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General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs’ Project Management Research Paper

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Updated: Jul 6th, 2021

Introduction

Ensuring the viability of a project and encouraging strategic initiatives is crucial for the improvement in the efficacy of the processes associated with foreign affairs. The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai requires a modification of its current framework for approaching project management. With a close focus on the concepts such as strategic initiatives, smart objectives, and the design of a coherent assessment framework that will allow taking crucial external and internal factors into account, one will be able to identify the key steps toward a gradual improvement of project management within GDRFA.

The goal of the paper is to determine the key factors that contribute to an improvement in the overall efficacy of project management at GDRFA. Furthermore, the available options for managing projects within the company will have to be studied. The information identified in the course of the analysis will be used to determine the ways in which the existing framework can be improved.

Literature Review

When considering the methods of improving project management, one must revisit the approaches used for handling the strategic planning within an organization (Stretton, 2017). The design of a strategic portfolio will cause a steep rise in the levels of GDRFA’s performance. In this regard, the development of strategic objectives as part and parcel of the company’s portfolio needs to be deemed as a necessity. To be more specific, the organization must determine smart (i.e., specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound) objectives for its further functioning (Cooke-Davies, 2017). The specified step will imply encouraging staff members to develop the propensity toward innovative thinking.

Moreover, transparency must remain at the top of GDRFA’s priorities list. The specified step will lead to not only a significant drop in the chances of corporate fraud but also a sharp rise in the rates of multidisciplinary cooperation within the company. As a result, staff members will share experiences and knowledge to maintain the information flow consistent and acquire new skills (Wanner, 2014).

Anbari, Cioff, and Forman (2010) also warn that there is the necessity to coordinate the smart objectives set for the organization with the leadership strategies that are deployed within its context. The dissonance between the corporate goals and the applied leadership approach may create significant hindrances to the management of a project, which, given the wide range of external factors defining its success, is going to lead to drastic outcomes for GDRFA.

Considering the production processes that occur within the context of GDRFA from the perspective of the product life cycle framework should also be regarded as a possible addition to the set of tools used at GDRFA. Combined with the Analytical Hierarchy Process, the specified framework will serve as a decent method of detecting general tendencies in the levels of quality management within the organization (Anbari et al., 2010).

The specified design provides the leader of an organization with a chance to establish a much more rigid control over the crucial operations that occur within the company. The production processes at GDRFA should be scrutinized especially closely since the current quality levels could use a vast improvement. It could be argued that the strategy does not leave many options for establishing flexibility in decision-making, yet the enhancement of productivity levels and the following rise in the quality of the project outcomes will entail a rapid growth in the efficacy of project goals’ implementation. Thus, crucial objectives will be met, which will allow addressing some of the current issues associated with forming affairs, especially in the area of trading and finances. Therefore, the use of the framework that integrates planning, management, careful supervision, enhancement of motivation, and use of innovative solutions will have to be considered (Giri & Lambert, 2009).

The specified design will imply correlating the objectives of newly designed projects with the values of the organization. The subsequent transformation of the strategic plan into the framework for meeting the needs of all stakeholders involved and reinforcing the significance of corporate values in the environment of the organization (Anbari et al., 2010). At present, GDRFA needs both an improved quality management approach toward handling its projects and a cohesive set of guidelines for keeping its priorities aligned. However, for this purpose, a redesign of the existing quality management framework will be required.

Strategy and a portfolio of projects

The strategic plan of GDRFA contains various objectives and key performance indicators that are undertaken to achieve the vision and mission of the organizations. There is a number of strategic initiatives in the strategic plan that are undertaken for the purpose of achieving the strategic objectives in the organization and are monitored and managed as one portfolio by the strategic department in the organization.

Those strategic initiatives are chosen by the higher management during the administrative retreat after looking at all of the inputs provided by the strategic department from SWOT analysis, stakeholders meetings, comments, needs, as well as the government directions and needs.

A lot of strategic initiatives are listed while brainstorming in the administrative retreat, and then top strategic initiatives are chosen by voting.

Decomposing strategy to programs and projects

After choosing the strategic initiatives during the administrative retreat, the strategic department selects a team leader for each strategic initiative, then the team leader selects the team members according to their experience and importance to achieving the strategic initiative objectives. The strategic team then starts to choose appropriate projects for the program as needed to achieve the strategic initiative.

