Nasir Abdalla Ali Alobeidli, corporate strategy specialist at the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), sheds light on the role of strategy planning and KPI in the future of public service and how governments can provide services that ensure people’s happiness and quality of life.
- What are the key trends that have shaped the public sector in recent years?
In general, the whole world has gone through global changes that had a significant impact on the business environment, whether in the Middle East or in the whole world. As we go through the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on business continuity, which significantly contributed to directing many organizations to apply the institutional resilience approach to ensure agility. Also, real-time measures and indicators to monitor the various developments affecting the business environment and its sustainability were used.
It can also be said that technological development has taken an accelerating curve in appearing on the ground, which has become evident through the digital transformation in government services, for example. This has also led to the emergence of various technical developments, such as virtual reality, metaverse technologies, and artificial intelligence. It’s safe to say that this change has contributed to an increase in the need to promote digital maturity at the institutional level as a whole and on the quality of life in general.
The changes in the nature of business and the start of transformation in business models have become a reality that we live in today, as most of our meetings take place online, anywhere and at any time.
Technology has not only contributed to the development of mobility systems to become more easy and efficient, but its development has led to the emergence of new modes of mobility that we have not seen before, such as flying taxis, transportation through Hyperloop. We have witnessed during the recent period a great interest in climate issues and environmental issues as a whole, which require us to be ready for what we could face in terms of the challenges or opportunity associated with it. Finally, we are in a rapidly changing world that is subject to various variables, and innovation has been and still is the biggest motive for all variables.
- What do the public services of the future look like?
As we mentioned previously, government services are generally on technical manifestations so that they are available electronically. With its world-class resources, the UAE aims to develop proactive, interdependent, and integrated government services that prioritize people’s happiness and improve their quality of life.
I believe that we will not only stop at this point, but that we will witness a reformulate the general concept of service to be as close as possible to the best experience in government services, through the application of artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies and the provision of virtual centers through Metaverse technology to provide services and support closer to reality.
All of this is the future. We do not know its secrets, but we are fully aware that government services will undoubtedly be proactive, flexible and technologically advanced in accordance with standards of efficiency and effectiveness.
- What role will strategy planning and KPI usage play in this futuristic scenario?
It is very important during the current stage of the strategy and performance units to embrace the development of methodologies and tools that contribute to shaping the future. This will ensure readiness for potential risks and seize available opportunities. Organizations should build the strategic pyramid, continue implementing measurements to reach the required stage of maturity, and develop new measurement concepts and methodologies. There is a need to enhance the institutional culture in organizations around the culture of measurement to reach the required stage of maturity.
I also see the need to develop indicators that reflect efficiency and effectiveness in performance as well as the final impact of what needs to be measured so that it provides realistic results. What we need is a KPI that will measure the final outcome to indicate the quality of life that we have reached.
Moreover, each entity should look for a pioneer indicator that really reflects its mandate and the reasons for the organization’s existence in terms of the quality of life of the society and their stakeholders.
- How is technology impacting the performance of government entities?
Technology has actually contributed to the performance and work of the management of the strategic plan and performance monitoring as a whole through the development of digital systems and platforms that contribute to the governance of monitoring institutional performance and ensuring compliance with the requirements of periodic audits carried out by the strategy departments.
Organizations work to enhance their technological security capabilities by developing their employees’ capabilities in order to enhance the durability and strength of the available systems and to provide high institutional maturity in proper technical handling. With this, there is a need to establish and enhance indicators that reflect the result of technical culture in organizations.
- What are your recommended best practices in strategy planning for government agencies?
The strategy and performance departments lead the institutional transformation at the organizational level, and we may see the best entities that are unique in obtaining international corporate excellence awards, which are the product of the plans and the system of monitoring and developing performance in the organization.
Thus, the best practices will be based on the extent to which the entities achieve compliance and achieve the standards of the system of excellence, first and foremost, and certainly achieving the future vision and the desired strategic success both factor at the level of the organization. Organizations cannot achieve an ambitious vision without a planned risk.
- What key performance indicators should be reported for the successful delivery of public services?
