further decision-making of the improvement process at CDA; and ensure that the Human Resource Department’s role will be far-reaching.

    Currently, CDA is in the AQUIRE Stage of the TRADE Benchmarking Methodology, which is the operational framework for Dubai We Learn initiatives. The COER team members further recommended some best practices that the CDA can explore to enrich their employee camaraderie & communication. Further, Mr. Ahmad, CDA, presented the outcomes of their successful benchmarking meetings with Dubai Courts, Dubai KHDA and Dubai Statistics Center to learn their approaches in employee engagement and motivation. He also expressed CDA’s plans of carrying out regular meetings with the Director General, Sponsors, Section Managers and other team members to ensure maximum stakeholder participation and involvement.

    A benchmarking visit to Dubai Statistics

    In the next DEPLOY Stage – TRADE methodology, CDA is expecting greater involvement from the HR Department to enhance the success quotient of the entire project. In this phase, their objective is to target leading initiatives in governance, empowerment, policy & procedures, and leadership programs.

    Dr. Robin Mann reinforced that, after the REVIEW Stage of TRADE, common challenges/issues should be categorized and prioritized and then CDA should decide how many of them to tackle as part of the benchmarking project. Following on from this, if CDA identified 5 major issues to address then best practices for each of them should be sought in the AQUIRE stage of TRADE, therefore the REVIEW and ACQUIRE stage should be connected. He also emphasized that a Roadmap for the next one to two years should be developed once the ACQUIRE stage was completed. Based on CDA’s time-plan this could be developed by the end of October 2019 and signed off by the Project Sponsor.

    The COER team met Mr. Ahmad Julfar, Director General, CDA. He shared his vision of successfully developing a robust people-centric CDA to fulfil its mission of developing social services in alignment with the Dubai Government’s goals of attaining sustainable development and a cohesive happy society that enhances their National identity and strengthens empowerment and community engagement.

    The CDA-Enabling Happiness project is on track to rise and shine to outsmart all the challenges witnessed. CDA’s commitment and progress is indication enough that the final portrait of this team’s picture will be celebratory!

    For more information on Dubai We Learn contact:

    Dr. Zeyad Mohammad El Kahlout, Senior Quality and Excellence Advisor, Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP). Email: Zeyad.ElKahlout@tec.gov.ae


  3. Road and Transport Authority (Dubai, UAE) Wins the 6th Global Benchmarking Award

    December 15, 2018 by BPIR.com Limited


    The Global Benchmarking Network’s 6th Global Benchmarking Award was held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, 10-12 December 2018 as part of the Global Organisational Excellence Congress. The Congress, attended by 1,300 delegates, was hosted by the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and supported by key partners, the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, Asia Pacific Quality Organisation and the GBN.

    Six organisations qualified for the final of the Global Benchmarking Award.

    The winner, Road and Transport Authority, and runners-up with the Judging panel and Abu Dhabi Chamber’s Director General Mohamed Helal Al Mheiri & Congress Chairman, Professor Hadi Eltigani

    The winner, Road and Transport Authority, and runners-up with the Judging panel and Abu Dhabi Chamber’s Director General Mohamed Helal Al Mheiri & Congress Chairman, Professor Hadi Eltigani


    • Road and Transport Authority, UAE, Road and Transport Authority – Our Benchmarking Approach


    Runners-up of equal standing:

    • Dubai Courts, UAE, Dubai Courts – Our Benchmarking Approach
    • Yanbu Refinery Department, Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Aramco – Our Benchmarking Approach
    • Dubai Police, UAE, Dubai Police – Our Benchmarking Approach
    • Bahrain Polytechnic, Bahrain, Bahrain Polytechnic – Our Benchmarking Approach, Bahrain Polytechnic, Bahrain
    • Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, UAE, Dubai Electricity Water Authority – Our Benchmarking Approach, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), UAE

    The judging panel consisted of:

    • Suresh Lulla, Director Membership Retention GBN & Director BestPrax Club, India
    • Jan-Patrick Cap, GBN Secretary, Global Benchmarking Network, Germany
    • Dawn Ringrose, Director Business Development GBN, Global Benchmarking Network, Canada
    • Jan Gallagher, Competitiveness Benchmarking Facilitator, Enterprise Ireland, Ireland.
    • Tonnis van Dam, Director, Compare 2 Compete, Netherlands
    • Terry Pilcher, CEO, BCS Management Services Limited, UK

    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 award encourages organisations to share how benchmarking (comparing and learning from others) is an integral part of their improvement and innovation drive.

    The GBN’s Global Benchmarking Award was designed by Benchmarking Partnerships (Australia), BestPrax Club (India) and COER (New Zealand) on behalf of the GBN. It was first trialled in India in 2010 and first awarded in New Zealand in December, 2012. COER organises the Global Benchmarking Award each year on behalf of the GBN.

