I have thought of myself as a project manager for most of my career but over the past 3 years I have been able to take this skill to a much higher level.
This was achieved through my exposure to Project Management systems and the implementation thereof as well as the intensive training I received to obtain my PMP certification.
Also working for a pure Project Management company helped me to distinguish clearly between working on a project from working in the project which is crucial in maintaining role clarity.
June 2008 - May 2010
Management of a R50m project over three years to develop the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry in South Africa.
• Managed a CSIR team of approximately ten senior staff members (all with PhD degrees) to develop a research UAV.
• Identified the key global issues facing the industry - access to airspace, reliability and cost - and then solicited proposals from industry to address these major issues.
• Setup and facilitation of a funding committee to select specific projects.
• Identification of key stakeholders with regard to UAVs in the CSIR, and engagement of stakeholders to identify the most promising applications to target, namely abalone poaching, forest fires, and power line inspection.
• Prepared a quarterly report to DST (Department of Science and Technology).
• Management of the development of a R&D demonstration UAV aircraft designed by the CSIR to be modular in construction and fitted with an autopilot developed by Stellenbosch University.
• Coordination/scheduling of UAV demonstrations.
• Set up/support of a project steering committee.
• Managed a team to implement Alfresco as an inter-organisational knowledge management system.
• Managed a number of CSIR teams to develop their UAV research proposals e.g.: radar system, power line inspection system, optical payload system and an environmental multi-spectral camera system.
• Attended various aeronautical conferences to stay abreast of the state of the art e.g. TAUSC and SAIAC
The CSIR’s research UAV undertook its maiden flight as a RPV (remotely piloted vehicle) on 15 December 2008 and as a UAV on 15 January 2009.
More info on the project…
SAP Support Centre Manager
South African Revenue Services
June 2005 - January 2008
Management of the SAR’s Support Centre: translating operational policy, processes, procedures and legal requirements into business system functionality and providing business system support , maintenance and enhancements to facilitate the administration of tax and customs with regards to assessment of liability, bulk processing, service, and revenue administration.
Together with my staff compliment of fifteen, I:
• Managed production application support via the acceptance and resolution of calls within defined Service Level Agreements.
• Optimised systems and business operations and implemented initiatives to ensure continuous business improvement, managing configuration of SAP and supporting the implemented SAP processes from a technical and process point of view.
• Managed drafting of user requirement specifications as well as user testing
• Transferred knowledge to Super Users and Business Users, and maintained a training facility and the training team for end users.
• Set up and managed project plans according to schedule and managed the relationship with ADM to ensure delivery within agreed timeframes.
• Ensured personal growth by means of training courses and various development activities as defined in each individual’s personal development plan.
• The SAP modules that we supported included:
FI – Financial accounting (for internal accounting), FICO – Financial controlling, BW – Business warehouse, SRM – Supplier relationship management, FI CA – Financial contract accounting for revenue accounting SEM – Strategic enterprise management, Workflow and Travel Management
I managed an annual operating budget (excluding projects and initiatives) of around R 12m and oversaw the upgrade from EBP (Enterprise Buyer Professional) to SRM version 5, one of the first sites in South Africa to successfully execute such an upgrade.
February 1998 - December 2000
In 1998 Amalgamated Banks of South Africa (ABSA) was South Africa's second largest banking group. It had a market capitalisation of R19.8bn (US$1 = R5) and an asset base of R135bn., serving over 6 million customers with approximately 38,000 staff.
In June 1997 the ABSA executive requested extra support for the Credit and Risk Management Re-engineering project. The business case focused on cost reduction and cost avoidance opportunities that exceeded R500 million (low case - discounted over five years) which include R120 million in 'quick wins'. ABSA sanctioned a full scale re-engineering exercise to transform the Credit and Risk Management function into a world class operation over a three to five year period.
• I was assigned complete responsibility for two pieces of work and was expected to help, support and guide the line management of ABSA to be more successful by designing the detail processes and solutions to operational problems related to Cut Off Points and the processing of financial transactions in the Pre-legal Collection departments.
• My role on the project included:
• Developing innovative solutions to tactical initiatives.
• Providing strong leadership and direction, delivering on time and within budget.
• Comprehensive stakeholder management at General Manager, Assistant General Manager and Manager levels to create the appropriate level of leadership, ownership and sponsorship.
• All solutions were motivated with solid benefits cases and piloted prior to nation-wide implementation.
• Management of linkages between Collections and the overall programme and auditing the implementation results.
• I was responsible for a R8.2M benefit by the end of project.
• The programme was a finalist for the Institute of Management Consultants’ Project of the Year award and won the EMEAI internal quality award for excellence.
