WOP: PDAM Tirta Musi & PDAM Tirta Mayang

WOP: PDAM Tirta Musi & PDAM Tirta Mayang

Kristin HeskeKristin Heske   February 23, 2016  

wop asia

Operational staff from Jambi and Palembang had already been in contact in previous years to the WOP. About ten years before the start of this WOP, Jambi had helped Palembang improving their operations and mapping all their assets through a GIS system. Ten years later the situation had reversed in Jambi and they requested help from Palembang (through PERPAMSI).


January 01, 2012 - September 30, 2016
Was the code of conduct followed?
Don't know link
Did the operators sign a formal partnership agreement?
Mentor motivations
Don't know
WOPs facilitator


PDAM Tirta Mayang - Recipient


Other supporting organizations


Non Revenue Water (NRW) management

This WOP was entirely focused on NRW reduction by the establishment of one DMA. In order to achieve this, some of the activities planned were:
- Reduce number of inlets of selected area to one in order to close the system and allow for the creation of DMAs with one single inlet
- Replace pipes where necessary (leaking);
- Replace household meters (when damaged);
- Develop an active leakage detection program.


What types of activities were carried out to help develop operator capacity?
  • Classroom training
  • Joint planning or work
  • On the job training
  • Site visits

Describe WOPs activities
The diagnosis visit was the first time mentor and mentee met as official partners in this WOP. The main objective of this visit was to validate the problem analysis that NRW Tirta Mayang developed when applied for the PERPAMSI WOP program and propose and agree on a path forward/work plan. Tirta Mayang shared with staff from Tirta Musi all information that was required to assess the original diagnostic made by the mentee. Tirta Musi mentions that very often times it is during this diagnosis visit that they realized that the problem expressed by the mentee utility was either not properly framed or tackled in an inappropriate manner. This visit is therefore very important for the mentor to assess the applicability of their 'solution' on the operational area of the mentee utility. The final decision of the focus area (for the pilot provided the problem is clear), a work plan was discussed and agreed between mentor and mentee. The development of the work plan was led by staff of Tirta Musi copying practices they had developed in Palembang before.

The relationship between operational staff is described as 'intense' by the technical director of Tirta Musi. They keep in touch via telephone, email or social media. Operational staff of Tirta Mayang confirms this. The relationship between utilities prior to the WOP was limited to the management levels, but after the WOP operational staff have developed very good relationship that allowed operational staff to communicate easily about any discomfort. The exchange of information during the WOP happened most of times in an informal manner and on an ad hoc basis.

Besides the training on technical aspects, the Director of Palembang likes to emphasis the soft skills trainings that he tries to incorporate in every WOP. For him, the best result of a WOP is if he can inspire staff of the mentee utility to work with discipline, integrity and honesty. That is not something he believes can be taught in a classroom but that is developed based on the relationship they establish with other utilities. He encourages his staff to do the same. He learned that from previous mentors in other WOPs and found it useful for the rest of his professional career and a key development for the improvement of his utility.

The trainings happened both during visits of Palembang staff to Jambi (where the demonstration of the pilots occurred) as well as during exposure visits from Jambi to Palembang. This happened three times and they were typically organized as a two day visit (1st day of general classroom presentation, 2nd day of visit to Tirta Musi installations).

Tirta Mayang has not institutionalized the knowledge received during the WOP. They currently use the material (i.e. presentations) prepared by Tirta Musi for their trainings with other utilities in the province. Internally, the knowledge of NRW reduction is transferred through a coaching system by which experienced staff transfers the knowledge to new staff. No formal booklet or guideline was developed as part of this WOP. The knowledge captured on paper is limited to the presentations prepared by Tirta Musi.


Describe the overall results
According to Tirta Musi this WOP delivered results in technical terms as expected. NRW was reduced during the WOP for the pilot area and that is the most important thing for the management team of Tirta Musi. However, they believe there have also been changes at the mentee utility thanks to the WOP that cannot be directly attributed to it. These changes have taken form in the internal communication at Tirta Mayang. The reason why they think the knowledge transfer was facilitated was because the utilities were very similar in size and in structure (both using surface water and similar geography) and the operational staff of the mentee utility was well educated according to Tirta Musi . However, the change was not able to be maintained over time and the knowledge acquired was not institutionalized. According to Tirta Musi the most important factor affecting the success of a WOP are internal factors to utilities (both mentor and mentee) such as the commitment of the staff and their relationship with external actors such as the municipality. Tirta Musi feels that in utilities similar to their size (i.e. Jambi) people already know how to execute their work but they require the support from external entities (i.e. owners) to facilitate the process of improvement.
PERPAMSI considers this WOP to be a successful partnership case because both utilities met the reporting requirements and adhered to the originally planned work plan. Most importantly, this WOP was able to show improved results in NRW upon its completion.
Tirta Mayang considers this WOP to be a very successful case. Even though the results have not been maintained (the reduction of NRW during the time of the WOP has not continued due to lack of new DMAs) over time due to obstruction from top management, they are happy with the results obtained. They are satisfied with the changes that Tirta Musi brought in (solving the internal problems) and lessons about attitude to work. The positive results registered from this partnership are attributed by both partners as an outcome of their previous relationship. Additionally, Tirta Mayang praises particularly the flexibility of Tirta Musi in adjusting to procedures and hurdles that raised along the way.

Which factors had a positive influence on the success of your WOP?
  • Appropriate partner selection
  • Relationship of individuals
  • Suitable partnership design
  • Training

Which factors impeded the success of your WOP?
  • Failure to invoke key actors
  • Lack of financing for WOPs