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. Dubai We Learn, 2019 – Dubai Heart Safe City

    August 30, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    By Dr. Almas Tazein, BPIR.com Limited, COER

    How many of us secretly pray for the patient whenever we hear the sirens of an emergency ambulance speedily going past us? I believe, all of us. Unfortunately, we all have either witnessed or heard of the heartbreaking stories of our beloved family, friends, acquaintances, or strangers experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest – at our homes, on the streets, our offices, at a social gathering, or while taking a stroll in the park. And we would never wish that they go unattended, without help or without any immediate damage control action taken by somebody who is nearby. And we dread relying on fate until the emergency paramedics arrive.

    This is what the ‘Dubai Heart Safe City’ initiative by the Dubai Health Authority is all about. Dubai Health Authority aims for a healthier and happier community by transforming Dubai into a Heart Safe City for its citizens, residents and visitors. Through this initiative, their strategic plan is aimed towards further saving more than 1500 lives by the year 2025.

    Dubai Health Authority has planned to channel its available health, technological and logistical resources while building new capabilities to target the Out-of-Hospital Sudden Cardiac Arrest (OHSCA) population within Dubai. As every second counts in cardiac arrest, the goal is to provide immediate, accessible and quality treatment by the bystanders and first responders before the patient is taken over by the ambulance paramedics and provided definitive treatment at the nearest Health Care facility.

    This colossal and altruistic initiative by the Dubai Health Authority is one of the 11 Dubai We Learn projects undertaken by the various Dubai Government entities under the change movement of the Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP), 2019.

    On Sunday 28 July 2019, the Dubai Heart Safe City progress-sharing meeting was held at Rashid Hospital, Dubai, UAE, and was attended by the officials and representatives from the Dubai Health Authority, and the Center for Organizational Excellence Research, New Zealand.

    The DHA and COER Teams at Rashid Hospital, Dubai Health Authority, Government of Dubai, UAE.

    If the accountability of governance intertwined with nobility could be measured in tangible terms, Dubai Health Authority’s Heart Safe City initiative for sure would win millions of hearts.

    STAKEHOLDER ENAGEGEMENT: The involvement and support of His Highness Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in the Dubai Heart Safe City (DHSC) Dubai We Learn 2019 project has been a major source of strength for DHA. Currently, DHA plans to actively involve all the stakeholders and sponsors for maximum participation and rigorous implementation.

    Earlier, a brainstorming session was held between the DHA and its stakeholders. With a futuristic approach, DHA plans to have regular meetings with its stakeholders to share their foresight with respect to its project. Currently, DHA is designing a comprehensive strategy and mutually agreed upon roadmap by the team members with a clear set of commitments and actions, to present to the stakeholders.

    Dr. Fahed Baslaib, Interventional Cardiologist and CEO of Rashid Hospital met The Executive Council, Government of Dubai, for their warranted support and engagement as the TEC‘s long-term involvement can surely strengthen the initiative to achieve superlative outcomes. He also would collaborate with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai to appreciate the contribution that they can make for this project in terms of delivery of AEDs to the crisis spot.

    CHALLENGES: One of the biggest challenges that DHA seeks to overcome is the reshuffling and repositioning of current processes and systems to align them with the Dubai Heart Safe City goals and objectives.

    COURSE OF ACTION: DHA is in the planning stage to conduct accredited programs and mass trainings for the general population in life-saving skills like performing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and educating them about operating the cardiac emergency apparatus called Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Individuals who wish to volunteer when they are an eye witness to OHSCA, or have registered themselves as first responders to provide assistance during such overbearing times is the target population for the training. DHA has set up an interim goal of distributing 3000 AEDs by December 2020, strategically located in major areas, and 7000 by December 2025.

    DHA has also goal-posted the construction of a Data Registry for the official tracking of the OHSCA (Out-of-Hospital Sudden Cardiac Arrest) patients, AED trainings, and AED first responders (with their written consent) so that better research and development activities can be undertaken to increase the Survival Rate of Post-Cardiac Arrest from 5% to 20% by the year 2020. For the said purpose, DHA met with the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, and the Dubai Police to discuss the needed balanced approach for the same.