    Videos of the six finalist presentations will be on the BPIR.com soon, sign up to the BPIR newsletter to receive updates.

  4. Baldrige award-winning university breaks ground (again) with benchmarking project

    October 4, 2018 by BPIR.com Limited

    By Jennanelson02 [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Christine Schaefer

    An assistant chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Stout—a Baldrige Award recipient—helped develop a national benchmarking project that will soon provide comparative data for the nation’s universities to better measure their performance.The project will involve collecting data for performance measures of nonacademic support units within four-year, post-secondary education institutions in the United States. Meridith Wentz, who directs UW-Stout’s office of Planning, Assessment, Research and Quality (PARQ), is playing a leading role in the effort in partnership with the National Higher Education Benchmarking Institute (NHEBI) at Johnson County Community College (JCCC) in Overland Park, Kansas.

    JCCC Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning, and Research John Clayton, who oversees the NHEBI, recently conveyed that he is excited by the prospect of the partnership with UW-Stout. “The Benchmarking Institute has provided this kind of data to the two-year college sector for 15 years,” he said. “Since 2004, over 400 two-year colleges have relied on us to provide comparative data on many key indicators to improve efficiency, institutional effectiveness, and student outcomes.”

    Wentz, who is also a senior Baldrige examiner, has overseen several other ground-breaking improvement efforts at her university in recent years. One example, is UW-Stout’s annual “You Said, We Did” institutional improvements based on faculty and staff input.

    “She described the new benchmarking project as “another example of how the Baldrige program has helped [our university] grow and improve.”

    Project Scope and Measures
    Asked how many other universities will be involved in the benchmarking project, Wentz responded, “For the first year [the university’s fiscal year 2019, which begins this fall], we’re targeting 25 to 50 other four-year universities. The long-term goal is to involve over 300 institutions per year.” She added that the NHEBI previously launched a similar initiative involving two-year colleges that has “consistently had 250 colleges per year” reporting data.

    Wentz provided two examples of standard measures for the project, as follows:

    • Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) allocated to the work of a support unit within a university. Data for this measure will be split between centralized and decentralized staff members, she explained, given that (beyond staff members working full-time in such a unit) universities often have some personnel based in other administrative units on campus who help support the work of centralized units.
    • Budget allocated to the work of a support unit, split by personnel and non-personnel and by centralized and decentralized

    The project also will collect data for outcome metrics, she said, citing as an example the retention rate of faculty and staff members as a measure associated with a university’s Human Resources office.

    Project Phases
    As stated in a recent UW-Stout news story, Wentz said a stimulus for the project was the “need to make our [internal] review process more meaningful using benchmarking data.” Faced with a lack of comparative results to provide context for her office’s performance measurements of UW-Stout support units, Wentz decided to help develop such data. “We wanted to provide more meaningful data for continuous improvement,” she said.

    Wentz and her PARQ colleagues Frank Oakgrove and Elena Carroll are currently developing metrics for the NHEBI project, to be refined based on input from a national advisory board. Data collection for the project will be launched in early November, and the plan is to have results available for use by other universities by mid-February, according to Wentz.

  5. TRADE best practice benchmarking workshops

    September 15, 2018 by admin

    Upcoming workshops in 2018

    • Dec 13 – 14: Benchmarking for Excellence, Abu Dhabi, UAE. (more info)


    Many finalists and winners of the GBN’s Global Benchmarking Award have been users of the TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking Methodology – the methodology developed by the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER). To watch 2016 Winner’s video click here.

    To organise a public TRADE workshop in your country or an In-house Workshop contact the trainer and founder of TRADE, Dr Robin Mann, r.s.mann@massey.ac.nz. Click here for more information on TRADE and its certification scheme.

    Past workshops in 2018

    • Jan 7 – 9: TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking (Dubai We Learn), Dubai
    • Jan 16 – 18: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai
    • June 24 – 26: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai

    Past workshops in 2017

    • Mar 26 – 28: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai
    • Apr 11 – 13: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai
    • Apr 16 – 18: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai
    • Apr 25 – 26: Benchmarking for Excellence, India
    • Sept 10 – 12: TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking (Dubai We Learn), Dubai. (For Dubai government entities only as part of the Dubai Government Excellence Programme).

