The randomness by which this country is run gives a sense of impending doom. The myth of how the Muslim Brotherhood is organised is busted, they are only organised during elections… in how to gather their people and put them in buses to push for votes or fill up Tahrir Square. But that is where it stops. Our government is not made up of the Brotherhood, yet it is they who set the strategies and policies and put in place government priorities… is not this what the president and his office and advisers should be doing? Is it not their job to direct how the country is run? Well, myth busted brothers, you are chaotic and disorganised and in fact are an overall failure in management.
Every morning on the way to work, I get the feeling that the city was in battle the night before. Rubble fills the streets, rubbish flies in the wind, and wrecked cars line the sides of the road… and don’t get me started on traffic and air pollution. It is the morning after a war and every morning is the same! Where is the proof that ministers do in fact exist and that there are institutions with offices and employees and paper in this country? It seems like we are being tricked, like there is no one in the cabinet, they are all make-believe.
Protests are ongoing on daily basis by almost all sectors of society. Doctors, teachers, farmers, workers, students, post grad students, athletes, journalists, tour guides, government employees from the housing, petroleum and tax departments, cabinet employees, residents of areas like Manzala and Ramlet Boulaq and others. And this is not all, this is just off the top of my head. A couple of days ago, one of our reporters went to cover a protest and she stumbled upon four on her way there and there were still more except she had to get back to write the story ahead of deadline. Two more reporters were working on two other protests, and we received coverage from an additional one. On just one day!
It makes one wonder, where is the government? Is anyone going to their office in the morning… and if so, what do they do when they get there? Have tea and read the papers while the country drowns in the sewers? What have they done to manage the gas and electricity shortages, the traffic, the rubbish, the chaos of the government offices, the schools, the hospitals, the slums, the wages, the insurance… and the list of crises goes on. How much money do we pay them from our taxes and our budget, so that they can sit and watch while we drown?
What we expected of a proper government was for them to come up with quick fixes for the urgent issues, a short-term plan for the coming few years and a long-term plan for the advancement of government institutions. So far, we have seen zilch. And I believe it is absurd to say they have only been in office for a short period, this is plain nonsense. The number of plans presented to our rulers in every ministry and institution should have made their job easier. All they had to do is pick a plan they liked and start on it. There is no lack of good ideas to manage the crisis; there is only lack of will.
From a management perspective, these people are failures. Obviously not one of them has ever taken a project management course, which would seriously come in handy when running a ministry… isn’t it all about projects at the end of the day? A plan with resources, cost, a timeline and criteria of success is what is needed right now. Project management also involves risk management, quality control and organisational development. This is the recipe, plain and simple. We do not need politicians to run the government, nor do we need academics, we need project managers for our ministries. We need those who focus on delivery. But alas, we are talking to the wind.
The writer is a columnist t the Egypt-based Daily News, where this article was published on Oct. 22, 2012