Ministry of Works (Bahrain): Creating A Public Sector Performance Framework

Ministry of Works (Bahrain): Creating A Public Sector Performance Framework

The Kingdom of Bahrain is an island state in the Persian Gulf. It has a population ofabout 1.3 million people and is one of the fastest growing and freest economies in the Arab world. The country has defined ambitious long term goals to shift an economy build on oil wealth to a productive, globally competitive economy in its Bahrain Vision 2030. The vision states that "Our society and Government will embrace the principles of sustainability, competitiveness and fairness to ensure that every Bahraini has the means to live a secure and fulfilling life and to reach their full potential."

To ensure the successful implementation of the vision each of Bahrain's 16 Government Ministries must ensure that its own strategy is fully aligned to the 2030 goals. Here we look at how the 1600 employee-strong Ministry of Works, which is responsible for the construction, roads and sanitary engineering sectors, and therefore the major portion of the nation's public works sector and capital asset formation, has developed a performance management framework that helps it to delivery Bahrain’s vision.

Mapping the corporate strategy

The first step was to map the corporate strategy of the Ministry of Works (MoW) onto a one-page strategy map. You can see two versions MoW strategy map below.To improve accountability and transparency, you can see from the picture that the strategy map includes the photographs of each of the objective owners.

Measures, Targets and Initiatives In order to manage and measure the execution of the strategy the MoW developed a scorecard of measures, targets and initiatives. However, targets have been set for each objective to both the short-term (one year) and long term (six years in advance).In many cases these targets represent a significant stretch.

Take the example of the objective 'highly motivated and performing staff', which is measured using indicators including staff development and retention capability. Initiatives identified to help deliver the objectives include:
• create a prestigious leadership programme to develop leaders in the public sector
• improve the quality and availability of training.

Cascaded Scorecards

Following the creation of the corporate strategy map, cascaded maps were created at sector and directorate levels. You can see the strategy map for the 'roads' sector in the figure below.

The strategy maps were also cascaded into the support services. You can see an example of the strategy map for the Human Resources Directorate in the figure below.

Establishing and Office of Strategy Management

The MoWestablished an Office of Strategy Management(OSM) to oversee and manage the implementation of the strategic performance management approach. The function now facilitates many of the processes, including the annual strategy revision, the development and refinement of metrics, the identification and reporting against the key initiatives, and the regular performance review meetings. Note that the OSM is expected to facilitate strategy management - not own it. Day to day ownership for strategy, especially its execution, had to lie with the business.

Business Plan and Progress Review Meetings

As part of its responsibilities the OSM facilitates regular business review and report progress meetings. Each quarter the strategy execution is reviewed using detailed analysis and reporting of progress using the key performance indicators. The goal of these meetingsis to assess the effectiveness of the strategy implementation and to agree corrective actions in case progress is not at the required level.

Colour-Coded Reporting

To report performance against the strategic objectives, the MoW used four colour-coded 'traffic lights':
• Red (poor performance)
• Yellow (less than targeted performance)
• Green (good or targeted performance)
• Blue (breakthrough performance)

Ideas and insights you can steal

The MoW has created simple one-page strategy maps to ensure their goals are aligned with the overall goals of the country and internally everyone is working towards an aligned set of objectives. It has then established an internal function to facilitate the performance management processes, including the measurement, management and monitoring of progress, while the ownership of the delivery remained with the business. These are all things other organisations would be wise to copy.



Written by

Bernard Marr

Bernard Marr is an internationally bestselling author, futurist, keynote speaker, and strategic advisor to companies and governments. He advises and coaches many of the world’s best-known organisations on strategy, digital transformation and business performance. LinkedIn has recently ranked Bernard as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world and the No 1 influencer in the UK. He has authored 16 best-selling books, is a frequent contributor to the World Economic Forum and writes a regular column for Forbes. Every day Bernard actively engages his almost 2 million social media followers and shares content that reaches millions of readers.

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