Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company (ADSSC) is a public organization wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi Government. ADSSC stipulates protecting the environment, public health and customer interests by regulating the activities of wastewater collection and treatment as well as the safe and sustainable disposal of end products.

Automation and Reporting tool (ARP) build on QPR ScoreCard and QPR ProcessGuide software is a crucial link in transforming Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company into a world-class entity and promoting best practices, in Abu Dhabi and internationally. All ADSSC internal and external reporting is now done by using the ARP tool.

The Automation and Reporting Project (ARP) of Abu Dhabi Sewerage
Services Company (ADSSC) was initiated in April 2010 and went live just in two months, in June 2010. The ARP was implemented along with IYCON, using the IYCON best practice methodology for rapid QPR implementations.

ARP was categorized as an organizational transformation project, with high strategic relevance. Before its launch, ADSSC had completed some major organizational improvement projects in a very compressed timeline: process mapping and improvement project (2008-2009), risk management project (2008-2009), Integrated Management System (IMS), triple ISO Certification Project (2008-2010), and development of two-year Business Plans in alignment with the five-year Strategic Plans for all nine ADSSC Divisions.

At the time of Automation and Reporting Project launch there were several on-going organizational improvement projects, like the Business Intelligence (B.I) project, ADSSC Balanced Scorecard (ABC) project, and the benchmarking project. In addition, ADSSC was also implementing the Abu Dhabi Executive Council mandated five-year Strategic Planning framework, and external reporting.

Since the launch of its organizational excellence programs ADSSC management realized the need for integration of the projects, due to the inter-dependencies and linkages between them. For example changes in Process Maps could impact associated Standard Operating Procedures and/or System as well as changes in risk descriptions would impact likelihood rating, associated improvement opportunities and/or process maps.

QPR chosen thanks to superb drill and integration abilities
ADSSC management started exploring options to ensure organizational readiness for Business Intelligence application. QPR software based solution was in use by one of the ADWEA Group companies, the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company, for management reporting purposes.

Following a presentation to the B.I Project team, ADSSC invited QPR to a presentation to the Managing Director. Later, the same presentation was given to the Management team and their direct reports (35 employees) in 2009 highlighting the importance of a system which would facilitate ADSSC transition to Business Intelligence.

In addition, ADSSC did benchmarking to learn about best practices related to B.I and Performance Management in general, with the following leading companies: ESKOM, (South Africa), Turk Telecom (Turkey), Energy Net (Denmark) and Dubai Aluminum.

QPR ProcessGuide and QPR ScoreCard software were chosen due to their superb drill abilities and the possibility to integrate Process, Risk, IMS and Business Planning projects. In April 2010, Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company launched the Automation and Reporting project. Detailed scoping was done from January till March 2010. This phase involved all nine ADSSC Division managers, their direct reports and team members who participated in the Organizational Excellence, IMS, and Performance, Risk and/or Strategy programs. Input from over 50 employees was solicited.

High strategic priority was accorded to the ARP project due to lack of integration between the completed and on-going projects, misalignment between divisional reports, lack of data availability and integrity for external reporting to the Abu Dhabi Executive Council. Same need for high priority was inherited from need for updating the process maps in view of organizational and strategic changes, need for updating the risk maps and associated ratings, the new regulations and future tariff regime, and not least from transforming ADSSC a performance driven organization.

The Team
Managing Director, Executive Management team and another 50 team members evaluated all aspects, associated risks and benefits before commissioning the project. Managing Director, Executive Management team and their direct reports were involved in the project conceptualization, scoping and implementation. All nine ADSSC Divisions were requested to nominate two representatives to the ARP Project for Strategic Planning and Performance Management (SPM) and Process, Risk and IMS (PRIMS) related works.

Divisional managers, their direct reports and employees engaged in on-going organizational improvement projects were carefully selected. Managing Director and the Executive Management Team were actively engaged in both SPM and PRIMS related activities.

Due to the nature of work related to Process Mapping, Risk Management and IMS, the ARP and PRIMS team member selection criteria considered development of United Arab Emirate Nationals, in view of the inherent learning involved in the process.

