The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation has participated in the King Abdullah II Award for Excellence in Government Performance and Transparency since the Award’s second cycle, which was launched in 2004. The Ministry was awarded first place in its category in the last five cycles of the country's most prestigious excellence award. The Award adopts the EFQM Excellence Model, which was designed by the European Foundation for Quality Management. According to this model, there are eight fundamental concepts that enable the organization to set its course towards achieving the foundations of excellence. These concepts are:
- Adding value for customers
- Creating a sustainable future
- Developing organizational capability
- Harnessing creativity and innovation
- Leading with vision, inspiration & integrity
- Managing with agility
- Succeeding through the talent of people
- Sustaining outstanding results
Achieving the Award’s requirements requires the adoption and application of management best practices. In this regard, the Ministry has adopted several systems for human resource management, quality management, communication systems, technology development strategies and strategic planning and management systems.
The Ministry participated in the award for the first time in the second cycle (2004/2005) and won second place in the category of ministries. In the third cycle (2006/2007), the ministry was awarded the golden award, in the fourth cycle (2008/2009) and after adopting the EFQM grading system, The Ministry won the first place in the bronze stage for its category. The Ministry was awarded first place in the silver stage in the fifth cycle (2010) / 2011), and again in the sixth cycle (2012/2013), and the seventh cycle (2014/2015) for small and medium-sized ministries participating for more than one cycle.
Measures taken by the Ministry in order to win the award
Although the Award has a great moral importance, different measures were taken by the Ministry not for the sole purpose of winning the prestigious title, but also stemming from the belief that the development of government work to achieve excellence contributes to enhanced service delivery in the Kingdom. This said, MoPIC’s journey towards achieving and sustaining excellence can be summarized as follows:
The period 2002-2004: The beginning was in 2002 with the launch of the "Restructuring and System Development" project in which the organizational and legislative climates were reviewed, procedures and regulations applied were studied, new systems and structures were designed, and processes and procedures were modeled and documented.
The practical implementation of the project’s outputs which started in mid-2004, was the first step towards instilling a culture of excellence in the Ministry. During which The Ministry started with the implementation of modern human resources systems, communication systems and quality systems that have been designed and documented to reflect best management practices. This coincided with the selection of the Ministry in 2003 as pilot project in the Centers of Excellence experience, which contributed to building a foundation from which the journey of excellence in the ministry started.
The period (2005-2007): Since the beginning of 2005, the Ministry has worked to deepen the concept of excellence and cultivate its culture by activating the application of human resources systems, internal and external communication systems and strategies, total quality management systems and activating the use of information technology. This phase included preparing, documenting, implementing, reviewing and updating systems, designing standard operating procedures, process maps and performance measurement indicators. In 2005 and in preparation for drafting and documenting the strategic plan for the years 2005-2007 which the Ministry reviews and develops periodically (annually), a SWOT analysis was carried out to study the Ministry’s internal and external environments. This coincided with the Ministry’s first participation in the Award (2004-2005), an experience in which the Ministry was keen to involve the staff through the formation of technical teams in the belief that excellence is a culture and behavior and is adopted through participation and engagement.
In the next cycle (2006-2007), more employees were included in the Excellence Teams based on their fields of work and specialties, and participation was open for all those wishing to join the teams.
Other internal initiatives aimed at promoting and spreading the concept of transparency and participation among employees at all levels. For example, in 2006, the Minister opened the door for all employees to submit proposals and innovations that contribute to the development of performance and improve the level of service provided. To handle these proposals and suggestion, different channels were created through which employees can submit their suggestions, and a standard operating procedure explaining the methodology of dealing with such suggestions was documented.
Later, the Ministry took a pioneering step in the development and enhancement of strategic management. In 2006, a sophisticated system for managing its strategic plan using the Balanced Scorecard approach, was built and key performance indicators were defined.
The period (2008-2011): The Ministry continued working by its continuous improvement strategy. In accordance with the RADAR methodology, the Ministry relied on the previous Award assessment reports to develop work plans for all criteria, starting from the improvement opportunities and strength points and transforming them into action plans, with the contribution of excellence team members from different levels. This lead to the Ministry winning first place in the bronze stage in the fourth cycle (2008-2009) and first place in the silver stage in the fifth cycle (2010-2011).
The period (2012-2014): In order to develop and improve institutional performance, the Ministry took steps that contributed to a better level of achievement of its strategic goals. Linking the departments’ operational objectives to the strategic objectives which were also linked to the national goals. Weights were given to determine the level of contribution of each objective and performance indicators for all objectives and activities were set to achieve a higher level of accuracy when measuring the performance levels, and to come up with the necessary preventive and corrective measures efficiently and effectively.
The period 2015-2016: in order to sustain growing trends in its performance, the Ministry identified key performance indicators to monitor strategic objective achievements, targets were set in accordance with strategic choices that were defined following the internal and external analysis of the Ministry’s environment. The values of these indicators as well as each department’s contribution towards the achievement of strategic objectives are measured semi-annually, so is the contribution of strategic objectives in reaching targets for National Goals. The results are included in the annual institutional performance report, which also includes the results from the partner/customer satisfaction, and the employee satisfaction surveys.
The impact of the award on the Ministry’s work environment
The Ministry’s participation in an excellence award, one of the most prominent tools of performance improvement, has led to a comprehensive update in the work environment, which in turn contributed to the achievement of the Award criteria requirements. A culture of excellence is now instilled in all aspects of the Ministry’s day to day tasks and activities, and a continuous improvement strategy is adopted to enhance all operations and processes inside the Ministry. This helped break the stereotype of traditional government work in its slow implementation and bureaucracy and enhanced the effectiveness and efficiency of the government employee as well as processes and procedures by introducing and adopting new concepts in management such as a focus on results, transparency, and performance monitoring and evaluation.
Common concepts of total quality management and its applications are now core values in the Ministry. In addition, modern systems in human resource, knowledge, communication and quality management are comprehensively applied, and technology development strategies as well as the most recent strategic planning tools are used within the Ministry.
The award has driven change and continuous improvement and had the greatest impact in promoting improvement, change, work development and institutionalization in all aspects of work, and this provided motivation to come up with many initiatives to continue the journey towards excellence.
Main achievements of the Ministry since its participation in the award
It is clear that the biggest achievement achieved by the Ministry after participating in the award is the change and development in internal work environment to a more stimulating environment that has contributed to improve performance and the level of service provided. The Ministry has instilled a culture of excellence among all employees from different levels and has adopted performance and efficiency as evaluation measures for the sake of transparency and objectivity.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation was the only ministry in the Middle East and the Arab world that was invited to attend and participate in the European Balanced Scorecards Summit to share its experience in adopting a Balanced Scorecard approach to strategic management with more than 270 professionals from around the world. It was also the first ministry to apply the model of linking strategic objectives to national goals and calculating performance levels. To share knowledge and experience in this regard, the Ministry holds meetings and awareness sessions for interested government institutions.