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.

Financial year-end learnership specials

Is your company on track to meet its BBBEE and WSP targets for Skills Development this financial year-end? It’s not too late to boost your scorecard and build talent by enrolling staff on learnerships now.

i-Fundi offers over 15 accredited qualifications and 100 short courses that cover the most common technical skills needed by business. Programmes can be run in-house, or at our centrally-located campus, commencing in April.

We invite you to take a look at some of our popular qualifications and contact us to discuss discounted year-end rates and getting started.

National Certificate: Business Administration NQF4

Admin New Size

Every business needs an efficient team of office administrators to provide support on projects and business tasks. The role of an office administrator in an organization is significant because they ensure that senior staff can work efficiently and effectively.

Empowering your admin team with this professional qualification helps them to:

  • Deal with customers
  • Manage service providers
  • Deal with fraud
  • Control stock and fixed assets and much more

Read more

National Certificate: Project Management NQF4 


The project management approach has become an important part of running the modern economy. It is used extensively in business, construction, engineering, manufacturing, the public sector, the military and NGO’s to plan, manage, control and evaluate projects.

This qualification provides a solid grounding in the theory and practice of project management to improve the quality of your organisations key programmes.
Read more

National Certificate: Generic Management NQF4

Transformation V5

Are your managers operating at peak performance? Effective management is the cornerstone of any thriving business. People get promoted into managerial positions because they excel at what they do, but often they have not received adequate training in the principles of management, including delegation, communication and leadership. Lack of these critical skills can lead to stress and poor personal and business performance. Through this qualification, your senior staff gain skills to:

  • Comprehend the principles of management
  • Set goals and make the right decision
  • Lead people to success
  • Communicate effectively
  • Motivate individuals and teams  

Read more

About i-Fundi

i-Fundi is a private Further Education and Training institute, registered with Umalusi and the Services Seta. i-Fundi is a Level 2 Certified Contributor  in terms of the BBBEE scorecard rating. We offer end-to-end learnership management services for business wanting to up-skill existing staff, or train new-hires. Having managed nearly 10,000 learners for some of South Africa’s leading companies, we have the skills to help you succeed. 

For more information about our programmes, or how to implement learnerships in your organisation, contact Reggie Leseane: reggie@i-fundi.com, or telephone 0861 678 882 / 011 290 5900.

A helping hand goes a long way!

There is a saying by James Keller which says, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle”.

Siphiwe Ngwenya (23) is a prime example of a young man who has risen above the challenges he’s faced in life, not solely of his own doing, but through the care and help of several guiding hands.

After graduating with an NCV certificate, Ngwenya was faced with a financial stumbling block, which meant his hopes of enrolling to a higher education institution were somewhat derailed.

He chose to remain undefeated by the predicament, and applied for what would be his first job, in 2012 at a UTI Warehouse. It was through this opportunity which the young man heard about African Bank’s learnerships.

“The turning point in my life was when I actually completed my 12 months learnership via I-Fundi Customer Solutions and became permanently employed by African Bank as supervisor, from being a consultant”, he says.

“When I think of people who have shaped my life, outside of my mother, I think of a woman called Ros Rome, who worked as a facilitator at i-Fundi. I admired Rome’s work ethic, and the woman encouraged me to have a target driven mentality. I have carried what she taught me to this day”, he says.

“I looked up to my facilitator because she believed in my abilities and made me believe that I could achieve- and so I did”, he continues.

African Bank’s Learnership Manager, Karmini Pillay (28) has been employed at African Bank for five years.

Pillay, in her position as Learnership Manager recognises the importance of being a mentor to the pupils, as she herself was groomed by another to finally take up the position of Learnership Manager and facilitator.

“I had a wonderful mentor whom I admired deeply and will forever be indebted to”, she explains. That woman was so strong, yet soft – in a motherly and nurturing manner. Her name is Esmë Britz. She absolutely changed my life and career path, as I became her successor when she left the post”, she says.

“At African Bank, learnerships have become entrenched in the company as the only way in which we recruit our employees”, says Pillay.

Pillay says that African Bank launched the unemployed learnership programme in 2011 and it has been a, major success. “Not only do learnerships lower the company’s attrition rates, and contribute to the unemployment rate in the country at large, the very good news is that – of the pupils who go through our learnerships, we have recorded an average of 77% hire rate through the years”, she says.

“I love the fact that as a company, we are invested in community growth. Learnerships are not just an easy way to increasing our BEE scorecard, – to the contrary. We implement strategies which will shape the future of South Africa. Beyond that, I love waking up knowing that I will be a mentor- a positive guide in someone else’s life”, she concludes.