Organizations must set leading indicators based on their operations and strategic plans that reflect their impact on the sector in which they operate. The required measures must consistently reflect efficiency on the activities, projects, and operations of the organization—such as measuring achievement rates—and must also include performance indicators that reflect effectiveness and achieve the desired goals. Institutions can set performance measures that reflect the achievement of goals through the OKR methodology.
The system of measurement and performance monitoring generally requires the availability of appropriate tools that refer to the real state of its performance in general and to identify areas of success and opportunities to be worked on in the future.
- What are the key performance management tools that any government entity should use to ensure performance improvement?
From my point of view, the entities with their various orientations require focusing on different measurement tools, including measuring the performance of projects and achieving goals at the strategic level, which is known as the strategic and operational indicators to know the level of achieving the strategic plan through key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics. In addition, it must measure the performance of its services and focus on indicators that reflect the level of maturity, flexibility, and proactivity in it, which reflects the best experience for the beneficiaries of government services as a whole.
Institutions will also need to measure the performance of their employees through annual performance measurement systems, known as performance appraisal, which must be designed in a way that reflects strong performance and productivity along with continuous development and application of excellence as a concept and basic principle. The process should include managing the staff’s professional development plans and managing the performance of key operations and tasks in a way that reflects institutional efficiency and effectiveness
- What are the biggest challenges that government entities face during the implementation and usage of a performance management system? Please provide your suggested solutions.
In general, the various organizations will face regular challenges related to the efficiency of the monitoring system and the effectiveness of the corrective procedures. From this, it is possible to address the difficulties, including the culture of performance, as the process of monitoring and measuring performance is an integrated process that requires the participation of all parties in the organization and knowledge of the organization’s mechanisms and models.
In addition, we see other challenges related to the efficiency of performance governance in institutions as a whole, and herein lies the need to develop an appropriate governance system that enables individuals and organizational units to enhance performance monitoring internally and to develop and use tools and models. Organizations should focus on their growth and leadership and develop the right strategies to achieve excellence.
- What are the crucial success factors in building performance and data-driven culture in the public sector?
Certainly, data represents an important factor and an essential input in the processes of managing and monitoring performance. Therefore, it is necessary from the outset to have an integrated governance and strategy for corporate data management in general, and this process requires clear institutional efforts that ensure accuracy and transparency along with analysis based on business intelligence.
- Which government entities would you recommend to be observed due to their successful approach to strategy and performance management? Why?
There are many good institutions that are good examples of measuring and monitoring performance, and here we mention the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, along with the Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai and the Ministry of Interior, as they are entities that have proven their superiority and leadership in developing performance systems and distinguishing them through leadership in national and international programs. This is what we see In the international awards it has obtained, and the General Authority of Civil Aviation is distinguished by a high-quality measurement and control system that can be relied upon as a standard reference for performance according to the government performance system.
- What are the key competencies of a successful business leader in a government entity?
In general, the distinctive characteristics of a government’s business environment require the leader to have a clear strategic view and an ambitious vision that contributes to achieving the government vision, in addition to leadership competencies such as knowledge of the nature of work, dynamism, excellence, keenness on creativity and innovation, and continuous presentation of new things in government work.
- What are the processes and tools you look at when differentiating a successful performance management system from a superficial one?
In my view, what distinguishes systems in general is what they reflect in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and leadership of the institution. A distinction can be made in the field of achieving the aspired goals at the level of the institution, and this, of course, depends on the level of ambition in its institutional goals.
About the Expert
Nasir Abdalla Ali Alobeidli
- Corporate Excellence Manager – corporate strategy and performance, strategic planning, Auditor excellence | UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) (2016-present)
- Quality assurance , Government Excellence model , Operation Planning , Strategy, Trainer | Sharjah Police Headquarters – Training Institutes Dept. (2009-2016 ) | Data Analyst | Road and Transportation Authority – Dubai (2007 – 2009)
- Executive Master of Business Administration | University of Sharjah
- Bachelor’s Degree in Management | Ajman University of Science and Technology
- Diploma in Business Administration | Ajman University of Science and Technology
- Diploma in Government Performance | Prime Minister office
- Future Foresight Diploma | Prime Minister office with Melbourne University
This interview was first published in the 24th printed edition of PERFORMANCE Magazine. You can get a free digital copy from the TKI Marketplace here or purchase a print copy from Amazon for a nominal fee here.