The power of innovation has led to the development and facilitation in monitoring and managing the strategic programs in the organization for the programs teams and satisfy the stakeholders with the results.

Alignment concepts and approaches

The risk is found in GDRFA’s strategic department policy, as mentioned previously in the literature review, is that there’s no specific criteria or method that is used to align the programs and their projects with the strategic objective and ensure that the chosen strategic initiatives are the best of all the alternatives to achieve the strategic objective. Therefore, appropriate decomposition of the programs to projects is necessary.

As the lack of appropriate decomposition is evident in GDRFA, it affected various aspects of the organizational strategy negatively, thus, the program objectives and results were not achieved, some of the key performance indicators that were supposed to be met by undertaking the programs were not attained, therefore, valuable resources were wasted.

The gap of not aligning the programs with the strategic objectives causes difficulties in managing the interdependencies and interrelations between the projects within the programs. This risk prevents the organization from managing the programs and achieving the objectives efficiently and effectively.

Alignment concepts and approaches

Critical success factors and key deficient factors

Critical Success Factors

One of the critical success factors (CSF) to be considered when aligning the programs and projects to the organizational strategy is using the integrated strategic management framework (ISPMF). The model works by linking three main processes shown in figure-1. The model addresses the gap and guarantees program success while focusing on the execution of the strategic plan through project management.

Another CSF that GDRFA defines for the success of the alignment between the strategic initiatives and strategic objectives is that the initiative has to achieve the target of the key performance indicators and achieve its benefits.

In addition, in order for the program to be successful, it has to satisfy the stakeholders, achieve their expectations and meet their needs. Moreover, the program goal has to be SMART to influence the project positively to lead to its success. Another factor is to formally establish a trusted and experienced project team that is interested and willing to work hard to achieve the program objectives. In addition, the top management has to support the methods and criteria used to align the programs with the strategic objectives.

Key Deficiency Factors

Some of the key deficiency factors (KDF) in aligning programs to the strategy include the lack of criteria that is used to align the programs and their projects with the strategic objective.

Another key deficiency factor is if the strategic initiative doesn’t achieve the key performance indicators it was supposed to achieve, as well as not achieving its benefits.

In addition, failing to meet the stakeholder’s needs and expectations, therefore, dissatisfying them. Furthermore, uninterested and inexperienced program and project team. Finally, failing to set SMART program objectives will create difficulty in achieving the strategic objectives of the organization.

Selecting the right alignment and approach in GDRFA

Because of the lack of criteria or methods used to align the programs and projects to the organizational strategy, using the integrated strategic management framework (ISPMF) mentioned previously is the best according to PMI. (SOURCE)

Case demonstration

Even though there’s no specific method or criteria that ensure the alignment between the strategic initiatives and objectives, the strategic team has a risk register and risk management plan for each strategic initiative on its own.

The risk management plan includes every possible risk that may occur during the execution of the program. The risks are identified using SWOT analysis, PESTEL analysis, qualitative analysis, and quantitative analysis.

After identifying the risks, impact weights are assigned to each risk from a scale from -1 to -5, where -1 is a low impact, and -5 is a high impact. Then the probability of occurrence weights is assigned from 1 to 5, where 1 is a low possibility, and 5 is a high possibility.

When the weights are assigned for every risk, the prioritization matrix takes place to prioritize the identified risks according to the probability of occurrence and the impact.

Finally, with the experience of the strategic department, the risk management department, and the parties that are experienced, preventative actions are noted down for the prioritized risks to decrease the possibility of its occurrence, along with solutions for each risk that the program team might undertake if the risk ever occurs.

