Managing By Project with Davis & Dean

Managing By Project with Davis & Dean

Practical project management experience is difficult to gain in a classroom. Ideally, we would like our project management teams to have prior experience however, this is not always possible.

Davis & Dean, project management training experts, have developed Managing By Project (MBP), an extensive workshop where students are able to navigate through online project management scenarios, combining both the science and art of project management.

i-Fundi has partnered with Davis & Dean to give students a holistic training experience when completing their Project Management NQF 5 qualification. The three-day workshop is built into the 12 month programme where students take the concepts and principles taught and put them into practice.

MBP is a simulation of actual management processes programmed in artificial intelligence allowing participants a complete, realistic experience. Projects unfold differently based on each learner’s decisions upon randomised situations. Learners have a realistic experience applying the principles of project management.

The MBP workshop achieves the following outcomes:

  1. Core Skills Integration: –
    Integration of leading, managing and team work as learnable soft skills that each student develops.

    • Leadership: Building strong relationship with relevant stakeholders to later leverage off;
    • Management: Planning, organising and controlling project approach with a time-phased and task-oriented approach;
    • Teamwork: Introduction to science of teamwork and develop teamwork skills for a high-performance team.
  2. Project Fundamentals: –
    Fundamental project planning tools.

    • Project definition: defining the scope of work;
    • Task List: tasks to achieve project objectives;
    • Work breakdown structure: List of tasks are grouped or ordered;
    • PERT: Relationships between the tasks are defined and the critical path found;
    • Gantt: project timeline developed from PERT diagram, start to finish.
  3. Analytical Techniques: –
    Applying analytical techniques during the iterative process of planning, executing and monitoring and control to overcome project deficits and take advantage of opportunities.
  4. Stakeholder Plan:
    Identifying stakeholders and their interest and influence to develop a stakeholder plan which then is implemented through workplace simulation.
  5. Communication Plan:
    Developed alongside stakeholder plan, followed through project implementation.
  6. Human Resource Planning: –
    Ensure optimal usage of available resources through a levelling exercise.
  7. Financial Plan: –
    The human resource plan together with additional budgetary items are developed into a financial plan using a bottom up and top down process.
  8. Project Implementation: –
    Planning reports are generated, results analysed and control tools updated on a weekly basis.
  9. Project Reporting: –
    Effective project reporting from task managers to projects teams, thereon to management.
  10. Project Controls: –
    Additional control tools are introduced for maximum effect.
  11. Risk Management and Contingency Planning: –
    Integrating risk management and contingency planning exercise.
  12. Project Management and Leadership: –
    Level, timing and influence of management and leadership principles.
  13. Project Monitoring and Control: –
    Key Performance Indicators established are used in managing the monitoring and control processes.
  14. Project Closure: –
    Complete necessary administrative duties and prepare final project report.

Proposed Changes to BBBEE Codes of Good Practice

The proposed amendments to the DTI Sector Codes were issued for public comment on the 29 March 2018. Many companies are struggling to maintain their existing scorecard levels under the amended codes, let alone now understand these proposed amendments. Join our next Community of Experts event led by Reabetsoe Nengwenani, Technical Specialist at the BEE Chamber to understand what these proposed changes mean as well as the resultant impact on your business if gazetted. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions to the BEE Chamber in this regard in order to clarify your understanding.

Programme outcomes

  • Introduction to Ifundi  and Ubuntu initiative ( 9.00-9.30am)
  • Discussion on the Proposed amendments to the BBBEE  codes(9.30-10.30am)
  • Q and A session with Industry Technical Expert (10.30-11.00)
  • Presentation by Anusha Mariemuthu on BEE Chamber ( 11.00-11.30)
  • Closing

Speaker's Details

Reabetsoe Nengwenani, Technical Specialist at The BEE Chamber holds a  B Com Accounting Degree (WITS), B-BBEE MDP (Unisa), Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (WBS). Reabetsoe has extensive experience in B-BBEE transformation with previous experience in consulting and Transformation lead at a IT multinational company and also serves as a Trustee Member  on a Board Based Black Empowerment Trust. She is passionate about contributing towards initiatives that driving Economic Development for South Africa & driving initiatives that will see economic participation and growth for those previously disadvantaged.

Anusha Mariemuthu holds a B Com(Hons)-Cum Laude from the University Of Durban Westville and is an expert in the Transformation space , specialising in skills Development. Anusha has 13 years of  specialised experience implementing  sustainable  BBBEE and Transformation strategies, Change Management and Learning and Development.

Data tracking is the golden thread for SDFs in 2016

By: Nyeleti Machovani, Elmarie Esterhusye

Skills Development Facilitators (SDFs) are inundated with deadlines and reports that they must submit. Keeping in mind the challenges that SDFs face, Elmarie Esterhuyse, the Gauteng Regional Chairperson of the Association for Skills Development South Africa (ASDSA), navigated through various internal strategies, management processes and technology solutions to help SDFs streamlining their work.

