1. South African Quality Institutes latest news

    February 25, 2018 by ahmed

    South African Quality Institute (SAQI) http://www.saqi.co.za is the national body that co-ordinates the Quality effort in South Africa. Their monthly newsletter is an excellent source of information to keep up with the latest quality issues in South Africa.


    • Getting to grips…whith software management, by Dr Alastair Walker
    • ISO 9001:2015 certification and Quality are not always the same thing, by Jacques Snyders
    • Managing Quality Quality in Project Management, By Paul Harding
    • Feedback from National Quality Week, By SAQI staff
    • Evolved Models of Combined Assurance Bloster Organisational Risk Management, By Terrance M. Booysen
    • Peer presure: Make it positive

    Click here to download this newsletter.








  2. The challenges facing Tonga after Cyclone Gita and how business excellence can help

    February 21, 2018 by ahmed
    Beautiful Tonga comprising of 169 islands, 36 inhabited, facing major hardship

    Beautiful Tonga comprising of 169 islands, 36 inhabited, facing major hardship

    February 21, 2018. Posted by Dr Robin Mann, Head of the Centre for Organisational Excellence (COER) and BPIR.com Limited, New Zealand.

    I was lucky. I managed to get the last flight and seat out of Tonga before Cyclone Gita arrived. I was supposed to leave Tonga on the evening of the 13th February but when I arrived at my hosts, the Public Service Commission on the 12th, all the staff were securing the building and planning to depart home as soon as possible – a state of emergency had been declared. I was advised to leave Tonga and transport was arranged to the airport. The journey, normally a 30 minute drive, took one and half hours due to the long queue of cars as families were purchasing gas supplies with power lines expected to be downed. On arrival at the airport I was informed by Air New Zealand that the flight was over booked and I should go back to my hotel. However, I waited in case some passengers did not turn up, luckily this was the case and I managed to purchase the last seat out.


    With the arrival of Cyclone Gita many Tongan dreams and hopes were severely tested as homes and livelihoods were damaged or destroyed. The category four storm was the strongest to hit the Islands since modern records began 60 years ago. NASA said the estimated sustained winds from the storm reached 230kmh, gusting to 278kmh. Related deaths to the disaster have been recorded as two but could have been many more. Ten days on major problems exist with thousands of homes severely damaged and difficulty in providing water and power to all areas. To compound matters there is a threat of a Dengue fever outbreak with 53 cases prior to the disaster.


    Destruction of Parliament House, 1000s of homes damaged

    Destruction of Parliament House, 1000s of homes damaged


    I arrived in Tonga on Wednesday 7th February on an assignment to assist the Public Service Commission (PSC) develop a strategy for excellence for the public sector. Dr Lia Maka, CEO, of PSC and her staff stressed the need for change and the desire to develop a public service culture whose “minimum standard is excellence”. We talked about the approaches of other countries to embed excellence within the fabric of government and the economy. I shared my experience of working in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which have made dramatic strides forward in short periods of time. The common thread between these countries has been a strong and stable leadership with a clear vision to become the best that they can be. This has been backed up by the use of capability building through business excellence models and learning from best practices. Singapore on most international measures is now in the top 10 in the world and often No. 1., for example, in School Education1 and Government Effectiveness2. The UAE on most international measures is in the top 30 but climbing quickly with high ratings already in a number of areas such as No.1 for Transport Infrastructure3 and No.2 in Country Capacity to Attract Talent4.

    Together we set about working on a business excellence strategy for Tonga. We decided on a three-year strategy of capability building prior to business excellence awards being introduced. The proposed strategy consists of annual business excellence self-assessments facilitated by PSC to enable public sector agencies to identify their strengths and opportunities for improvement, an annual business excellence conference, a best practice competition at which each public sector agency shares between one to three good to best practices, two best practice sharing days per year between public sector agencies for each category of excellence, and 10 targeted benchmarking projects per year to address areas of major concern that would bring large rewards once the identified best practices were implemented. All activities would be designed to maximise the involvement of public sector staff from the various agencies so that a spirit of improvement and transformation would be fostered as wide as possible.

    An essential element of the strategy is that each agency take responsibility for its own excellence journey and a helping hand is provided when needed. I advised against introducing a business excellence award for at least 3 to 4 years. Administering a business excellence award requires substantial resource and for organisations that are just beginning an excellence journey the award criteria and assessment methods would be too daunting. With annual self-assessments conducted across all public sector agencies it will be possible to track their performance and determine the average level of excellence for Tonga’s public sector. This will provide a base-line for moving forward year on year.


