Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New performance management trends in Saudi Arabia

The beginning of February accommodated an important QPR visit to Saudi Arabia where I had the opportunity with my colleague, Tero Aspinen, to meet local QPR partners and customers. One of the highlights of the visit was meeting with PMCGA (Performance Center for Government Agencies), a QPR key customer. PMCGA carries out tasks such as measuring productivity rates of government agencies by checking the optimal use of human, financial and material resources. In effect, it is the key organization that supports Saudi Arabia’s government agencies in performance management.

QPR visits key customer PMCGA in Saudi Arabia

Reflecting on the above, interest in Kaplan & Norton’s balanced scorecard, as a strategic planning and management system, has increased in recent years in the Middle East. Demand seems to be growing especially in the public sector, where there is regulatory pressure to raise transparency and efficiency. Meeting with customers in Saudi Arabia helped us to gain important insight about the growing market opportunities within the region.

Another exciting trend is the spreading interest in Enterprise Architecture (EA). EA is starting to gain visibility in the agendas of organizations. Organizations seem to be especially interested in combining balance scorecard and strategic level performance management with EA so as to generate a holistic view of companies’ operations. The main reason for this is that EA is a discipline that covers all the dimensions that are needed to align strategy with business operations such as organizational structures, processes and It systems.

The recent change of regime in Saudi Arabia will inarguably bring about both big and small changes in governance and organizational structures in the Kingdom, including ones affecting PMCGA. But the above mentioned boost in demand for operational excellence through increased agility and efficiency is a refreshing direction.

Sakari Lapinsuo