Infrastructure development department
Almujahdeen

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Mujahdeen has around 8 branches and a headquarters office, which were all not connected to each other. Most of the processed administration requests, even for far locations, such as vacation and inventory release requests were done manually, and had to be documented in papers. For branches, a request would be mailed or faxed to the head office, with no proper recording mechanism. Also, it would take around a week for distant locations to receive a feedback of their vacation or administration requests from the head office of either approval or rejection. This delay was mainly affecting the urgent and critical matters, where employees in branch offices weren’t able to make their decisions on timely manner which affected their response time to the citizens. Also, many of the retired employees were forced to come to the headquarters office to collect their benefits, as branches weren’t connected to main office for benefits collection. Lastly, report generating on pending requests was taking too long as it had to be done manually. In terms of inventory, the sector was unable to generate reports on their stocked items automatically, where they had to do manual inventory check every 3 months. Such process has caused many items to be lost or released to users with no proper documentation.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
In 2011, a team was created to resolve the above mentioned issues and build a strategy for the sector. The team constituted of administration, field and technical members of a total of 9 members and was led by the IT department. The objective of the team was to build an 18 months strategy to transform the sector in a way that would tackle the above mentioned issues. In late 2011, the team has created the strategy of connecting all the eight branches with each other, through the HO, and digitalizing all the management and administration processes, as well as introducing a proper inventory management system. The proposed strategy had to consider that most of the sector employees were resistant to change, and wouldn’t like the introduction of such digitalization or documentation in some cases. Thus, the strategy have considered the ease of use of the system and made it as a top priority. Also, the team had to consider that transformation should happen gradually rather than drastically. Thus, they have proposed a 12 months transformation plan after the implementation of the project to ensure the proper adoption of the new system. The targeted audience for this strategy were the internal employees, were going through such a transformation would enhance the services delivered by Mujahdeen to the citizens. Also, employees will focus on their external tasks rather than waste their time with internal processes. Retired people, who are mostly elderly, were also considered in this strategy, as benefits collection had to be done in each branch rather than the HO. This would save them from the need to travel long distances or get affected by any delay of benefit collection.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
By having a gradual transformation plan, employees accepted the newly introduced system very smoothly. The solution had to be easy to use by all employees which wouldn’t require many employees to operate it in the future. The IT department has even automated most of the operational tasks of the system, where they wouldn’t need more than few employees as system admins.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The implementation of the strategy had to take many aspects into consideration and had to follow a sequential process. First, the team had to evaluate and study different digitalization solutions and release an RFP accordingly. Based on the software selected, the team had to identify the proper hardware infrastructure and connection between the sites, where they had to also release another RFP for the hardware. This had to be sequential as each digitalization solution had its own hardware requirement and needs. After releasing both RFPs, the team had to select the proper solution that would serve the sector to achieve its strategy considering technical and financial aspects of the proposals. Also, the team has considered the long term total cost of ownership of the project, where they have considered the expected future operate and maintenance cost of the projects. In mid-2012, both software and hardware solutions were selected, where the hardware project would need to start first to lay down the necessary infrastructure for the software that would digitalize the documents. The software selected was Document Management System based on Microsoft. Implementation of the hardware has followed the attached implementation plan. After having the hardware infrastructure laid out, software implementation and customization had to start. …. etc Eventually, A strict plan had to be applied for the actual adoption of the system. As a beginning, Mujahdeen IT department would train one employee in each branch to handle the document management system which would be responsible over sending digitalized requirements to the head office. Such gradual shift has helped to get the strategy accepted by employees, especially non educated ones. After 12 months, the IT department would train the rest of the administration employees of how to use the system.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
There were many stakeholders of this project, as it had involved all the employees of Mujahdeen sector, especially administration employees. Main contributors to the success of this project were the Information Technology Department Team who has followed the implementation plan of the strategy thoroughly. Hewlett-Packard as a Hardware infrastructure vendor was also one of the main contributors to the success of the project. AlMoammar Information System was the local system integrator who has connected the dots between the software and hardware vendors, it has also worked on the custom. Microsoft were the software vendor for this project.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The total resources who contributed from Mojahdeen on this project is 40 employees. Three employees from each division e.g. Human Resources, Inventory ..etc. Also, an employee from each branch as mentioned above. These employees were part of the transformation team and were lead by the IT department to coordinate with the local vendors.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Faster response time to requests and papers, especially at branch offices. Automated reporting features for documents and requests, flagging pending ones. Tracking Inventory Retirees don’t have the need to travel long distances to collect their benefits

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
1. The formation of a specialized working group to follow up the implementation of the strategy, which has already been prepared. 2. The formation of a working group in order to gather another observations and writes questionnaires. 3. Review what has been implemented by the weekly periodical meetings. 4. Request to assess the work of other parties before a neutral and related strategy in the field, for example: National Information Center and Microsoft Corporation.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
During project implementation there were two main obstacles: 1-project coordination with different parties: we had to align the IT Hardware vendor, IT Software Vendor, local partners, and implementation partners. This obstacle was overcome through a semi-weekly project progress meeting where we would discuss all the concerns and raise all issues and follow up with them accordingly to ensure the success of the project. 2- Resistance: employees were resistant to the change to digitalized rather than paper. This was overcome through enforcement from management for a gradual change where they have assigned a project champion in each branch.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The following are the benefits of the project: 1- Faster Processing: this initiative has helped employees to process their requests faster. A vacation request used to take around a week to be approved now it takes hours. Also, regular administrative tasks became much fast due to the digitalization of the documents system. 2- Easier Benefits Collection: it was one of the major obstacles that face elders, is the fact that they had to go to the headquarters to collect their benefits. The digitalized system has helped to ensure that each elder is able to collect his benefits for the branch that is closest to his town without the need to travel hundreds or thousands of kilometers to collect the benefits. 3- Faster response to external changes: by enhancing and fastening the internal processes, Mujahdeen employees became freed from internal barriers to focus on external and public demands. The sector became much faster to response to changes in the public security. This has helped to improve the safety levels of local citizens, as distant and bureaucratic delays were eliminated.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
This initiative has taken off around two years ago, and still in production. We believe that this initiative is sustainable on the long run as it was based on scalable solutions which can be expanded and grown as the sector needs. As of today, most of administrative employees are already trained on the system, and are comfortable with its ease of useness. This would suggest that it would be sustained for years to come. The initiative is easily transferable to similar sectors with similar initials issues and concerns,aa the systems were all built on open platforms. Question Twelve: It is

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
It was this experience as a real test for measuring trends administration and also the potential of the working group. Everyone has benefited from this initiative a great Astphadat, for example: 1. If there is a will there is a change. 2. Good planning produces a good job of it. 3. teamwork, which always remains. 4. If you are keen to meet the desires of others, make sure that this is the beginning of the success of your project.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Almujahdeen
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Majeed Jadid
Title:   IT Manager  
Telephone/ Fax:   +966 1 14021845
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   mmjaded@gdm.gov.sa  
Address:   Riyadh - King Fahd Road
Postal Code:   11125
City:   Riyadh
State/Province:   Riyadh
Country:  

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