    Services being considered for Tonga’s public sector

    Services being considered for Tonga’s public sector


    Tonga ranks around 100 on most international measures with an average GDP per capita of US$4,160 which means many Tongans seek employment overseas. Indeed, approximately 100,000 people live in Tonga whilst a similar amount live in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Now, as a result of Cyclone Gita the challenges are even greater but Tongans are strong, determined people – look no further than Pita Taufatofua who has competed at both the Summer Olympics (Taekwando) and Winter Olympics (Cross country skiing). Without snow in Tonga, Pita trained by strapping planks of wood to his feet and sliding across a beach or using roller skis. Discussing the cyclone, in an interview with Newshub, Pita said “We’ve been rebuilding for a thousand years, we’ve had cyclones come before. What hasn’t been affected is the heart of the people. Buildings we can repair but the core values and the core strengths of the Tongan people, no cyclone can come through and affect them. That hasn’t been touched.


    Pita Taufatofua practicing on skates to Olympic flag bearer and cross-country skiing.

    Pita Taufatofua practicing on skates to Olympic flag bearer and cross-country skiing.

    There is a cause for optimism. Prior to leaving Tonga I was invited with PSC to discuss the proposed strategy with the Deputy Prime Minister and Cabinet. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Semisi Lafu Kioa Sika said he approves of the strategy and will be delighted to support its presentation to the CEOs of the public sector agencies. The Hon Dr Tevita Tu’I Uata, Minister for Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation and Labour, who has had previous experience of business excellence when working for Boeing in the United States, was most enthusiastic. Dr Tevita had been part of the team that helped Boeing win the United States business excellence award – the Malcolm Baldrige Award. He said that the pursuit of excellence using business excellence models will be a Game-changer for Tonga.


    A happy team after our visit to the Cabinet. Dr Lia Maka, CEO, PSC (right), Dr Robin Mann, COER, Charlotte M. Vuki, PSC, and Moleni Ika, PSC.

    A happy team after our visit to the Cabinet. Dr Lia Maka, CEO, PSC (right), Dr Robin Mann, COER, Charlotte M. Vuki, PSC, and Moleni Ika, PSC.


    The focus on Tonga right now is the clean-up and repairing homes and livelihoods. This is the first step. The strategy for excellence in Tonga’s public service will be launched formally in June/July this year.

    To help Tonga overcome this crisis, please click on a link to make a donation. The Tonga National Emergency Management Office manages donations to the disaster from most charities and ensures money is spent wisely. Remember, every little bit helps, thank you. face

    Adventist Development Relief Organisation (ADRA) New Zealand
    Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand
    Christian World Service
    Habitat for Humanity Emergency Disaster Appeal for Cyclone Gita
    Oxfam New Zealand
    Rotary New Zealand
    Redcross New Zealand
    Tearfund New Zealand Cyclone Gita Appeal
    Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA)

    1. OECD (2016), PISA 2015 Results (Volume I): Excellence and Equity in Education. OECD Publishing. Paris
    2. World Bank (2016). The Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) project. World Bank. Washington, DC
    3 & 4. Schwab, K and Sala-i-Martin, X. (2017). The Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017. World Economic Forum. Geneva

  3. The Xerox Story – A Past Employee’s Perspective

    February 9, 2018 by ahmed


    Originally Posted by Dale Weeks, President and Chief Executive Officer, Global Leadership and Benchmarking Associates, USA, dfwglba@gmail.com

    Did you see this and similar articles yesterday and today in our American business press? Here is another “American business” debacle – my former employer in Rochester, NY is about to “sell out” to the Japanese.https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/business/dealbook/xerox-fujifilm.html?emc=edit_nn_20180201&nl=morning-briefing&nlid=17841975&te=1

    Recall that the Japanese came to the US to do benchmarking in the post WWII time frame (1950’s), then Xerox went back to Japan to do benchmarking with them in the late 1970’s, and now sells out to them. Close to what has occurred with Kodak in Rochester, New York, as well as “many other” former large Fortune 500 businesses.

    Another sad case of declining American Competitiveness. Sorry to say, in all humility, I mentioned these issues to their senior leadership back in 1974 or 1975. See the attached “people management” document from that era – Download from here.

