DMA launches knowledge network
Abu Dhabi, August 15, 2009
The Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA), an Abu Dhabi government entity, recently launched a knowledge management (KM) network, aimed at enhancing employee performance, productivity and ultimately boosting customer service.
Employees will be able to explore, learn and share world-class practices that are essential to their performance and also suit their own learning and personal advancement goals on the new technological platform combined with cultural and people-trend factors.
The project, named “Musharaka - Excellence through Knowledge” is a result of collaboration between the DMA and the Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Western Region Municipalities. Mouchel Management Consulting has been contracted to design and develop the “Musharaka” system, and will launch the full first wave of KM initiatives by the end of 2009.
“Knowledge Management starts by creating a more collaborative work ethic, where people use technology to share information and do their jobs more effectively,” said Rashed Al Hajeri, chairman of the DMA.
“In the mid- to long term, residents and businesses can look forward to better, faster and quality driven municipal services that will be delivered by our staff,” he added.
“These world-class provisions of technology and tools will result in a culture transition to create more productive and better informed employees that have the passion and know-how of servicing the residents across the Emirate.”
“Musharaka” primarily aims to improve the quality and efficiency of services provided to residents by empowered employees. The new tools will improve the management of municipal business and support a free flow of information sharing, create higher levels of awareness and continually update on best practices.
The new system will ensure that knowledge which is currently difficult to identify or access is made easily available to all employees. The project will also improve the transfer of knowledge and skills between consultants and municipal employees, and later on between the DMA and other government entities.
Knowledge management systems are globally recognised as essential tools in supporting the ambitious growth of services within municipal governments, and have contributed to the advancement of skills and capacity of staff that are required to fuel the creation of government workforces that believe in better service quality.
Ali Jaber Al Yafeai, DMA’s division manager for business support, said: “Knowledge management is essential to support the strategic goals of the DMA and the Municipalities. We hope for it to be a successful pilot project that would be adopted by other government entities across the Emirate in the near future”
The DMA’s plan for “Musharaka” is an initiative that goes beyond the hardware implementation of IT systems for knowledge sharing and has the potential to place all Abu Dhabi municipalities on the world map as a benchmark for leading a work-culture transition that adopts best practice principles and combines it with local cultural values.
Currently a number of “Quick Win” initiatives have already been successfully implemented by the project team. These include; induction courses for all new municipal employees to help them quickly gain an understanding of their working environment, a directory of people and skills to help staff identify others who can help solve problems and “Lessons Learned” initiatives to share findings from completed projects.
These activities are overseen by newly established Knowledge Management Offices in each municipality.
The Knowledge Champions workshop was a platform of sharing knowledge and experience. The Knowledge Champions from each municipality shared their personal experiences of 'Musharaka' so far, recognised the successes already achieved during the initial 'Quick Wins' phase of the project, and discussed the opportunities for further imp