    To achieve this, through the ‘You can’t improve what you don’t count’ motto, DHA has started preparation for the OHCA registry by collaborating with the other Dubai government entities and private hospitals. By December 2019, DHA will announce the exact survival rate in Dubai.

    In unison with the project objectives, DHA is keen on creating awareness in the general population about OHSCA through social media campaigns and television outreach. DHA also wishes to restructure the interaction networks and team frameworks used within and outside the teams for unambiguous project communication.


    Fig: The main steps to follow when a heart attack occurs.

    BENCHMARKING: DHA has approached the American Heart Association and Philips for a benchmarking proposal to combat the out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest crisis management in Dubai. DHA has followed the Seattle, and Copenhagen models of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest management experience, and the DHA team plans to visit either of the two cities before January 2020 for best practice learning and potential partnerships.

    HEALTH & STATUTORY REGULATIONS: Health Care delivery and regulatory compliance are invariably inclusive of each other. Keeping in line with DHA’s legacy of ensuring the highest standards of quality for its Dubai population, health regulation and integration of the same into the Dubai Heart Safe City project was stressed upon during the meeting. It was also mentioned that once the health regulation standards for OHSCA are in place, the DHA would approach the private sector for their involvement and participation because Cardiac Arrest patients are placed in both the public and private sector hospitals. Criteria and guidelines for OHCA have been developed to share with all the hospitals, bystanders, and population of Dubai for infusing awareness, and to alleviate the fears and resistance that inhibit people from helping and assisting others with preliminary cardiac care in public situations.

    The location specifications for the placement of the AEDs, and standards available (if any) for the infrastructure of buildings relevant to the same will also be explored, keeping the maintenance of the same in perspective.

    PROJECT PERFORMANCE METRICS: Dr. Robin Mann, Director, COER, emphasized the elements of monitoring the performance curve of the initiative:

    • it is important to have leading and lagging KPI measures specific to the project. (12 KPIs have now been added in the Terms of Reference (TOR) phase of the TRADE methodology).
    • to have clear data on the proportion of patients treated because of the initiative, and what were their survival rates (DHA will start a Registry in 2 hospitals in Dubai; before the end of September 2019, it will then be implemented in all hospitals in Dubai).
    • scenario planning – lay down the roles and responsibilities of each team member with clarity on the 6 months and 1-year timelines for the next two years for the fulfillment of the vision. (DHA will be meeting all stakeholders to discuss their roles and responsibilities (R&R) and have these finalized by the middle of October 2019).

    FUTURE STRATEGY: The Dubai Heart Safe City also hopes to present itself at the Dubai Expo 2020 and share its best practices and experiential learning with the rest of the world.
    To sum it up, DHA has meticulously laid out a three-phase implementation plan spanning 2019-2025:

    2019: PHASE # 1
    1. Select program/s to implement
    2. Formulate a team
    3. Determine how to make it happen in your community
    4. Set specific goals
    5. Achieve buy-in from agency personnel
    6. Establish performance standards
    7. Consider a pilot program (DUBAI EXPO 2020)
    8. Communicate progress with all stakeholders
    9. Communicate with the public (to start awareness programmes)
    10. Support, Advocate, Celebrate

    2020: PHASE # 2
    1. Establish a Cardiac Registry ‘You can’t improve what you don’t count’
    2. Begin Telephone CPR
    3. Begin High Performance CPR
    4. Begin Rapid Dispatch
    5. Measure Professional Resuscitation
    6. Begin an AED Program for First Responders
    7. Use Smart Technology to Extend CPR and AED
    8. Make CPR and AED Training Mandatory
    9. Work Towards Accountability
    10. Work Towards a Culture of Excellence
    1. 50,000 trained individuals
    2. Augment the AEDs available in the community with 3000 deployed devices
    3. Build a network of 50 connected Advanced Ambulances and 10 connected Definitive Care Facilities
    4. Transfer the patient to a definitive care facility with appropriate intervention available

    1. Continuation of PHASE 2
    2. Total trained to be more than 100,000 individuals
    3. Total of 10,000 AEDs to be deployed within the Dubai geographical area.