    What you say and what you do – lack of leadership again. Not a good tribute or legacy to David Kearns, former CEO, who I worked for and with “off and on” from 1973-76 and tracked his efforts until he departed from Xerox and became or Secretary of Education:


    And, as many of you may recall, Xerox was an early winner of our US-based Malcolm Baldrige award. Alas, that leadership by David Kearns did not sustain the company over a longer period of time. It did not become an in-depth integrated cultural value. Or, has Tom Friedman from the New York Times wrote several years ago in the title of his book ago, “That Used to Be Us.”
    The United States is in continual need of sustained, transformational leadership in many areas. What can and will we learn from this going forward as part of our global benchmarking across all sectors of our society

  4. Winners of Abu Dhabi excellence awards honoured

    February 4, 2018 by ahmed
    Abu Dhabi Excellence Award 2017 winners with Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council

    Abu Dhabi Excellence Award 2017 winners with Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council

    Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, honoured the top federal entities and employees who received the Abu Dhabi Award for Excellence in Government Performance, on Wednesday.The award ceremony, held at Emirates Palace, saw hundreds of government officials, ministers, officers from the UAE Armed Forces and the Abu Dhabi Police, as well as the nominees, eager to see which federal entities won the prestigious awards.

    The fifth Abu Dhabi Award for Excellence in Government Performance, which is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, had a total of 52 government authorities competing for the 12 institutional awards.

    A total of 110 employees and 42 director-generals also competed for the 12 Executive Council Chairman Medals. Abu Dhabi Ports received four awards on Wednesday, coming in first with the most number of titles. It also won the grandest institutional award for the ‘Out-standing Entity on Abu Dhabi Government Level.’

    The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), received three awards – Award for Excellence in Innovation, Award for Excellence in Organisational Enablers, as well as the Award for Excellence in Digital Government.Dr Matar Al Darmaki, CEO of Seha, told Khaleej Times that receiving the awards will encourage entities to work harder and strive for excellence. “We are honoured to win three awards today, as well as the chairman medal. These awards encourage the company to work hard and to move forward, in order to achieve greater goals.”

    Dr Al Darmaki pointed out that the awards also encourage the entity to increase its customer satisfaction and improve the performance, both financially and operationally. “I would like to thank the government of Abu Dhabi for their encouragement and giving us the chance to be part of this award,” added the Seha CEO.

    The Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre (Adnec), Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (SCAD) and the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority (ADHA), were also among the federal entities who received the institutional awards.

    Suhaila Al Munthari, who received the ‘Chairman Executive Council Medal: Distinguished Administrative Employee,’ said winning the award will motivate her to achieve higher goals in her career.

    “It is really an honour for me to win this award.”

    “The award will allow me to always try to do a better job and fulfil my purpose in my career,” added the 30-year-old, who works in the Department of Culture and Tourism Authority.

    Saeed Al Kaabi, the Director of the fifth Abu Dhabi Award for Excellence in Government Performance, explained how the award works as a mechanism to support the culture of institutional excellence.

    “These are the key awards in the Abu Dhabi government that honour the high-performance entities working towards excellence in leadership in their core business and in their institutional core support area.”

    “The awards are critical, because they motivate different government entities towards high performance, which in return, will be reflected on the community and the people of UAE, and in specifically in Abu Dhabi,” he added.

  5. Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Key Challenges

    January 21, 2018 by ahmed

    Speed and the ability to adapt to changing market conditions are a significant challenge for business.

    The threat of new competition (the #1 driver), rising customer expectations, expanding markets, and digitalization are the key drivers of change. These are driving force behind the every increasing need for Operational Excellence, especially for end-to-end Business Transformation, and rapid, agile, flexible solution offerings and execution.


    New technologies and innovation acceleration are disrupting all traditional industries and markets. Start-ups no longer have major barriers to entry, computing powering is accelerating, and business models are being disrupted in just a few months, causing massive pressures on margins.

    Every change in the market affects how a company operates and performs, often dramatically. And these days, it is difficult to respond to one disruption before being thrown off course by the next one. Advanced technologies, increasing digitization such as AI, Robotic Process Automation, Machine Learning, IOT, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Data Analytics, Advanced Robotics, 3D Printing, Mobile Applications are just some of the technology shifts.

    These digitalisation’s’ bring a quantum leap in productively improvement, but consequently leaders have to rethink their operations end to end, including how to incorporate digitalization activities along the whole value chain, e.g. use of big data in customer operations, or 3D printing technology in manufacturing.