Critical Success Factors
A number of Critical Success Factors (CSF) were identified at project conceptualization stage. Among them was user commitment, user input in continuous improvement, data integrity, data input, user friendly look and feel, ease of use, effective audit trail, as well as the cost effectiveness. Also ability to integrate with other applications and alignment of internal and external reporting, avoidance of duplicate data entry and standardization (quality assurance and control) were identified as Critical Success Factors.

Critical Success Factors were determined and agreed (among others) via Business Intelligence project’s scope development and refinement, benchmarking, Managing Director and Executive Management team input, and workshops and meetings.

Numerous tools and techniques, like ADSSC Organizational Excellence model, output from Process, Risk and IMS project, output from implementation of Abu Dhabi Executive Council Strategic Planning framework and benchmarking, were deployed in order to develop the project plan.

Cost implications of the ARP project were centered on server and software licensing cost, project team members’ time and effort, training costs and support costs.

Getting it done with feedback and communication
First milestone in the Project Plan was a very ambitious three month go-live date, which the ARP team achieved.

After the system went live the users were provided extensive training and one-to-one briefing sessions. Three months after the go-live date, ARP users were invited to a workshop to take their feedback with respect to ARP functionality, look, feel and ease of use and identifying possible additional requirements.

This user feedback was incorporated in the ARP enhancements. Prior to the launch of ARP and during the course of executing the Process, Risk, IMS, Strategic Planning and Performance Management projects, numerous obstacles and barriers were encountered.

Since June 2010 when Automation and Reporting Project went live, Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company has deliberately opted for both structured and un-structured communication strategies, focusing on ARP users understanding of individual projects and their inter-relationships.

Several ARP Awareness workshops were organized with more 100 total attendants. In order to maintain project momentum, weekly meetings were held, coupled with issuance of regular updates to the management team. At the time when ARP had been functional for months a simple survey was conducted for measuring user satisfaction and need for additional user support and capacity building.

Commitment from the ADSSC Chairman, Board of Directors and Management team did greatly facilitated in maintaining the ARP project momentum. ADSSC Chairman of the Board H.E Abdulla Ali Musleh Al Ahbabi showed keen interest in the ARP project.

As always, some unexpected difficulties were encountered, but were successfully overcome. For example commitment to report on the ARP system as compared to existing reporting channels was overcome by constant communication of the benefits of ARP and management mandates to report on it.

Similarly the commitment to use the ARP as the unified reporting format for all management meetings was secured by explaining the benefits of automated and standardized reporting. As an on-going education process management was and is encouraged to add action plans on the ARP system to be available during review and track them on the ARP against each Objective or KPI.

From Benchmarking to be a Benchmark itself
Starting from 1st January 2011, all Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company’s internal and external reporting has been done by using the Automation and Reporting tool. Moreover, the Divisional Performance Review Meetings and Divisional Performance Review Summary and Corporate Performance Review Meetings will follow a systematic timeline and format, aligned with the two-year Business Plans and five-year Strategic Plans.

Learning from Automation and Reporting Project greatly assisted in the ADSSC Balanced Scorecard Project, including, but not limited to development of internal ADSSC governance model, linkage of ADSSC Organizational and Divisional Strategy Maps to the Process, Risk, IMS and two year Business Plans. This was achieved by using the drill ability function of QPR software, and provision of viewing rights to All ADSSC users.

As always in any projects, also ARP produced some unplanned benefits, among other, reduction in paper work the ability to link external reporting to ARP. Moreover, a number of external organizations approached ADSSC to learn more about ARP. Among them were the Department of Transport Abu Dhabi, telecommunication operator ETISALAT, Abu Dhabi Distribution Company and Calgary Water (City of Calgary, Canada). This interest in ARP from external organizations facilitated in generating pride amongst the ADSSC team members and assured that momentum was maintained.

Further, ARP will facilitate monitoring of both internal and external performance contracts for enhanced organizational effectiveness and efficiency.

Employees engaged in the project have greatly benefited in terms of capacity building, enhanced understanding of organizational improvement, change management and strategic issues.

Automation and Reporting tool is a crucial link in transforming Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company into a world-class entity and promoting best practices, in Abu Dhabi and internationally.

“All internal and external reporting is done by using the ARP tool. Moreover, both the Divisional and Group performance review meetings and summaries follow systematic timeline and format, aligned with the Business Plans and Strategic Plans.” commented Zillay Ahmed, Quality Specialist and project leader, ADSSC.

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