    In April 2018, Dubai Health Authority broke the Guinness World Record for most nationalities in a CPR relay. If this alone seems overwhelming to achieve, in April 2018, DHA’s previous Dubai We Learn project was awarded with 7 Stars – Prevention Better Than Cure: Innovation Prevention Program to Combat Diabetes. Moving forward to today, DHA Team’s passion and devotion to help the community with healthcare measures that are relevant and desirable is palpable. The influx of many more sensational ideas by the team members, and the conceptualization of the execution plan seems like dormant dynamite waiting to explode. Sure, it will. Only to spread health and happiness, like they have envisioned in their Dubai Heart Safe City project manifesto.

    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


  4. Dubai We Learn – Government Excellence Makers Program 2nd Knowledge Sharing Summit

    August 16, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited


    Dubai We Learn benchmarking teams at the 2nd Knowledge Sharing Summit

    Article contributed by Dr. Almas Tazein, BPIR.com Limited, COER

    As I was giving a fleeting glance to the many fascinating books at one of the stimulating bookstores at the Dubai International Airport Departures Terminal, the title of a book caught my attention, ‘MY VISION – Challenges in the Race for Excellence’, by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Considering the fact that I was typically running short of time to board my flight, I had to reluctantly place the book back to its original position, but with an awe mixed with curiosity lurking within me that said, “His Highness – The Ruler of one of the most loved and influential cities in the world is explicitly acknowledging the tests and trials of running the multifaceted and magnificent city of Dubai!’ That’s striking!”

    My journey from where I started research writing for some of the Dubai We Learn projects, to going back with the fabulous and fulfilling experience at the Dubai Government Excellence Program’s 2nd Knowledge Sharing Summit, 2019 now astonishingly seemed to have taken a full circle! I now envisage how the day-to-day governance of Dubai resonates with its topmost leadership – the Ruler’s drive for excellence. ‘Dubai We Learn – Excellence Makers Program’ is homogenous with his broader vision to make Dubai the happiest and smartest city in the world – for the Dubai population and the millions of its annual visitors that it embraces.

    Initiatives like the Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP) constructively nudges the government authorities to question the status quo and not become complacent. The program also helps to shatter the far-sighted challenges that are destined to arise in this massive responsibility called public governance.

    On Wednesday 31 July 2019, the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates witnessed one of the most intellectually sophisticated events in the field of Business Excellence, Best Practices and Benchmarking – the DUBAI WE LEARN – EXCELLENCE MAKERS PROGRAM 2nd KNOWLEDGE SHARING SUMMIT, organized by The Executive Council and DGEP.
    The Godolphin Ballroom was exuberant, up and lively with the very many erudite professionals and astute officials representing the various government authorities of the Government of Dubai.

    Maha Al Suwaidi, Project Manager, Dubai Government Excellence Program, Setting the scene for a day of sharing

    The entire arena seemed like a wonderland for anyone with a hunger to know Best Practices in the specialized field of public administration. For me, the experience was not just enlightening, it was humbling as well. Afterall, it takes humility and a strength of organisational personality that, in spite of already being accomplished in the field of governance and acute decision making for years and decades, the team members were inquisitive to learn and explore like a nascent intern.

    The Center for Organisational Excellence Research (COER), New Zealand, has been orchestrating the learning, knowledge gathering and wise execution of the Dubai We Learn initiatives (now in their 3rd year cycle) in tandem with DGEP. COER amiably assist the teams to use the TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking Methodology to find and implement best practices and empowers the teams to reach a 7-Star level of excellence that assures long-term sustainability and future relevance.