Assessment of GDRFA’s Risk Management Plan

Process 1 Planning risk management
Assess Advantages Most of the risks are clearly outlined.
Disadvantages Some predictable risks are hard to analyze.
Criticize Limitations There are unknown risks with unknown impacts.
Shortages Lack of information resources.
Deficiencies Some risks are hard to handle.
Suggestions for improvements Leaders should pay attention to possible threats and come up with evidence-based approaches and provide the needed training.
Process 2 Identifying risks
Assess Advantages Identified risks are defined and described efficiently.
Disadvantages It is impossible to categorize all risks.
Criticize Limitations Some risks are unknown.
Shortages Available data might be insufficient.
Deficiencies Some risks are hard to tackle.
Suggestions for improvements The agency can collect more data to identify potential risks.
Process 3 Performing qualitative risk analysis
Assess Advantages The features of known risks are recognized and analyzed.
Disadvantages The features of unpredictable risks are usually hard to determine.
Criticize Limitations Some of the data is inaccurate.
Shortages Lack of adequate information on unpredictable risks.
Deficiencies Unavailability of data.
Suggestions for improvements Project managers should engage in continuous learning and training in qualitative risk analysis to help the department managers to contribute to accurate qualitative risk analysis.
Process 4 Performing quantitative risk analysis
Assess Advantages The features of known risks are recognized and analyzed.
Disadvantages The features of unpredictable risks are usually hard to determine.
Criticize Limitations Some of the data is inaccurate.
Shortages Lack of adequate information on unpredictable risks.
Deficiencies Unavailability of data.
Suggestions for improvements Project managers should engage in continuous learning and training in qualitative risk analysis to help the department managers to contribute to accurate qualitative risk analysis.
Process 5 Planning risk responses
Assess Advantages Essential actions are undertaken to respond to risks.
Disadvantages Some threats have bearable negative impacts on different departments.
Criticize Limitations The impact of some risks might be unknown.
Shortages Some perils have complex impacts that are hard to deal with.
Deficiencies Some of the risks are uncontainable.
Suggestions for improvements Monitoring risks that impact the workflow is necessary.
Process 6 Controlling risk
Assess Advantages The identified risks are monitored.
Disadvantages Some risks still affect the organization.
Criticize Limitations Some risks have an unknown effect.
Shortages Some risks have a negative influence that is not possible to monitor.
Deficiencies External risks are uncontainable.
Suggestions for improvements Monitoring risks that impact the workflow is necessary.
Overall project risk plan assessment:
Conclusion GDRFA has an effective risk management plan that contains all the identified risks.
Recommendations More data on the risks with negative influence should be collected.
Lessons learned Some risks are anonymous. This gap makes it difficult for the organization to deal with such risks.

Recommendation

The proposed study of aligning the strategic initiatives with the strategic objectives in GDRFA is expected to suggest some improvement recommendations for better strategy execution and risk management.

We recommend GDRFA use the integrated strategic management framework (ISPMF) to align the strategic initiatives with the strategic objectives for better strategy execution.

In addition, we recommend the organization train the program team on the best practices of program management for better alignment and execution of the strategy.

Moreover, it is recommended that the project team is trained to identify and handle the risks of the project and the methods used to prevent the negative impacts of risks.

Furthermore, it is suggested that the stakeholders are involved in the risk identification process to have an overall risk management plan.

Finally, it is recommended that undefined risks should be perused diligently using evidence-based data to improve the organization’s risk management plan and deliver positive results. Therefore, the result and benefits of the programs will meet the needs and expectations of stakeholders.

Conclusion

Because of the lack of connection between essential project management processes and the goals thereof, the current performance of GDRFA could use certain improvements. The introduction of smart objectives, a coherent project management framework, and the promotion of strategic initiatives are expected to have an impressively positive effect on the performance of GDRFA. Particularly, projects implemented in the context of the organization will lead to a massive enhancement in the use of the available data and communication with the participants of the global political dialogue. Furthermore, a comprehensive strategy for assessing risks and responding to them is imperative for the proper functioning of the organization in the ever-changing global environment. With the specified issues in mind, one will be able to boost the performance levels of GDRFA significantly.

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IvyPanda. (2021, July 6). General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs' Project Management. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/general-directorate-of-residency-and-foreigners-affairs-project-management/

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"General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs' Project Management." IvyPanda, 6 July 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/general-directorate-of-residency-and-foreigners-affairs-project-management/.

1. IvyPanda. "General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs' Project Management." July 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/general-directorate-of-residency-and-foreigners-affairs-project-management/.


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IvyPanda. "General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs' Project Management." July 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/general-directorate-of-residency-and-foreigners-affairs-project-management/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs' Project Management." July 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/general-directorate-of-residency-and-foreigners-affairs-project-management/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs' Project Management'. 6 July.

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