Human Resources Management

Employees are valuable assets to any organization – without them an organization cannot function. Yet many organizations neglect to nurture and develop their human resources and suffer as a result.


There are always new things to learn and your workforce is always changing as older, more experienced people retire and younger, inexperienced people join you. That is why training is a continuous process – employees need to know how to do the jobs that you have assigned to them and keep up with new technologies.


In many countries in Africa, this health crisis affects the ability of organizations to accomplish their purposes. There are things that management can do to help control the spread of HIV/AIDS and offer support to employees who are affected by it.

Performance Management

Some organizations assign people to jobs, tell them the basic requirements of the job and leave it at that. This is not enough. Since we are all learning all the time, we can all benefit from advice on how to do better. In addition, people who have goals to achieve will normally do more than people who do not have these expectations.  

Quality Management

Quality usually does not happen by itself – it is usually the result of deliberate management actions to ensure that an organization’s products meet the needs of its customers and stakeholders. This chapter introduces various ways to manage quality.

Minimum Service Standards

To ensure that customers receive the best services possible, many organizations establish minimum standards and monitor performance to ensure that they are met. This is especially true in the water industry where water quality is so important to public health.

Health and Safety

When employees are injured, they are not able to perform at their top capability – the organization loses. Besides, we have moral obligations to take care of each other. Creating and maintaining a safe working environment is a moral obligation and helps sustain an organization.

Crisis Management

When a crisis arrives it is too late to do much about it – and the crisis may have severe consequences for your organization and your community. By preparing ahead of time, your organization will be much better prepared to respond effectively.

Standard Operating Procedures

There are the ways that people have always done things and then there are the better ways. Many organizations establish standard operating procedures to ensure that employees are working in the best ways possible.

Business Process

A business process is a coordinated set of actions that deliver value to customers. Often processes evolve informally and can be the cause of bottlenecks or inefficiencies. This chapter shows how to analyze and improve business processes.

Serving the Poor

The objective of most water systems is to satisfy a basic human need. Yet often, the poor do not have service – if they had it they would have a chance to escape the chains of poverty, malnutrition and disease. 

Non-revenue Water Management (NRW)

Many countries have high non-revenue water due to physical water losses and the administrative losses that result from water theft or inadequate record-keeping. Reducing NRW is important to the long-term sustainability of a water utility. 

Private Sector Participation

Many organizations focus on their core services and employ the private sector to provide other services. This may prove cost effective and yield better results.

Water Demand Management

This approach means deliberately taking steps to control the amount of water usage within a utility as well as encouraging customers to use water wisely. 

Information and Communications Technology

Technology advances so fast that it can make you dizzy. But technology is responsible for many improvements in the ways that we work and communicate and there are ways to manage technology to have what you need.

Customer Service

Customers are the life blood of any organization – their demand for services and payments keep an organization alive. Providing good service to customers, then, just makes sense if you want your organization to survive and thrive.

Revenue Generation

Most organizations survive because they are able to charge their customers for services and cover their costs. Water utilities are the same – while many of them are government operated, they usually have user-based fees so that people pay their fair share for what they use. Without revenues, water utilities are not able to survive.

Capital Management

A well-maintained asset will be productive for many years and provide a high return on investment. Neglected assets often fail long before their expected useful lives expire. And capital assets are normally expensive – so it makes good sense to manage them effectively.

Financial Management

Most organizations survive because they are able to provide good products to their customers at affordable prices. This does not happen by accident – financial management is one of the key aspects to make this happen.

Water Associations

Many industries have trade associations and this is also true of the water industry. Associations thrive because they bring value to their members in terms of sharing experiences, helping each other, training and standards to name a few. Most of the world’s great associations began with the efforts of a few people.

Public Involvement

The actions of many organizations affect the public – as well as customers. The public can support an organization or it can be its worst enemy.  There are ways to develop and keep public support by involving the public appropriately in decision-making.