Stand a chance to win a bursary with i-Fundi!

i-Fundi would like to offer a learnership bursary to one deserving person. You are invited to submit a motivational letter of no more than 350 words, motivating why you should be awarded the opportunity to be placed in a learnership with one of the host employers in our database.

Three lucky winners will be announced and placed in a 12 month learnership. The announcement will be made on Monday, August 31, 2015. i-Fundi staff will be in contact with the three winners who best motivated their reasons why they should be selected as winners.

Email the motivational letter to: nyeleti@i-fundi.com.




Attract and Retain the Talent You Need

Attract and Retain the Talent You Need

  • Regardless of region or sector, companies are struggling to find the people they need to succeed. How is that possible in a country with millions of unemployed people?Stefan LauberStefan Lauber, the Managing Director of i-Fundi, blames the current fast food approach to Human Resource Management as the root cause of the problem. “When companies recruit, they are looking for readymade people. Candidates are expected to have a proven track record in a position that was very similar to one that is currently advertised. There is little time to prepare anyone. New staff is needed now, someone may just have resigned or a company may need new employees to fulfil a new order.”With no time to develop new talent for open positions, there is little else that companies can do but to recruit from the same limited pool of candidates. Company A will poach staff from Company B, only to lose someone else to a competing company. In the long term, this is a zero sum game, everyone loses, he said.

    It is estimated that the costs of recruiting and training an entry level person in a call centre can easily be R 20 000, not counting lost productivity and opportunities.  Companies can easily pay twice as much for senior positions not to mention the time it takes to replace senior staff.

    Of course businesses try to beat their competitors in the war of talent. Amongst the strategies that companies use, are better pay and the creation of attractive value propositions.

    What must companies consider to make their offer stand out? Research shows that potential employees are looking for growth – in terms of learning, being able to apply their skills and the opportunity to advance their career. Benefits and compensation are obviously important and so is work-life balance. Millennials also like an employer that has values with which they can identify.

    Paying more than the competition is however not necessarily going to work. If others follow suit it will simply raise the labour costs for the whole industry.

    In order for companies to succeed Lauber believes they must design clear career paths that are matched by a corresponding ladder of learning and remuneration structure. “ All too often such plans do not exist and if they do, they are not consistently communicated or implemented. In other words these plans gather dust and fail to either attract or retain staff.”

    In order for these plans to work, a company’s senior management needs to lead the charge. “At African Bank, every new employee entering the call centre is on a learnership. From there, outstanding performers, are enrolled on a supervisor qualification. All along, the company’s leadership is visible. This year alone, the CEO personally handed out over 200 certificates, taking a company picture with each of the graduates.”

    That solves another problem. There is a saying that employees do not leave companies but that they leave bad managers. Having well trained supervisors reduces attrition and improves performance.But where will a company find the time and budget to train inexperienced hires and develop new supervisors? Workforce planners need to work hand-in-hand with recruiters and trainers. Rarely are they part of the same team. Typically the latter are only brought in at the last moment to react to a staffing crisis. At this point, it will be too late to implement a proactive, lasting solution.

    Companies do have funding for such programmes, although they are not aware of it. The first place to find that funding is in the salary budget. New hires are willing to work for less. The second place where they will find savings is in the on-boarding budget. As attrition drops, recruitment and training costs decrease. And finally companies need to take advantage of government incentives, amongst them are the new Employment Tax Incentive, Learnership Tax Breaks and various SETA grants.

    “Companies can easily save up to R 50 000 per annum per person by bringing in new talent” Lauber concludes. “All it takes is for companies to become more proactive”


    Session Pic

    For your reference, please find the presentation by Stefan Lauber: Attract & Retain the Talent you Need Presentation

Decent Work in the BPO sector

Decent Work in the BPO sector

Following the Polokwane conference, decent work for all has become one of the ANC’s key priorities.*1 According to the IOL and WTO, decent work opportunites involve creating freely chosen, productive jobs for women and men; jobs that are in safe, healthy, participatory work environments and that afford them decent and equitable remuneration, social protection and, whenever possible, professional development. *2 All of the above criteria that define decent jobs can be found in contact centres because they offer:

Permanent Jobs with Good Pay

Only 25% of staff are temporary workers compared to the national average of 50% of all workers. More than half of employees stay with the same employer for more than two years.

Contact Centers pay well and provide good advancement opportunities. Average entry level salary for agents with no experience are R6561 per month. Agents with experience earn on average R8339. Salaries for supervisors raise to R12 4573 and go as high as R60 000 for top managers.

