In recent years, more and more local governments have adopted performance excellence programs. When successful, these programs unify a city’s efforts to operate more efficiently, strengthen fiscal responsibility, and better serve citizens.
The Baldrige Excellence Framework is one of these programs and is arguably the most esteemed nonprescriptive framework that empowers an organization to reach its goals, improve results, and become more competitive. The framework incorporates proven practices on current leadership and management issues into a set of questions that help one manage all the components of their organization as a unified whole.
Utilizing a systems perspective, the Baldrige Criteria have been used as a global standard for organizational success because the leadership practices within have been validated by more than thirty years of practice, expert review, and research. The Criteria use an approach that makes them adaptable for manufacturers, businesses, health care, education, nonprofit organizations around the world, and even for government agencies.
Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) is the first international government entity to ever win three Global Excellence Assembly Awards based on the Baldrige Excellence Framework criteria evaluation integrated by Global Excellence Assembly – the highest level of recognition for Performance Excellence, thus scoring maximum points in the following categories:
During the assessment of Dubai Electricity & Water Authority’s application for the Global Excellence Assembly Awards, it was discovered that both variables — organizational learning and innovation — have contributed positively to the entity’s performance.
Organizational learning in particular has affected their level in innovation to a larger extent. On a further note, the size and age of the entity, industry and environmental turbulence have moderated these relations.
It is worth stating that organizational learning and its output – organizational knowledge – are antecedents of innovation. While learning plays a key role in enabling Dubai Electricity & Water Authority to achieve speed and flexibility within the innovation process, looking at their Organization Profile section of the model, the entity’s leaders appear to be able to understand the business environment and the strengths and weaknesses of the organization and their current strategic position, thus identifying and selecting alternative strategic options as appropriate.
For a proper evaluation of the strategic options, the organization’s business leaders seem to take into account risk factors, and they clearly understand and focus on building strong and productive relationships with customers, as the immediate source and creators of value.
As a significant part of the Government of Dubai, their main core objectives include:
While two out of the three awards Dubai Electricity & Water Authority won were focused on innovation, one category highlights the entity’s operations in a corporate level, whereas the other highlights a specific initiative and innovation that provides a systematic and effectively practical solution, in this case, the electricity and water network.
The Hydronet project, presented through their initiative, is a pioneering system built for the utility industry that interacts with the real world and works autonomously without the need to require human intervention, built on Artificial Intelligence.
The main role of this innovation is to monitor the Water network while detecting and locating events such as breakages and water hammer in a matter of seconds, as well as improve efficiency, effectiveness, and situation awareness of operators with the purpose of leading to the elimination or prevention of dynamic pressure surge in water network.
In addition to that, the ‘’Cable life cycle Aging Project’’ – a study on UG cables that aims towards the enhancement of the life cycle management and prolonging of the distribution Network time span – added points to DEWA’s application resume. The main objectives of the project include:
The third award category in which they also scored maximum points, is focused on customer service.
Dubai Electricity & Water Authority have brought their customers on a transition journey towards smart, digital services and towards patterns of more sustainable consumption. The customer focus is extremely strong throughout the value chain, seeking to manage the entire customer experience based on their customers’ current and future needs and expectations.
The ”Smart Living” initiative played a crucial role during the evaluation process, as it was an excellent presentation of how Dubai Electricity & Water Authority plans on evolving to be the parent of all Sustainability-related endeavors to promote sustainable lifestyle and mindset not only for now but also for the generations to come.
The project has improved the site-visit experience overall as it has significantly reduced the service (i.e. site visit) costs, which was accomplished as a result of a process redesign and proper system automation and integration to increase staff productivity.
On the other hand, their Customer Happiness Framework provides an integrated approach to identifying and continuously updating customer needs based on feedback and analytics.
DEWA’s factual success of various customer experience improvements over recent years consistently clearly shows improved Customer Happiness ratings across all customer segments.
The organization has proven to succeed in adopting a state-of-the-art Customer Happiness Framework, aligned with their strategy as well as with the Emirate of Dubai, mainly focusing on:
It is important to note that while very few manage to win a Global Excellence Assembly Award, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority is officially the first international government entity to win scoring maximum points.
Additionally, it is worth noting that this is the very first time that Global Excellence Assembly has granted more than one award to one applicant, in this case, three different categories.
Global Excellence Assembly genuinely states that this is indeed an achievement for Dubai Electricity & Water Authority to be proud of, which is also one more reason for them to keep striving for continuous improvement and performance excellence.
Shape your success
The Global Excellence Assembly Awards are available to individuals, companies, government agencies and healthcare organizations that see the Baldrige Criteria suitable for their management philosophy, scope/type/scale of business, and management environment and want to see where they stand!