Development of our Guiding Principles & Common Objectives
By Admin Cluster 2nd & 18th June 2009
Background in Brief
• Admin Cluster had two meetings to develop a set of guiding principles and common objectives. The aim was to create an ethos on which we would base our personal objectives and carry out our day-to-day work. The meetings also served to help Admin understand the standards we need to work towards, and deliver on, in order to meet the needs of our customers (our scientists and donors), partners (finance, HR etc)and face the challenges ahead. Steve Luby opened the meeting and highlighted the standards we need to achieve in order for PIDVS to meet its vision and face the challenges ahead (e.g. expansion of programme). The process of developing the guiding principles and common objectives involved o understanding what is meant by ‘international administration’ o analysing Admin’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats o exploring how we can tackle the weaknesses and threats with our strengths and opportunities o brainstorming the main ideas we wanted to encapsulate within the guiding principles o discussing what we personally deemed as ‘success’ in our day-to-day work o establishing the Guiding Principles o Setting our Common Objectives (which would help achieve the principles) The next step will be to o ensure that our performance appraisal objectives reflect the Common Objectives and work towards the Guiding Principles. o Establish regular team meetings o Evaluate how we are doing in 6 months time
APPRECIATION OF OUR STRENGTHS • SOME PEOPLE HAVE COMMENTED THAT WE ARE THE BEST ADMIN TEAM WITHIN THE CENTRE • WE ARE GOOD AT SOLVING PROBLEMS • WORK COLLABORATIVELY • GOOD AT LIAISING WITH OTHER DEPARTMENTS THE FUTURE • WE ARE FACING A TIME OF CHALLENGES TWO MAIN OBJECTIVES OF PIDVS • WE ARE TRYING TO DO SCIENCE THAT MATTERS – MEANING GOOD SCIENCE THAT ADDRESS GLOBAL PROBLEMS AND PROBLEMS THAT DIRECTLY AFFECT THE PEOPLE OF BANGLADESH • TRAIN BANGLADESHI SCIENTISTS KEY MESSAGE • EXCELLENT SCIENCE NEEDS EXCELLENT ADMINISTRATION • AN INTERNATIONAL LEVEL OF SCIENCE NEEDS AN INTERNATIONAL LEVEL OF ADMINSTRATION
What does ‘International Administration’ mean?
WHAT DOES ADMINISTRATION MEAN? Administration usually involves integrating the following in your day-to-day work 1. serving other people’s needs 2. expressing customer service behaviour (being helpful, efficient, communicative, creating a good image) 3. organisation and planning (e.g. tasks, space, equipment, tools, events) 4. managing finances, paperwork and procedures 5. using ICT to be efficient and accurate
WHAT DOES INTERNATIONAL ADMINISTRATION MEAN? There are three meanings we can apply here in ICDDR,B 1. an organisation is international when staff is a mix of local (Bangladeshi) and other nationalities 2. the work produced has a global impact, not just national 3. admin practices reflect the latest organisational thinking – a) demonstrating a culture of high standards b) utilising various tools and technology to aid efficiency and customer support c) outward focussed and concerned with outcomes rather than process and procedures – i.e. success is measured by outcomes, not by how well procedures are followed
Examples of the difference between administration and international administration
Administration serving other people’s needs expressing customer service behaviour International Administration Pre-empting people’s needs never say “no” - ideas to overcome obstacles People never need to chase – one request and it is done Follow-up: inform people on a continuous basis i.e. new practices, problems with procurement Creative thinking – coming up with new ideas on how to better meet customers’ needs and make admin more efficient Communicate all things related to admin matters Looking long-term and scenario planning Preparing as well as managing, creative and flexible
organisation and planning managing finances
Using technology more practically and embracing new technologies
