i-Fundi Customer Solutions

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.

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

Empower your staff, improve your outputs

Computers are an intergral part of professional work environments, yet many employees have limited PC skills, gained with little formal training. As a result, valuable time and money is wasted struggling with simple tasks. Empowering your staff with training in computers can dramatically improve productivity and the quality of business deliverables.

We invite you to explore our accredited programme and contact us​ to discuss your computer skills training and learnership requirements.

National Certificate: End User Computing NQF 3 

The National Certificate: End User Computing programme provides a comprehensive introduction to the basics of computers and the Microsoft Office suite of software packages. The programme is suitable for new or existing staff wanting to gain a solid foundation in IT. It can be offered as a full qualification learnership programme, or delivered as modular-based short skills programmes.

Programme outline and outcomes:

  • Computer basics
Understand the components and features of computers and gain competence in core IT elements, including software, hardware, the Windows operating system and computer networking.
  • Word
Competently develop quality Word documents using a variety of tools, including text and page formatting and design techniques, templates and keyboard shortcuts.
  •  Excel
Set up and format Excel worksheets and workbooks, sort data, perform calculations and display information as graphs or charts.
  • PowerPoint
Use the various PowerPoint design, multi-media and presentation management functions to develop and deliver professional presentations.
  •  Access
Confidently set up, populate and manage data on an Access database.
  • Outlook
Use all key Outlook functionalities for email, meeting and diary management.
  • About  i-Fundi 
 i-Fundi is a private Further Education and Training institute, registered with Umalusi and the Services SETA. We offer a range of accredited qualifications and skills programmes and end to end learnership management services for businesses wanting to up-skill new or existing staff.
Having managed nearly 10,000 learners for some of South Africa’s leading companies, we have the skills and experience to help your business succeed. i-Fundi is a Level 1 Certified Contributor (135%) in terms of the BBBEE score card rating.
For more information on our range of programmes, or to schedule a meeting, contact us. Alternatively, call us on 0861 678 882.

Cold Calling Revisited: What if Sales is Not a Numbers Game?

Why revisit your thinking around cold calling?

Written by: 

For years, we’ve been told that sales is a numbers game. I remember back in the day when I started selling, there was a plan: call 10 people, see 3 and close 1 deal! If you wanted to earn more, you called more people….

Pipeline dreams

All you needed to do was to fill your pipeline with an endless supply of suspects. And then, a certain percentage of them would miraculously turn into prospects, and ultimately customers – if you were persistent enough.

Lots of people still believe that. I’m not convinced. And, I’m dead serious – especially when what you’re selling requires buyers to stop and think before they invest or make a change.

Salespeople who have tons of potential opportunities tend to run through them as fast as they can, hoping to close a quick deal. They rarely engage in the right conversations, challenge customers thinking or offer new insights. They’re too eager to find the hot prospect and make an easy sale. But usually, they’re just brushed off – and they should be, because they’re just in it for themselves.

What Top Sellers Do

On the other hand, top sellers play a different game. They’re not pounding the phones or sending email blasts to poorly qualified lists. Cold calling is not part of their game plan.

Instead, top sellers know who their best prospects are and they focus all their sales efforts there. They also know which trigger events change an organisation’s priorities and loosen the grip of the status quo. These top sellers investigate their customers, learn about their customer’s lives and businesses and then find a clever way to engage.

For top sellers, fewer is better. Now most people think that’s heresy. It’s not. Actually, it’s what’s called “smart selling”.

  1. Less is more is because,  you have time to research prospects and their companies.
  2. Less is better because you can identify areas where your products or services could have an impact.
  3. Less is better because you can craft messaging that piques curiosity and gets responses.
  4. And finally, less is better because you can ensure each interaction is worthwhile – from your prospect’s perspective.

So why don’t you for the next month stop going after the numbers and try something different. Take the “Less is Better” challenge.

Article sourced: http://bit.ly/1LbUcfD