Brief Scope of the Project
The aim of this project was to develop and implement changes into the human resource management (HRM) practices and overall organizational culture of the Mubadala Investment Company. Mubadala Investment Company is a global conglomerate located in Abu Dhabi, and it cooperates closely with the city’s government. Mubadala’s impressive $229 billion portfolio spans five continents and includes sectors such as space technologies, computing, semiconductors, metals and mining, petrochemicals, utilities, healthcare, real estate, pharmaceuticals and medical technologies, and agribusiness. Still, the company’s most important sector of investment lies in the development of oil and gas industry expertise, as it presents quite the growth perspectives for the UAE. Thus, it remains crucial for the company to develop and maintain a stable, professional, and innovation-open workforce, for which the HR department is responsible. The project strives to improve the company’s existing HRM practices and organizational culture to ensure better performance and diverse approach. The project timeline sets the implementation from October 6th to October 27th, and this report will provide information on the current status of the project in action.
Project Progress and Performance
Currently, the project is in the implementation stage, and several changes were introduced into the company’s policies, along with provision of corporate training for the HR department employees. The first adjustment of Mubadala’s HR force’s operational activity refers to the organizational culture adopted in the company. Even prior to the project implementation, the HR department sought to establish an effective culture that supports innovation and motivates better performance. Kraśnicka, Głód, and Wronka-Pośpiech (2017) state that “innovation supportive culture stimulates the generation of new solutions or their absorption from the outside and contributes to the more effective implementation of creative ideas” (p. 745). Thus, organizational culture is rightfully considered one of the main components of a complete and effective management system of team motivation. Mitra (2020) supports this claim, stating that the diversity of approaches, based on communication, is the key to understanding the concepts of entrepreneurship, innovation, and development, as they are linked with people, organizations, and environment. The department’s employees were provided with new guidelines on developing and maintaining innovation-supportive organizational culture, and they participated in 4-days training to learn how to manage others in a more efficient way.
Another new practice that was presented by Mubadala’s HR department is the use of the up to date recruitment tools in the process of hiring. Modern recruitment tools help evaluate not only the knowledge of a potential employee with regards to their respective field of expertise, but also assess if the candidate’s goals and ambitions align with those of the company. By realizing and understanding a candidate’s strategic and tactical values and goals, an HR manager can greatly facilitate goal-setting and the choice of alternatives in various uncertain situations. HR department employees were introduced to the latest industry- and time-tailored recruitment technologies through a 2-day training.
Issues Encountered during Implementation
Diversity-Related Problems during Training on Organizational Culture
As the employees were coached on how to approach diversity and inclusivity conflicts in the workplace in regards to the innovation-supportive organizational culture, an argument broke. Three of the eight HR management teams insisted that the Strong Affirmative Action approach, previously employed in the company, is more suited for the company’s rather diverse workforce. Some employees argued that cultural differences do not affect employee performance, and quotas for discriminated minorities do not facilitate separation or opposition. However, and the training emphasized this point, many studies show that diversity initiatives and cultural conflict resolution strategies require a critical and more comprehensive approach. For example, Gupta (2021) specifically expresses “the need to keep the workforce engaged while taking into consideration the diverse backgrounds of employees” (p. 1). World business practice shows that companies are often faced with problems associated with people with intercultural conflicts, which often result in incorrect or belated management decisions. Roberson, Ryan, and Ragins (2017) claim that “diversity became recognized as an important contextual variable, or unit-level characteristic, which influences employee attitudes and behaviour” (p. 493). Thus, scientific evidence and a healthy discussion were able to help the trainers resolve this issue.
High Impact Organizational Culture Introduction Issue
Another problem also arose during the organizational culture training – on the 3rd day of employee coaching. It was related to the introduction and application of high impact strategy, which can be considered one of the best human resource management solutions that currently exist in the industry. The concept of high impact refers to the value of the employee’s work in regard to the whole industry. It provides a deep meaning to every action the employees perform in their line of work, resulting in enhanced motivation and a sense of meaningfulness associated with the job. For example, people working on the projects of renewable energy sources can observe the impact of their work on the economic and ecological state of the UAE. Horst and Murschetz (2019) state that “the convergence of strategy and entrepreneurship adds to organizational success through developing visions, exploring and exploiting opportunities, managing people, building networks, driving creativity, and facilitating strategic planning” (p. 1). Implementation of such a strategy in a company proves to have a powerful influence on the personnel performance.
Mubadala’s HR department has introduced the strategy of high impact into its organizational culture several years ago, thus, the employees were already familiar with it. However, the guest coach prepared a training program that focused on introduction and basic concepts of the strategy as if the managers were completely new to it. It was due to a misunderstanding that occurred prior to project implementation, at the stage of negotiating with the coaches chosen to lead the training. However, the issue was resolved by the coach himself rather quickly. After establishing that the employees already have sufficient knowledge, he proposed to discuss how it was implemented in Mubadala, what are the managers’ thoughts on it, and what they think could be improved. The results of the discussion were noted, organized, and forwarded to the HR department’s head for consideration.