Her main point of departure is the fact that companies have to report on how they comply with the Skills Development, Employment Equity (EE), and the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Acts.

Esterhuyse stressed that although each of these mentioned legislation’s is administrated by a separate government department, they do have commonalities in their annual reports such as the company’s financials, employee- and training information, but each has different focus areas and intricate compliance criteria.

pictures from Community of Experts event


The buzzword which made its presence known during the workshop was “data”.

As Esterhuyse, who has earned her stripes as the manager of the Skills Development Advisory division at EOH said:

“The one golden thread that goes through all the reports that an SDF produces is the personnel and training data (PTD).”

SDFs need to continuously ask themselves: “Do I have available, accurate, ‘on-time’, and ‘in-time’ data?” This will then allow an organisation to track throughout the year whether it is on track to meet all of its targets.

Not only is that important to know for a company. That information feeds also directly in the formulation of the various sectorial plans, government initiatives and the National Development Plan, all of which are essential for South Africa to successfully compete in today’s knowledge economy.

How can SDFs streamline their reporting and data collection?

  1. Companies need to define clearly what information is required
  2. To that end, they need to continuously monitor the external environment such as changing information requirements but they also need to stay abreast of any changes within the organisation.
  3. That requires continuous internal communication with management regarding its strategy, changes in personnel, ongoing training initiatives and suppliers that are being used.

All too often the three reports, be that the ATP/WSP, the EE or BBBEE report are treated in isolation ie they are not connected. Instead Esterhuyse stressed that they are all part of the same system. Changes in one area, will affect all the other areas.

To achieve that SDFs must understand the company’s strategy and will need to invest in technologies which enable the organisation to keep their data updated, relevant and organised. The SDF will also need to define the processes used to collect the data and clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the people involved.


Participants paying close attention to Elmarie's presentation at the SDF's Community of Experts event hosted by i-Fundi.

Participants paying close attention to Elmarie’s presentation at the SDF’s Community
of Experts event hosted by i-Fundi.


The workshop provided an opportunity to further discuss some of the predicted reporting challenges corporates experience, and those which emerged were:

  • How to turn the information contained in the three separate compliance reports into insights that can shape the learning and development plans for the organisation .
  • How to plan the information and data streams needed to comply with the three compliance reports which each have their own deadlines, multiple compliance divisions and information criteria.
  • An all-inclusive database to capture and store the required information which is extensive and constantly updated to support real time reporting of data
  • The challenge of having to work across multiple systems such as Human Resources-, Payroll and Learner Management systems
  • Companies often have financial difficulty to support all the compliance criteria technologically
  • Responsibility of the reports is often divided between different departments which could lead to timing and communication challenges, which makes it important that one internal person is put in charge in co-ordinating the flow of data.

An investigation to understand the key factors that can influence compliance to report accurate employee- and training data will be of the benefit for companies and their identified personnel tasked to coordinate the Compliance Reports (CR).

Participants of the workshop regarded the session as a highly informative platform of learning. The most valued aspects of the presentation were undoubtedly the key aspects of systems thinking between the three government entities, systems thinking, and lastly the solutions offered for the challenges which SDF’s currently face.

Click here to read more about Elmarie Esterhuyse.

BEE MATTERS: Unlock skills funds for tertiary education

The higher benchmark for training and skills development set by the new black economic empowerment (BEE) codes may provide an ideal solution to help fund tertiary education.

If entities were allowed to donate portions of their skills development spend to existing student assistance funds, they could earn BEE points and be allowed to claim the section 12H tax allowances.

No additional “wealth tax” would be needed. Big businesses have budgeted for the amounts required to bolster their BEE credentials and many battle to find ways to spend the money.

The new or revised BEE codes have been substantially cranked up in the area of skills development. Some of the most significant changes for generic entities are:

• Expenditure by generic entities with an annual turnover above R50m has been increased from 3% to 6% per financial year.

• Training expenditure must be incurred according to racial and gender demographics based on the economically active population targets for each region. Should a business operate in more than one area, the national demographic targets must apply.

Skills development is a priority BEE element. Entities that fail to conduct training for disabled employees or neglect learnerships, apprenticeships or internships will not achieve the 40% subminimum.

Very few workplaces in SA reflect both the race and gender demographics to train enough people in the right proportions to take up 6% of the annual payroll. The solution would be to train other black South African employees in the same group of companies or to look at unemployed black South Africans.

The concept of training people outside the workplace is foreign to the South African corporate environment. But they need to overcome their hesitance because the new BEE scorecard has been developed in such a way that generic entities will be required to look at training black South Africans outside the workforce and to offer learnerships, apprenticeships and internships.

Apart from the bonus points to be earned for this category of training, there is significant financial benefit in that a large portion of the cost of this category of training is tax recoupable.

This type of training also reduces the amount to be spent, given that the salary of a person on a learnership or a similar programme can be deducted in full. A simple illustration: entity ABC’s 6% calculation amounts to R800,000 to be spent on skills development and it has decided to incur the total expenditure on 12-month learnership programmes.

