Criticalsuccess factors comprise of specific areas that any organization mustfunction exceptionally on a consistent basis to attain their purpose(Grant, 2016). In the case study, the organization known asEnvironmental Quality International (EQI) managed to achieve theirmission through evaluation of their CSFs. The President of EQI,Neamatalla, had noted the Siwa Oasis almost two decades ago andwanted to develop the area economically without losing thetraditional aspects of the region (Amara & Diaz, 2013).Modernization was creeping into the ancient community and he fearedthat Siwa might soon lose touch with its heritage. The first problemhe faced was developing a tourist attraction that effortlesslyportrayed the rich history of the people of Siwa. With sufficientfunding, he had to find a way of using the old-style of constructionto develop a salt lodge that would attract many tourists (Amara &Diaz, 2013). This plan was crucial since if it failed, EQI would havenot been able to complete its vision of returning Siwa back to itsglory days. The traditional style of building was being forgottenbecause many young people were no longer bothered with learning theancient crafts. Neamatalla had to look for elders within thecommunity that still had knowledge of the former skills. After eightyears, EQI had succeeded by constructing a salt lodge using thetraditional building methods. This success helped the organization tohave a firm footing in the community because more people that sawwhat EQI had achieved also begun to ape their example (Amara &Diaz, 2013).
Theother CSF aspect that EQI had to consider was ensuring that everyonewithin the Siwa community was benefiting from the developmentsprograms. The traditional practices of the residents in the region isvery strict. Men and women rarely interact outside their homes. Thus,the construction of the salt lodges only relied on men as a source oflabor (Amara & Diaz, 2013). The president of EQI had to find away for the women to earn some income. Through his sister, he managedto initiate a training program where the young women of Siwa weretaught methods of sewing and embroidery by the older women (Amara &Diaz, 2013). Within a few months, the female population began to makea living without having to associate with the men. The strategyworked seamlessly and it also re-introduced a skill that was at therisk of becoming extinct.
EQIis an organization that aims at developing areas while ensuring thatthe practices are still safe for the environment. The president ofthe company had another aspect that he had to change in Siwa for itto be possible to complete the organization’s mission (Grant,2016). The farming practices had been affected by the modern timessince many farmers used chemical fertilizers to increase their yield.Neamatalla encouraged the farmers to only plant using organic methodsand even promised to buy their harvest at 40% higher than the marketvalue (Amara & Diaz, 2013). He went further and introduced dairycows that would provide milk and also their dung could be used as anorganic fertilizer. Achieving this critical factor, was another leaptowards the dream of transforming Siwa back to the traditional lookthat made it so famous (Amara & Diaz, 2013).
ProjectBenefits, Organizational Readiness, and Risk Culture
Theprimary benefit of the project at Siwa is a holistic approach towardsbettering the lives of the people, ensuring that their culture andpractices are preserved, and the oasis is protected from the effectsof human activities. The president of EQI begun by constructing thefirst salt lodge that relied entirely on the traditional methods ofconstruction. By doing so, the masonry skills that were almostforgotten were brought back to life (Amara & Diaz, 2013). Moreyoung people began to learn the building style after they realizedthat they could earn an income through that knowledge. The projectalso put Siwa back on the map and people across the world learntabout the place. The number of tourists increased and the communitywas able to gain more revenue. The project brought more socialamenities like schools and clinics. By promoting organic agriculturalpractices, Neamatalla ensured that the oasis was protected from theeffects of chemicals and other poisonous elements that could havecontaminated it (Amara & Diaz, 2013).
Theassessment of the organizational readiness of EQI begins with itsleadership (Scaccia et al., 2015). The president of the company isfully committed to the project and he brings about innovative ideasthat all align with the goals of the endeavor. The staff that aremainly the locals are motivated by Neamatalla’s dream and passion.Many are willing to follow his directions and guidelines since theyunderstand that his intention is to improve Siwa Oasis and the livesof the people. Although the firm is rather small and they lack astrong financial backing, the little projects that they havecompleted have not gone unnoticed. Future undertakings will mostlikely be funded by larger organizations that believe in the effortstaken by EQI. The organization is, therefore, well equipped to handlethe project of transforming the entire Siwa Oasis (Scaccia et al.,2015).