    Teams will need to embrace a culture of operational excellence, reimagined operations every day, foster open communication and faster decision-making. Product development, procurement, supply chain management, production system design, and all manufacturing and services will need to be transformed. Operational Excellence professionals needs to adapt and actively embrace all these new technologies and the new business models they create to ensure the organization is always at the cutting edge of execution excellence.

    Whether its the need to keep up with new technologies, the pressures of implementing and sustaining a fully-fledged culture of Operational Excellence, or encouraging the allocation of resources and buy-in for Operational Excellence projects, it is clear that Operational Excellence practitioners are facing a period of incredible change and upheaval.

    Exceptionally savvy companies manage these changes by developing end-to-end global operating strategies that enable profitable growth that take charge of innovation execution and stay nimble enough to respond to rapidly changing condition. Strategies that embrace and thrive on the power of technology to drive innovation.

    Operational excellence is a key attribute of leading companies in any industry. Through the combination of the right business strategy, the right technology strategy, the right operating model, and the right execution path, companies ride out recessions more successfully and emerge from them more quickly, developing competitive advantage regardless of economic conditions.

    Operational Excellence Key Challenges

    • Rethinking operations end-to-end, incorporating digitalization / new advance technologies along the whole value chain.
    • Adapting and embracing new technologies and the new business models.
    • Cultural Transformation and creating a culture of Operational Excellence and Innovation.
    • Implementing effective Change Management programs.
    • Driving Corporate Culture Change and How to build and transform Organizational Culture.
    • Leadership Understanding, Buy-In, Support and Sponsorship from ALLLeaders is critical. Operational Excellence needs commitment; resources and this cannot be optional.
    • Sustaining a Continuous Improvement Culture (Key to this is Leadership Buy-In)
    • Achieving an Enterprise-Wide Operational Excellence Strategy
      End-to-end business transformation, with all departments’ processes working in unison at scale to aligned goals and priorities.
    • Keeping up with new technologies, relative value relevance, and the creation of new opportunities. AI, Robotic Process Automation, Machine Learning, IOT, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Data Analytics, Advanced Robotics, 3D Printing, Mobile Applications are just some of the technology shifts.
    • Integrating New Advanced Technologies
    • Acquiring and managing start-ups
    • Changing Customer Demands & Channels
    • Building New Competitive Advantages.
    • Integrating CI methodologies personalized to the organization.
    • Ensuring initiatives are aligned with key strategic priorities, across the organization.
    • Failure to innovate fast enough.
    • Building a culture of innovation & agile mind-set.
    • Changing Workforce, Millennial Generation, Freelance Culture, & Open Innovation.
    • Customer Experience Excellence in a less high touch environment.
    • If you are looking to address these challenges, these will be addressed by the most progressive leaders in the industry at the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit & Industry Awards (BTOES18)

    The agenda have been updated this week, below are some direct links.

    View Speakers

    View Agenda

    BTOES17 Highlights Video

    Prices go up on February 2nd, 2018, after that no more discounts.

    Register now and save up to $764

    Teams can obtain up to 50% off.

    View Team Discounts

    About BTOES18

    Forecasting 850+ leadership-level attendees, this summit is the largest gathering of progressive leadership-level executives within Business Transformation & Operational Excellence.

    With over 100 speakers, over 100 sessions, 12 Keynotes, 9 Track Themes, 5 parallel tracks, 60+ track sessions, 50 roundtable discussions, 20 Interactive Workshops, 6 Thought Leader Panels, 5 Leaders Boardrooms, The Industry Awards Program, Site Visits, 20+ hours of social networking including 2 gala cocktail parties, dinners, numerous group activities, this is the ultimate event to benchmark, network and drive Operational Excellence to the next level.

    Focused on the key trends and pressing issues that matter:

    • Cultural Transformation
    • Strategy Execution
    • Innovation Excellence
    • Customer Experience Excellence
    • Leadership
    • Agility
    • Business Transformation
    • Operational Excellence
    • Process Optimization

    Register (early bird discounts end soon)

    BTOES18 will help you design and delivery value-oriented operational excellence transformations and take an end-to-end approach to achieving excellence in strategy execution.

    You will take away practical lessons on how to gain measurable benefits that transcend cost cutting to deliver revenue growth through execution advantage and rigorous process execution across the enterprise to deliver certainty of outcomes.

    We look forward to welcoming you in March.