In 2008, salaries increased by 20%, a rate significantly exceeding inflation, testimony to the growth of demand in the sector and a shortage in supply of skilled people in the sector. *4

Since good customer service ultimately depends on motivated employees contact centers are typically managed according to best HR practices, in compliance with the labour law.

Basic benefits are also provided for eg, medical aid, provident fund, wellness programmes. All statutory benefits are administered in accordance with the labour relations act and basic conditions of employment.


Professional Development

Contact centers present a well defined career path. Qualifications for agents, supervisor and managers are registered with SAQA as per the National Qualifications Framework.

52% of contact centers have their training materials SETA accredited. 56% of companies train their staff for more than 10 days a year.

Apart from a career in the contact center industry, graduates can also pursue careers in: customer care, sales, marketing, IT and administration. As a matter of fact, contact center employees are sought after because of their understanding of the world of work and their exceptional communication, customer service skills and computer skills. *5


Safe and Equitable Employment

The workforce is largely representative of the population, 85% of agents and 75% of supervisors are historically disadvantaged individuals, equally distributed across both genders.

Contact center work is a white-collar profession. It is therefore safe. Each workstation is equipped with a computer. 74% of contact centers have more than 5m2 meter of space per consultants. 68% have canteens. 43% have acoustic control.

We can speak about the standards which have been developed by the contact center industry and are SABS governed. This also contributes to safety and equitable environment.

Because contact center work is not physically demanding, it is well suited for the physically disabled. 78% of contact centres have access for the disabled and 72% have special toilets. *6


Jobs That Help Reduce Poverty

The industry has created over 100’000 jobs in the last five years and is expected to generate at least that many jobs over the same period in future especially since the BPO sector is one of the key pillars of governments industrial strategy.

Ideally suited for school levers, 48% of contact centers do not require previous experience and 68% require only Matric as entry level qualification

Contact Centers can also make a contribution to rural development. Given the industry’s continuous demand for new people, contact center operators prefer to set up new sites in places where workers are readily available as is the case in rural areas. Leveraging that trend, the DTI has therefore created incentives for companies to move into designated underdeveloped areas, in order to spread the opportunity and shift the focus away from more active regions.


Multiplier Effects

Research by the Business Trust shows that for every new direct job in the BPO sector, three other indirect jobs are created. If one takes into account that the average family has four members, for every job created in the BPO industry 12 people are benefited.


The BPO sector has enjoyed robust growth over the past five years. As customers expect ever more from businesses, contact centers have hired on average 15% more people every year, growing the industry from 70 000 to 170 000 employees *7.

Traditionally, contact centers have employed inexperienced people, particularly large companies which have their own in-house training programmes. Learnerships are therefore common in that sector. Almost half of all contact centers have had learners in their businesses.*8 As companies are forced to do more with less, they are now even more open to alternative means of recruitment and training. A recent request for expression of interest into learnerships by the industry association was oversubscribed by a factor of ten. In short, learners are in demand by the industry.


Despite the current economic downturn, the sector is expected to prosper especially since the South African government has identified the Business Process Outsourcing and Off-shoring (BPO&O) sector as one of the top three priority sectors to stimulate growth within its Accelerated Shared Growth Initiative (ASGI-SA).


“Recent events would only reinforce the need to continue with offshoring. Anything that delivers cost savings will be encouraged.“ The Everest Research Institute expects the growth rate of the offshore BPO market to be tempered in the short-term, i.e., between 0-10% over the next 18 months to pick-up once again in the region of 20-30% by 2011-12, to eventually grow at 50% per annum, which is expected to lead to 100,000 new jobs *9


Given the positive prospects for creating new employment in the sector and the willingness of the sector to employ learners, the proposed project will be sustainable in the long term.


1 ANC Today, Volume 8, No. 2 •18—24 January 2008:http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/anctoday/2008/at02.htm#art1

2 International Labour Organisation: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/region/afpro/cairo/

3 BPO & Call Centre Report 2007/08, p146

4 Kelly Contact Centre Salary Survey 2008

5 South African Qualifications Authority: http://regqs.saqa.org.za/viewQualification.php?id=67466

6 BPO & Call Centre Report 2007/08

7 BPO & Call Centre Report 2007/08, Multimedia Group, 2008

8 BPO & Call Centre Report 2007/08, Multimedia Group, 2008 p84

9 Ready to Compete, The Everest Group and Letsema Consulting, Department of Trade and Industry