    Dr. Robin Mann – Director, COER, enlightening the teams on the future course of Dubai We Learn 2019

    In the earliest hour of the 31 July ‘19 Summit before the team presentations, Dr. Robin Mann – Director, COER, emphatically laid out the pertinent highlights with respect to the present & future direction of the 11 projects:

    1. After the last Summit in April 2019, the Advanced Skills Research Workshop that was conducted by Mr. Ahmed Abbas from BPIR.com, COER was found to be extremely advantageous by the teams
    2. Successful visits to the various government entities had been undertaken over the past week before the current Summit, where appropriate feedback and suggestions were provided to realign the direction and quality of the projects.
    3. Continuous feedback on the latest TRADE Spreadsheets & Progress Record will be given by COER in the upcoming weeks.
    4. The significance and importance of the research undertaken through the Best Practice Search Forms provided by COER was stressed upon
    5. All teams were making good to excellent progress; most teams have completed their Terms of Reference (TOR) & Review Stages of the TRADE methodology, while some teams are yet to assess the current and future performances
    6. It was emphasized that it is vital to lay down good project performance measures in order to achieve 7-Star excellence outcomes
    7. Most projects are on the Acquire stage with the expectation that it will be completed by most teams around October 2019 when the next viz., 3rd Knowledge Sharing Summit will be held
    8. It is important that moving forward the government entities need to continue to involve the stakeholders and staff of the project to receive their important ideas and inputs
    9. Teams should not wait for full completion of the Acquire stage if they see some quick wins that they can implement requiring little resource
    10. In conclusion, the main purpose of the Summit was stated:

    • to provide a platform to enable project teams to showcase their work to their sponsors and key stakeholders,
    • to encourage collaboration and best practices sharing,
    • to promote learning between project teams, and of course, make new friends along the way!



    The Summit saw the spectacular Team presentations, where all the eleven teams displayed vitality and vigorous execution of their plans so far. The qualities that seemed to be sweeping across the teams were: honesty of their intent to make a positive difference, and genuineness in their careful efforts to integrate their goals.


    Watch video highlights of the day

    During the team presentations, the five core elements that were predominant across all the eleven DGEP projects were:

    1. Troubleshooting, i.e., targeting problem area/s.
    2. Fine-tuning, i.e., aim to improve the processes and systems with advanced levels of operations, benefiting the daily functioning of government.
    3. Radicalization, i.e., innovation & creativity driven, technologically advanced
    4. Future-ready, i.e., futuristic approach, with an eye for detail relevant to the current and future state of affairs.
    5. People-centric, i.e., sensitive to the limitations, capabilities and requirements of the end-users – the government officials and general population.

    Dr. Ashraf Mahate, Chief Economist – Trade and Export Market Development, Dubai Exports, encapsulated his views as

    Dubai We Learn is a real eye opener as it allows us to see how other Dubai Government Departments are using the TRADE Benchmarking Methodology. In particular, we are interested to see how different problems or challenges are tackled and the corresponding results. We found the session to be highly informative, especially the presentations which were packed with a lot of detail in a short space of time. We are highly inspired by the innovation and productivity improvements that can be made through benchmarking. As a direct result of the Dubai We Learn session, we are now planning to visit some of the relevant departments. In this way we hope that our entire team will benefit from it.

    A collage of photos from the 2nd Knowledge Sharing Summit

    Following are the 11 Government of Dubai entities and their project initiatives:

    1Dubai Health Authority
    Dubai Heart SafeCity
    Project Aim: Make Dubai the “Heart Safest City’’ in the world byimproving the out-of-hospital post-Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) survivalrate.
    2Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services
    Moonshot: Is WhereMagic Happens
    Project Aim: Develop a vibrant Moonshot innovation ecosystem, culture and practices to further their readiness for the future.
    3Dubai SME (Agency of Department of Economic Development)
    Improving Entrepreneur’s Business Guidance & Start Up Services
    Project Aim: To improve the process of qualifying and supporting entrepreneurs to start viable businesses
    4Community Development Authority
    Enabling Happiness
    Project Aim: Identify and implement best practices in implementing transforming projects & initiatives that engage, empower, and enlighten employees leading to elevated levels of employee happiness, loyalty, motivation, communication, innovation and productivity.
    5Dubai Police
    Airport Secure Luggage (Safe Bags)
    Project Aim: Find and implement best practices in airport baggage security in order to enhance efficiency and operational capacity of the inspection process at Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central by EXPO 2020.

