Based on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Vision 2030 to increase productivity and performance based management through digital transformation, the King Saudi University 2030 Strategic Plan included the use of digital technology for its quality and accreditation management with the aim of moving to a paperless environment by 2020. To fulfill the national and institution vision, the 2010 manual based KSU-QMS (Quality Management System) quality-information-planning trio which is paper heavy in documentations and evidences was migrated to the 2017 electronic KSU-QMS linking quality & accreditation management and planning management via information management. In this innovative best practice, KSU is one of the first in KSA to go paperless pledging the national vision to increase productivity and performance management through digital transformation through its innovative integrated electronic process and system for quality management improving on mundane practices.
Three levels of users benefitting from the eKSU-QMS are: (1) Individual level when the faculty prepare their semestral Course Specifications & Reports (CS/CR) for each section taught as common fields in these two reports are electronically integrated reducing minimal tedious replicated inputs. This brings about time/efforts reduction, greater productivity, better monitoring & management of each course performance; (2) Programmatic level where the Program Quality Committee produces the annual Program Specification & Report as aggregated and integrated from all CR, statistics & KPIs computations as these are extracted directly from source systems, computed and processed as final KPI performance that includes the 7 mandatory surveys. All these bring about lower quality fatigue, higher productivity by committee, program performance analysis and management that are aggregated into collegial and institutional performance. These increased motivations, satisfaction, productivity, monitoring and management efficiencies & effectiveness, thus saving cost.
The turning point was in 2016 when KSU conducted its whole self-study process for its re-accreditation that was input, processed, completed & submitted within a short time of 8 months (from February to September 2016) by a total of 150 faculty divided into 13 SSRI team writers and 1 integration team that has oversight of all the whole SSRI consistency and coherence in analysis with supporting evidences and write-ups through 3 sets of reviews and feedbacks over the 8 months. The draft was reviewed by 3 independent reviewers in 3 countries before the final October submission and review by an international panel appointed by the national accreditation agency. All these were done electronically and on the online system as all submissions were paperless. The official commendation # 3 from the panel of reviewers was “KSU is commended for its foresight in the development of its integrated electronic Performance Management System (ITQAN)”, testifying to a seamless paperless highly productive, ease of uses, reviews, monitoring and management that increased individual and team efforts efficiencies and effectiveness. No comparable benchmarked system is found, and the ITQAN 2020 was lauded by the Ministry of Education as an exemplary innovative QMS and is widely sought by other institutions in KSA as they subscribe to the same national accreditation requirements in quality & accreditation and planning requirements.