'Achieving excellence can save Oman money'
January 1, 2018 | 10:31 PM
by Times News Service

Muscat: The Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) has become the first institution in Oman to receive the Committed to Excellence international recognition that resulted into the conducting of ten excellence projects that will be finished and ready for deployment by January 2018.

The award was received from the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM).

The projects are expected to lead to substantial annual costs savings, and result in better work quality. In April 2018, the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) will check how the Ministry has progressed during the past eight months.

The ten projects have been developed after the successful pilot phase and second wave of the Journey to Excellence that the MoHE started in September 2017 with EFQM Self-Assessments in three Directorates General, in the Minister’s Office, and in the Undersecretary’s Office.

The start of this successful Journey to Excellence was conducted under the guidance of Dr. Karl J. Koller, international Excellence expert and EFQM advisor and trainer from the Institute for Total Quality Management (ITQM), Zurich, Switzerland.

“I am very impressed, with what has been achieved during the last eight months. The Excellence project teams are highly motivated to work in their projects. People are now ready to question unsatisfactory processes and rules in order to make them better,” Dr. Karl J. Koller said.

“The challenge will still be to keep momentum, to keep the continuous improvement in the Ministry going. For example, investing in their people through training and coaching pays off very quickly, and brings many financial benefits, “he added.

Dr. Zaid Zabanoot, Director General and J2E project leader believes that starting the Journey to Excellence was the start of transformations within the Ministry of Higher Education. “During the current phase we have a strong focus on changing the way we are working. Our customers are in the centre of our focus,” said Dr. Zaid.

Commenting on her experience, Sheikha Al Saadi, Excellence Project Team Leader from the Directorate of Scholarships said, “The Lean Project Management training from ITQM opened our eyes. We can now see more clearly, that some of our processes are no longer up-to-date.”

“In many processes we will go digital. We will design new processes that will make us proud, because the new processes will meet our customers’ needs, keep our customers satisfied, reduce process time, and last but not least, save us costs,” she said.

Improve quality

Fahad Al Amri, Excellence Project Team Leader from the Directorate of Administration and Finance explained, “We realise that we can do something more than just work—we can think how we can do our job better, how we can improve quality, increase speed in our processes, and become more efficient and effective.”

“It is our duty to make sure that we offer our customers great services, and that they are satisfied or even surprised about our services. I am excited to be part of this Excellence Journey and to support our Ministry in becoming a role model for Excellence.” Al

Amri said.

The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), a not-for-profit foundation, has developed the EFQM Framework for Excellence.

This framework is the most-used organisational framework in Europe. It is also widely used in GCC countries. Over 30’000 organisations use the EFQM Excellence Model. EFQM’s Committed to Excellence is an assessment and recognition scheme that helps organisations introduce an Excellence initiative and deliver improved results.

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