    After the first session of the Summit while I was in an engaging conversation with Maha Al Suwaidi, Project Manager, Dubai Government Excellence Program, she said,

    The presentations have been very interesting. Most important is that the teams have to measure the impact after implementing their projects. We are encouraging these projects to not only focus on incremental improvements but also reflect global trends within their projects, for example, to consider artificial intelligence as a best practice. It is a leading initiative that DGEP launched because it helps to sustain and reinforce the competitiveness of Dubai as a knowledge sharing hub in the public administrative field. Dubai We Learn will help develop government employees’ capabilities using best practices tools such as TRADE.


    6Dubai Municipality
    Digital Transformation of Contracts
    Project Aim: Accelerate the processes of service contracts completion period from an average of 120 days to 45 days in 2019.
    7Roads & Transport Authority
    Return on Innovation for Agile Innovation Journey
    Project Aim: To develop a simple and reliable approach for measuring and communicating Return on Innovation (ROI) that is aligned to RTA’s strategic needs to culminate in an Agile Innovation Journey
    P.S. On 29 July 19, while exiting the gates of RTA’s incredible Enterprise Command Control Centre (ECCC) after a team meeting, I told myself, “Ok! So, did I just visit the NASA of roads and transport operations?
    I believe I did!”
    8General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs
    Cooperative Integration System
    Project Aim: Identify and implement best methods and practices that will lead to an affective integrated system between GDRFA’s Strategy, Innovation, PMO, Operations and Excellence departments.
    9Dubai Electricity & Water Authority
    EV Green Charger 2.0
    Project Aim: Develop human centric EV charging station, which supports a seamless customer experience.
    10The Executive Council
    Corporate Agility
    Project Aim: Identify and implement best practices in agile project management to enable a sustainable culture of fast and more efficient project management within TEC.
    11Dubai Land
    Smart Property Valuation
    Project Aim: Provide an instant, reliable and robust unit valuation service.

    While in the middle of a stirring dialogue with Dr. Ayesha Al Mutawa, Director Strategy & Excellence at the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS), she articulated her experience with enthusiasm and optimism

    This is exactly what we want! There is learning, knowledge transformation, exposure to others, and understanding of how they get things done in a better way. It’s a great initiative by DGEP. This is not only best practices exploration, it is best practice in exploring best practices, and this is what makes it very unique in nature. The amount of coaching, consultation, and audit resources is amazing. It keeps us motivated through opportunities for change and improvement. Our audacious DCAS project is to create a moonshot shift in the way we run innovation – from culture, to systems, to behavior, to future thinking. And engagement with DWL can help us go through this safely because it is a very well-organized process.

    When asked how will the DWL put Dubai on the world map in the field of innovation and business excellence, this is what she had to say,

    I think one of the things that DWL needs to do is a registry of projects, like a Report Book, and follow up every year to two years on whether they continue to be sustainable and whether they became part of the organisation, and how much innovation resulted from engaging with it. DWL itself can be a source of information for the Government of Dubai around innovations.

    Dr Ayesha’s presentation on DCAS’ Innovation Project was one of the highlights of the day. A copy of her presentation can be found by clicking here and is well worth reviewing. Not only does it show the progress being made by the DCAS team but it also shows a best practice in terms of presentation slide design!