    Past workshops in 2016

    • Jan 19 – 21: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai
    • Apr 14 – 15: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • Apr 26 – 28: TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking (Dubai We Learn), Dubai. (For Dubai government entities only as part of the Dubai Government Excellence Programme).
    • May 16 – 19: Benchmarking for Excellence in the Public Sector, Pasig City or Tagaytay City, Philippines.
    • Dec 12 – 14: Benchmarking for Excellence, Philippines

    Past workshops in 2015

    • Mar 26 – 27: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • Apr 22 – 23: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai – UAE (more info)
    • Apr 29 – 30: Benchmarking for Excellence, Muscat – Oman (more info)
    • Jun 1 – 2: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai
    • Sept 7 – 9: TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking (Dubai We Learn), Dubai. (For Dubai government entities only as part of the Dubai Government Excellence Programme).
    • Sept 14 – 16: Benchmarking for Excellence, Manila, Philippines.
    • Sept 21 – 23: Benchmarking for Excellence, Tagatay, Philippines.
    • Sept 28 – 29: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • Dec 1 – 3: Benchmarking for Excellence, Manila, Philippines.

    Past workshops in 2014

    • March 26 – 27: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai (more info)
    • April 24 – 25: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • April 28 – 29: Benchmarking for Excellence, Subang – Malaysia (more info)
    • Aug 12 – 13: Benchmarking for Excellence, Wellington – New Zealand (more info)
    • Sept 24 – 25: Benchmarking for Excellence, Abu Dhabi – UAE (more info)
    • Oct 8 – 9: Benchmarking for Excellence, Tehran – Iran (more info)
    • Oct 20 – 21: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai – UAE (more info)
    • Oct 22 – 23: Benchmarking for Excellence, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (more info)
    • Nov 20 – 21: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)

    Past workshops in 2013

    • March 7 – 8: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • March 19 – 20: Benchmarking for Excellence, Penang – Malaysia (more info)
    • May 30 – 31: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • September 25 – 26: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai – UAE (more info)
    • September 29 – 1 October: Benchmarking for Excellence, Abu Dhabi – UAE (more info)
    • October 9 – 10: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai – UAE  (more info)
    • October 23 – 24: Benchmarking for Excellence, Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia  (more info)
    • November 18 – 19: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • November 21 – 22: Benchmarking for Excellence, Wellington – New Zealand (more info) (Registration form)

    Past workshops in 2012

    • January 10 – 11: Benchmarking for Excellence, Qatar (Workshop in Arabic)
    • March 1 – 2: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • March 14 – 15: TRADE Benchmarking Training, London – UK (more info)
    • March 20 – 21: TRADE Benchmarking Training, London – UK (more info)
    • March 27 – 28: Benchmarking for Excellence, Philippines (more info)
    • October 4 – 5: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • December 3 – 4: Benchmarking for Excellence, Auckland – New Zealand (more info)

    Past workshops in 2011

    • Jan 10 – 11: Benchmarking for Excellence, Tehran – Iran
    • Jan 13 – 14, 2011: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • Jan 17: Introduction to Benchmarking Using ‘T.R.A.D.E’ Methodology, Singapore (more info)
    • Feb 13 – 14: Benchmarking for Excellence, Abu Dhabi, UAE (more info)
    • Feb 20 – 22: Benchmarking for Excellence, Kuwait (more info)
    • Feb 28 – 1 Mar, 2011: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • Mar 30 – 31: Benchmarking for Excellence, Wellington – New Zealand (more info)
    • May 8 – 10, 2011: Certified Benchmarking Training, Abu Dhabi, UAE (More Info)
    • May 11 – 12, 2011: Certified Benchmarking Training, Dubai, UAE (More Info)
    • June 27 – 29: Benchmarking for Excellence, Bahrain (more info)
    • July 7 – 8: Benchmarking for Excellence, Mumbai (more info)
    • July 19 – 21: Benchmarking for Excellence, Kuala Lumpur (more info)
    • July 28 – 29: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • August 30 – 31: Benchmarking for Excellence, Wellington (more info)
    • September 28 – 30: Benchmarking for Excellence, Kuala Lumpur
    • October 13 – 14: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore
    • November 27 – 29: Benchmarking for Excellence, Abu Dhabi – UAE (more info)
    • December 6 – 8: Benchmarking for Excellence, Kuwait (more info)

    Past workshops in 2010

    • Apr 15 -16: Professional Benchmarking, Glasgow – UK (more info)
    • Apr 21 -22: Professional Benchmarking, London – UK (more info)
    • May 2 – 3: Professional Benchmarking – Bahrain (more info)
    • May 13 – 14: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • May 18 – 20: Benchmarking for Excellence, Kuwait (more info)
    • Jun 7 – 8: Benchmarking for Excellence, Abu Dhabi, UAE (more info)
    • Aug 17 – 18: Benchmarking for Excellence, Auckland, New Zealand
    • Sep 16 – 17: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • Nov 30 -1 Dec: Professional Benchmarking, London – UK (more info)
    • September 17 – 18: Benchmarking for Excellence, Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia  (more info)