Deducting the salaries of black South African employees who are on the programmes would reduce the amount to, say, R500,000. Of this, about R450,000 could be recouped from tax.

It is, therefore, a no-brainer to spend R500,000 instead of R800,000 and recover R450,000.

Learnership programmes are often perceived as, or confused with, programmes of a technical nature such as apprenticeships. Programmes include office administration, venture-creation and generic management.

Some of these programmes can be presented at NQF level 1 and above, which means people with a school qualification as low as Grade 6 can enrol. There is enough learnership scope to accommodate all categories of employees and nonemployees.

If entities were allowed to donate portions of their skills-development spend to existing student assistance funds, they could earn BEE points and be allowed to claim the section 12H tax allowances.

I deal with big multinationals and domestic entities daily and am convinced that enough money would be raised to oversubscribe the amount we need for tertiary education tenfold — two of these entities have to spend R20m collectively before the end of their financial year next month.

Education, training and skills development will remain in the spotlight. There can be little doubt they serve as the starting blocks in the race to break generations of poverty. They give an opportunity to compete and industry needs a qualified, skilled and competent workforce to increase output, which in turn makes the economy grow and create jobs.

With legislation in place in the form of the BEE codes and businesses having the money available and under pressure to spend outside the workplace, leadership should link the challenge of free or affordable higher education with the solution.

A deal not to be missed.

• Gerber is an attorney and the founder and director of Serr Synergy, specialising in BEE structuring and compliance.

Article sourced: www.bdlive.co.za

What hamstrings BEE deals in financial services sector?

Article by:  Phakamisa Ndzamela

This article first appeared in Business Day and is sourced from the Rand Daily Mail.

It is common cause that black ownership in the financial services sector has regressed. Just look at the big four banks and see what is happening there. What that says to me is that the ownership targets that have been set are flawed because they can never be sustainable in a free market, or capitalist, world. In a capitalist world, ownership evolves and does not remain static.

At the same time, a number of black people are wealthier than before, thanks to deals that have matured. The only BEE shareholders that are squirming are those at African Bank Investments Limited.

However, it seems that BEE deals in the financial services sector are going to be hard to come by. Those that have been tempted to do transactions are being hamstrung by uncertainty around the “once empowered, always empowered” concept.

This issue will again test the leadership in the financial services sector. A failure to come up with solid and useful outcomes could put the entire industry at risk.

Brinkmanship is not going to assist anyone as it could toughen up attitudes. Kicking the can down the road is also not an option as it might deepen frustration in the future.

One of the underlying views of some leading figures in the sector is that any person who does a BEE deal in this uncertain environment would need to have their head examined.

Essentially, there are two schools of thought. There are those who are genuinely worried about the uncertainty about the “once empowered, always empowered” concept and want to do the deals. But they say their hands are tied.

And there are those who are insisting that doing another round of BEE deals would fundamentally amount to insanity. “We are in a very bad cycle because of this ‘once empowered, always empowered’ issue,” says one captain of industry.

“It makes it very difficult for corporate SA. The ‘once empowered, always empowered’ issue can be abused. But the reality then is that you must do deals with indefinite lock-in. But if you do indefinite lock-in, then it means the share has no value. The problem is there is no clarity and the companies don’t want to do deals,” the person said.

The “once empowered, always empowered” discussion is now at the level of the financial sector council. Serious discussions are being held on the alignment of the sector code to the Department of Trade and Industry’s codes of good practice. On that platform, one is told, there is also a discussion on how the financial sector is looking at the possibilities of setting aside some capital resources to fund the new black industrialist agenda driven by the government and the Black Business Council.

One of the issues relates to ownership. The ambition is for black ownership to sit at about 25%. Out of that 25%, it is said that direct black ownership should amount to 10%, while 15% should be indirect.

As things stand, there is no big-four bank in SA that is close to the target. The closest to the 10% direct control target is FirstRand, with about a 5% black holding through BEE trusts. Standard Bank’s direct black ownership is at about 2% and Nedbank’s is at about 1.4%. Barclays Africa Group has nothing — the consortium of black shareholders sold everything there.

So what is to be done?

My view is that those who simply hired key individuals with the intention of enriching a few must be asked nicely to now spread the wealth to the masses. The reason for this call is that enriching a few was selfish and was done in bad faith.

Those whose BEE structures were bona fide and went on to touch the ordinary masses in the most meaningful way must be given another empowerment task, and perhaps not at ownership level. By bona fide, I mean those who did not just hire politicians. They know who they are.

Call me a sellout, but the ownership thing of 25% is not practical because it can never be sustainable.

My view is that empowerment is a continuous process and bickering about ownership is not going to help. The debate should not be narrowed to ownership structures.

The discussion should be about other forms of empowerment. A new empowerment task must be found for the financial services sector and the ownership issue should be revisited.

This article first appeared in Business Day