    Dr Ayesha, Director Strategy & Corporate Excellence, DCAS, presents DCAS’ Innovation Project “Moonshot: is where magic happens”

    The cross-team formation and discussion session nearing the concluding part of the Summit saw the bartering of ideas between the teams. Each team was given a yielding task – to describe the one thing that each of the 11 teams has done exceptionally well, any common opportunities for improvement, one potential challenge or difficulty that each team may face, and (if so) how could these be addressed? The teams shared their expertise and experience in the most lucid and transparent manner.

    Teams discussing the various presentations

    Although AI is a sign of human advancement, it can never replace human conscience. And the beauty of human conscience is that it can alone shape the character of governments. Sir Abraham Lincoln had once insightfully quoted, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” And in this case, Dubai edification has most definitely produced the wisest leaders – the government office bearers of today, who are inspiring the future torchbearers to lead a responsible-benevolent public administration.

    I, personally, and on behalf of Dr. Robin Mann, Mr. Ahmed Abbas, the COER team members and all the 12 Researchers who have contributed to the 11 DGEP projects, wish all the ‘Dubai We Learn’ initiatives all the very best!

    … Stay tuned with Dubai We Learn Blogs @BPIR.com Limited for updates from the 3rd and Final Knowledge Sharing Summits that will be held in October 2019 and December 2019 respectively.

    To view more photos from the event click here

    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


  5. Launch of the 3rd cycle of Dubai We Learn government projects

    March 6, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    Dubai We Learn 3rd cycle government entities

    Due to the tremendous success of the 1st and 2nd cycles of Dubai We Learn, an initiative by the Dubai Government Excellence Programme (DGEP) in partnership with the Centre of Organisational Excellence Research (COER), New Zealand, a 3rd cycle was launched in February 2019. The 3rd cycle began on the 18th February with a 3-day training course provided to the first batch of Excellence Maker’s benchmarking projects, followed by training to the second batch beginning on the 25th February. The 3rd cycle consists of mentoring 10 benchmarking projects and the provision of a best practice resource, BPIR.com, for all 37 government entities.

    The projects taking part are shown below:

    Projects were selected based on their potential benefits to Dubai as a whole (and the government entity) and the commitment of each government entity to complete the project within one year. Meetings were held with each government entity to discuss their proposed projects and set expectations. The photos below show the teams attending the TRADE Benchmarking training delivered by Dr Robin Mann.
    Batch 1: Community Development Authority, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dubai Land, Dubai Municipality, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, and Roads and Transport Authority.

    Batch 1: Community Development Authority, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dubai Land, Dubai Municipality, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, and Roads and Transport Authority.


    Batch 2: Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Police, and The Executive Council

    Batch 2: Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Police, and The Executive Council

    During the 3-days of intensive training on the TRADE Benchmarking methodology, the projects were refined and the teams learnt how to use benchmarking to find and implement best practices.
    Dubai Municipality team discussion on planning a benchmarking site visit

    Dubai Municipality team discussion on planning a benchmarking site visit


    Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services conducting a SWOT analysis for their project

    Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services conducting a SWOT analysis for their project

    The photograph below shows Dr Ahmad Al Nuseirat, Coordinator General of Dubai Government Excellence Program, delivering the welcoming speech at the training.
    Dr. Ahmad Al Nuseirat’s welcoming speech

    Dr. Ahmad Al Nuseirat’s welcoming speech

    Following on from the training three knowledge sharing summits will be held throughout the year and a final closing sharing in December 2019 to evaluate the success of each project. The 1st knowledge sharing summit will be held on 30 April 2018 with each team giving a 10-minute presentation describing the progress of their projects. These knowledge sharing summits provide an excellent platform for the teams to learn from each other. As all project teams are using the TRADE benchmarking methodology it is easy to compare progress and share experiences.

    To receive up to date information about this initiative subscribe to our free newsletter from here, you can also search #Dubai_We_Learn on social media websites to see content uploaded by the teams.

    To learn more of the previous projects you can read our book on the 1st Cycle of Dubai We Learn here and shortly you will be able to read our book on the 2nd Cycle of Dubai We Learn showcasing 11 more projects (to be published by May 2019).