Therisk culture at EQI is desirable. Under the guide of the president,every possible risk that might face the project is identified,evaluated and possible solutions are provided. Neamatalla usuallybrainstorms with his workers since he believes that many ideas aregood when trying to solve a problem (Hillson & Simon, 2012). Thepractice has helped the organization gain so much ground on itsproject of rehabilitating the Siwa Oasis.
Thefirst project risk recommendation is that the organization shouldanalyze the risk of modernization and how it encroaches upon Siwa.The project’s goal is to harmonize development in the region whilestill maintaining the traditions and customs of the people.Modernization may disrupt the work that has been done so far. Theyoung people may be influenced to discard their heritage and take upnew cultures from other areas.
EQIshould find a way that they can influence the government of Egyptinto naming Siwa as a cultural heritage site. Under the laws of thatdeclaration, the region can be protected from the influence ofoutsiders. Considering that the water table has been getting lowerover the years, the oasis may dry up in the next 50 years if the samerise in population continues.
Anotherrisk recommendation for EQI is that the president should seek helpfrom the big environmental agencies. These non-governmentorganizations like UNEP and EPA can help push for the protection ofthe Siwa Oasis. The area has been an island of refuge for thousandsof years. It would be a catastrophe if the entire oasis dries up in aspan of 100 years.
Thefinal risk recommendation relates to the price of the traditionalbuilding materials. These items are more expensive than the modernmaterials. Through the assistance of EQI and other organization, away of subsidizing the cost of the materials could be found. Once thelocals are able to afford using those building materials, more houseswill be constructed using the ancient methods. The move will fastenthe progress of the project and will also attract more tourists dueto the authenticity of the infrastructure.
InitialCategories of Risk
Thecategories of risk are grouped on whether they are external risks orinternal (Hillson & Simon, 2012).
Thefirst category of risk relates to compliance and privacy, which, isan external risk. The organization operates at Siwa and since theyalready have the permission from the local government. The risk isminimal since there are no laws or regulations that EQI is breaking.
Humancapital can be a risk or an opportunity. For the case of Siwa, it isan opportunity. EQI has used the available human resource to initiatethe project, and the arrangement has helped the organization achievesome milestones in their undertaking.
Financialrisk is internal. The organization is at a risk of running out offunds before they complete their project. However, with the currentpublicity that they have given to Siwa, many people and organizationshave heard news about the place. The increasing number of touristswill generate income from the EQI green hotels, and also many willbuy the ornaments and jewels made by the Siwa women. The publicitywill help the organization receive donations from largerenvironmental corporations.
Operationalrisk is minimal since every part of the project that has beencompleted has functioned well without any flaws. The idea of mainlyusing the locals to operate the various lodges and business hashelped the smooth daily operations.
Thefinal risk is based on the strategy. Neamatalla created a strategy ofimproving both the people and the environment of Siwa. His plans aredetailed and cover for almost any outcome. The strategic risk is,thus, minimal.
Amara,D. F., & Diaz, P. (2013). Tourism as a tool of development: thecase study of Siwa Oasis–Egypt Western Desert. Tourismas a Tool for Development, 4,45.
Grant,R. M. (2016). Contemporarystrategy analysis: Text and cases edition.John Wiley & Sons.
Hillson,D., & Simon, P. (2012). Practicalproject risk management: The ATOM methodology.Management Concepts Inc.
Scaccia,J. P., Cook, B. S., Lamont, A., Wandersman, A., Castellow, J., Katz,J., & Beidas, R. S. (2015). A practical implementation scienceheuristic for organizational readiness: R= MC2. Journalof community psychology, 43(4),484-501.