Budget Status and Gantt Chart
Budget planning is a vital part of preparing and launching a project, as it provides an overview of the existing funds, potential expenses and profits, as well as the scope of the project. Determining the budget and distributing it correctly between project goals is necessary when communicating with stakeholders, sponsors, managing lead, and the staff. According to Geraldi and Söderlund (2017), “project management traditionally refers to the processes, tools, techniques, and concepts to manage the execution of the project” (p. 57). Review of budget at key milestones of the project is necessary in order to make the subsequent stages as comprehensive and risk-proof as possible. Sylvius (2017) emphasizes that the collaboration of sustainability and project management creates a new way of thinking in the field of PM. The table below presents the Gantt chart for the activities that occurred from October 6th to October 12th with pre-planned and actual budget breakdown. The Gantt chart and budget report were combined into a table to provide a better visualization of project progress and associated costs.
|Stage||Schedule and Status||Planned Budget||Actual Budget|
|1. Developing an innovation supportive and diversity positive culture (4 days)||October 6th– October 9th– COMPLETED||Coaches payment |
(3 coaches, 4 days of training, $1,421 – average coach salary per day in UAE)
|$17,052||Coach E.’s basic wage rate – $1,500 per day; |
Coach S.’ – $1,350;
Coach N.’ – $1620.
|Stationary and paper per day – $330||$1,320||Leftover stationary and paper was used on the next days||$1,000|
|Employee participation bonus – $1800 per person, 52 people participating||$93,600||One of the training days occurred during national holiday on 8thOctober, so the bonus was increased to $2000 per person||$104,000|
|2. HRM innovative practices training (2 days)||October 10th– October 11th– COMPLETED||Coaches payment |
(2 coaches, 2 days of training, $1,421 – average coach salary per day in UAE)
|$5,684||Coach D’ basic wage rate – $1750 per day; |
Coach G’s – $1630.
|Stationary and paper per day – $330||$660||Leftover stationary and paper was used on the next days||$580|
|Employee participation bonus – $1800 per person, 24 people participating||$43,200||No changes were made to the participation bonus||$43,200|
|Up to date budget breakdown||October 6th– October 12th||Planned Budget||Actual Budget|
The planned deliverables are aimed at the assessment of the training results and provision of updated plans for next actions. Among those are the key milestone evaluations that occurred after each coaching program was done, accurate timetable that outlines the current progress and future activities, and actual budget status. Moreover, as part of the project effectivity evaluation, a questionnaire is planned to be distributed among participating team leaders. The questionnaire is set to assess the changes they observe in their teams and their overall impression of the project after each key milestone.
Review of Risks
Seeing as the project has already encountered some issues during implementation, it was inspected more closely for further potential risks. The main risks include conflicts or arguments that may arise during coaching process and the training material being not fitted to Mubadala’s HRM practices and organizational culture. Thus, the overall project program was reviewed closely, and the coaches were contacted to ensure that their planned training is accurate and actual for Mubadala.
Project and Personal Reflections
I think that in the initial project planning stage, certain potential issues and risks were not accounted for, as this report shows. Originally, I focused more on the HR department’s overall acceptance of the changes and determining the aspects of the project scope that needed to be included in the final part. Thus, I have not accounted for potential conflicts and micro-management problems that occurred during the first two stages of the project implementation. However, I also believe that some complications cannot be avoided due to the fact that project applies to operating people which is a highly variable field of management. Larsson and Larsson (2020) state that “the most common management approach involves competitive procurement practices and subsequent control and surveillance during implementation” (p. 585). The problems were resolved through thoughtful and swift actions, so they did not endanger the overall success of the project. In my opinion, it is more important to focus on the qualitative performance indicators that reflect the project’s progress. The main goal was not to determine exact benchmarks and figures but to establish a firm evaluation for the most important segments, such as stage completion and budget, for example, within which indicators can vary.
Geraldi, J., & Söderlund, J. (2018). Project studies: What it is, where it is going. International Journal of Project Management, 36(1), 55–70.
Gupta, M. (2021). Management practices for engaging a diverse workforce tools to enhance workplace culture. Apple Academic Press.
Horst, S., & Murschetz, P. C. (2019). Strategic media entrepreneurship. Journal of Media Management and Entrepreneurship, 1(1), 1-26.
Kraśnicka, T., Głód, W., & Wronka-Pośpiech, M. (2017). Management innovation, pro-innovation organisational culture and enterprise performance: Testing the mediation effect. Review of Managerial Science, 12(3), 737-769.
Larsson, J., & Larsson, L. (2020). Integration, application and importance of collaboration in Sustainable Project Management. Sustainability, 12(2), 585.
Mitra, J. (2020). Entrepreneurship, innovation and regional development an introduction. Routledge.
Roberson, Q., Ryan, A. M., & Ragins, B. R. (2017). The evolution and future of diversity at work. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), 483-499. Web.
Silvius, G. (2017). Sustainability as a new school of thought in Project Management. Journal of Cleaner Production, 166, 1479–1493.