Weaknesses A lot of ‘emergencies’-pressure Low planning by researchers We are not helping researchers to plan Communication gap between admin and researchers Researchers can have unrealistic expectations We don’t know people’s budgets when protocols submitted Budgets are not accurate and more items needed Storage space lacking The rules of other departments e.g. procurement Other depts. Will do things on the basis of personal favours and face-to-face requests Quality of vehicles Delays in reimbursements Petty cash issues-requests are too regular but procurement takes time Misspending of advances Demand for PDAs and programmer needed Limited scope for promotion Limited in our training Office space Distance between Centre and Moyeen centre – coordination Threats Funding collapses- get notice from HR! No job! Low job security –recession & ICDDRB in deficit means core funds cannot absorb us and redeployment of project staff is lower priority to core staff. No promotion – affects morale Behavioral issues – actions which undermine admin staff such as complaining to Steve & Emily, cc-ing senior managers, attitudes towards administrators Status culture Staff turnover (of researchers) Complacency among staff – feeling that there is no need to improve PIDVS growing very fastadmin may not cope –more complaints-lower scientific output-lower funding-job insecurity Strengths Knowledge and kills Experience Commitment Team spirit!!! Good interpersonal relations & liaise successfully Good office set-up Capacity to learn Willingness to get things done Problem-solving Deal with emergencies Creative thinking and abilities Good technical skills (IT experts, financial, management, Bangla-English abilities, research experiences and HR understanding) Very positive attitudes Good staff line management Top management support HSB – pre-press processing and dissemination Work within a good environment ICDDR,B has a good reputation and PIDVS has a good reputation within the centre Low staff turnover (within Admin) High energy Opportunities Learning capacity and potential to develop Training opportunities to increase Systems development i.e. Office management; IT development; planning; creating bridge of communication between scientists and admin (Dostogir), staff transfer issues Resources i.e. increasing people, knowledge, funding. Funding is in pipelines – will increase our ability to plan more effectively and strengthen team and resources Moyeen centre – allows us to increase staff and offers space New admin staff: SSE and Administrative Asst Centre – more space being developed We can rely on future management support Our efforts have an impact on the people of Bangladesh.
Brainstorming ideas for guiding principles
Best use of our resources Ensure effective and smooth programme support Quality team Best services within limited resources Efficient team and team spirit Good combination of team (good mix of skills) Positive thinking, positive behaviour Quality work Focussing on science that matters Understanding admin policy To enhance our own technical knowledge Overcoming our own gap in understanding programmatic side of things Overcoming communication gaps Training – all aspects We have a role to play in training scientists Facing emergency situations and solving problems regularly Ensure compliance Good financial management
Examples of what we deem as success
Satisfaction of our scientists with our services (100%) The failure of our scientists is our failure. The success of our scientists is our success too. Good results from study Effective burn rate Smooth running of office When people stop cc-ing!! When our interpersonal relationships enable us accomplish and deliver together
I. II. We are a team committed to ensuring effective and smooth programme support We treat each other as valued colleagues
III. We will provide the best service within limited resources IV. We will face challenges with creative thinking, positive behaviour and applying our collective skills and knowledge
We will act with integrity on all matters
VI. We will ensure compliance in all aspects VII. We will ensure the best use of ICT
Objectives To ensure complete logistics support Procurement requirements met and received Sound financial management Smooth HR process Capacity training of all our scientists Learning and developing ourselves Ability to troubleshoot People are using ICT Smooth arrangements for visitors, interns, fellows, new staff Utilising best use of office space How can we measure this Assess punctuality, comfort, appropriate for needs and type of activity Goods and services received, timely and in good condition Ensure planning, timely reporting, demonstrating compliance Aiming for efficient hiring, extensions, promotions, transfers Developing and carrying out training; communicating messages clearly and ensuring these are understood Seek personal feedback; use appraisal performance as a tool for development; attend training; go into field Speed of our response planning; training; observe successful use of ICT; offer real time support Lodging, transport, orientation, introductions, desk setups prior to arrival Space for stock, people and conditions are adequate.