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Municipality to shed processes

Dubai Municipality is revamping its business process infrastructure, after software showed that as many as 10% of the processes it currently conducts are redundant.

Dubai Municipality is revamping its business process infrastructure, after software showed that as many as 10% of the processes it currently conducts are redundant.

The move could lead to some job cuts in its 11,000-plus workforce, one of its senior executives said last week.

The massive government organisation, which is responsible for providing a range of services to Dubai residents, has implemented an automated workflow solution at its Administration and Quality Development department, which monitors the quality of services carried out by the different departments of the Municipality.

Dubai Municipality implemented the ARIS workflow solution from a German software company, IDS Scheer, to gain a clear vision of its business processes.

Department staff loaded the application with information on all the work processes that take place in each section and are currently in the process of analysing data produced by the software.

Although they are only part way through the process, Abdul Kareem Malik, director of the IT department at Dubai Municipality, said preliminary results show that around 10% of processes carried out by the department are surplus to requirements — which could lead to job cuts, he acknowledged.

“They found redundancies in some processes and they found that some processes had a high cost. And they are now trying to find solutions to go around these problems and to cancel these redundant processes and try to minimise the cost of these processes,” he added.

While Malik said job cuts were a possibility, he stressed that this was only one of “many ways” to resolve the issue of
redundant processes.

In some cases staff could simply be reassigned to different duties, Malik went on to claim.

“Some solutions could be to cut jobs but I don’t think it will be the solution for all these redundant processes,” he said.

“Of course when there is a job cut there is always upset,” Malik stated.

“People get upset for sure.” As per government policy, the Municipality would look to make job cuts among expatriate staff, he added.

Other solutions the Municipality is considering to help reduce expenditure include making more use of software and electronic solutions, which would help to minimise costs.

Malik explained that redundant processes could include ones that are being duplicated by different sections of the municipality.

For instance, he said, the health and environment departments may be carrying out similar functions, as they used to be part of the same department.

In such a case, one way to tackle duplication would be to assign the process to one department only and shift staff over to that section.

“What they will do is maybe for environment they will say it’s your responsibility now, health should not do this,”
Malik said.

Once the analysis of workflow processes has been completed the administration and quality development department will prepare a report for the Municipality’s director general who will then make a decision on how to resolve redundant work processes based on the department’s recommendations.

Malik admitted he expected the number of redundant work processes would grow as the study progressed, but he did not believe 10% was a high number for an organisation the size of Dubai Municipality.

“When they finish it will be more — I cannot tell you how much more but I think it will be more, maybe little bit more,” Malik stated.

“For a department the size of DM it [10%] is very small. DM has more than 11,000 employees and more than 20 departments and each department has four or five sections and each section has four or five units under it, it’s nothing, it’s very small,” he claimed.

Dubai Municipality has a deadline of 2007 to make 90% of its services available online, but Malik said it might achieve that goal by August this year.

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