January 1998 - January 2000
During my time with Solit I assisted in delivering IT solutions to three of their major clients: Western Platinum Refineries, Northam Platinum mine and Concor Holdings.
Originally employed as an Implementation Consultant (IC) for their ERP systems Protean and Avantis, over time my role grew to that of project manager, culminating in my appointment to the position of Customer Relationship Manager for Concor.
The Customer Order Management Program at Western Platinum Refineries had been problematic for a while, and was mostly unavailable to key stakeholders. As the project manager I conducted progress review meetings, reporting to the steering committee; re-engineered the business process; supervised the Implementation consultants during solution delivery of the COM module of the Protean MRP system; prepared and presented project budgets for approval; and ultimately delivered the solution after 3 previous failed attempts.
Northam Platinum was Solit‘s first HR and payroll client - the product was still in its infancy with many teething issues. I became involved at a time when relationships were sour and the mine was seriously looking for an alternate solution. Initially I documented and streamlined business processes to facilitate the system integration and then took over on-site project management responsibilities. Progress was reported daily with the biggest challenge maintaining productive relationships on both sides. Northam was migrated from a mainframe-based payroll system to a PC with substantially lower maintenance requirements and increased flexibility. By 2003 we upgraded them to v2 of the product and they became a good reference site.
Concor had already initiated legal proceedings when I was asked to join the team: relationships were at an all time low and the project was stalled. My first task was to implement the software change control system I had developed at Northam in order to reduce the amount of rework.
January 1989 - December 1996
As an Industrial Engineer, my main job function was to supply management with professional Industrial Engineering advice and services and to supervise technicians and engineers in training, as allocated to the projects I managed.
Examples of the projects I managed include:
• Developing a logistics information and material acquisition (approx. 80,000 tons per month) system for Iscor's Corex plant
• Optimisation of a Blast furnace
• Lay-out planning, involving a capital expenditure of R20m, for a continuous casting plant which was commissioned in June 1992.
In 1993 I was appointed Shift Manager at the Pretoria Works steel plant. I was responsible for managing and scheduling the production of steel through the following processes: iron manufacture, electrical arc furnaces, vacuum degassing unit, ladle furnace and continuous caster.
This opportunity afforded me the opportunity to gain valuable experience from having to make decisions quickly, under pressure with a limited amount of information at my disposal and I developed a keen sense of responsibility by being the most senior person on duty at Pretoria Works for most of the time (i.e. during after-hour shifts). My interpersonal skills were further developed by having to communicate on all levels of the organisation during the course of a single shift and my pragmatic aptitude was enhanced from having to implement the high level, somewhat academic input of senior engineers to supplying them with feedback for further research.
• I acted as the representative of the Industrial Engineers in Training at Iscor's Pretoria Works and served on their GINGO ("Gegradueerde ingenieurs en weteskaplikes in opleiding") committee.
Anglo American Projects
I was responsible for managing the project teams of CoLAB on site at Anglo American.
I had two main projects to manage, namely:
• The development of a project management “Navigator” for their Standard Investment Review Process, their Project Management Processes (for projects in excess of USD 50 million) and Project Management Standards and Guidelines. This project was religiously taken through the PMBOK Project Management phases of Pre-initiation, Initiation, Planning, Execution and Close out.
• The drafting of standards and guidelines for their Post Investment Review Process and their Risk Management. The Risk Management Standard - or as the client preferred to call it, “The Management of Business Uncertainty” - had the following main focus areas: Strategy, Marketing, The ore body, Processing and Infrastructure.
The implementation of MPO (Managed Project Office) which is an end-to-end packaged Project Office solution that CoLAB deploys and operates on the behalf of clients.
MPO provided Anglo American with a fully-operational and capacitated project, programme and portfolio delivery capability which we deployed to scale, to complement Anglo’s core business.
MPO also integrated all the enablers of project governance, project process methodology and people structures, incorporating fully into a pre-configured technology platform.
Eskom roll out Energy saver bulbs
I was responsible for managing the project teams of CoLAB, the main contractor’s staff, and six sub-contractors called ESCOs (Energy Supply Companies).
Our project encompassed replacing 2 million incandescent light bulbs with Energy saver bulbs in Cape Town. I also engaged with the City of Cape Town’s political leaders as a part of this change management process, as well as the University of Cape Town, who had been contracted by Eskom to perform “Measurement and Verification” i.e. proving that Eskom’s investment did actually result in the desired energy savings.
• Managing the project using the PM Bok methodology and an proprietary Project Management system for Schedule Issue and Risk management.
• Managing the development of a system for recording the bulb installations, the auditing therefore and progress reporting to management.
• Key stakeholder management.
• Development and implementation of an extensive internal and external communications plan that included communication with the affected communities.
• The development and maintenance of a roll out plan for the globes by ESCO, Suburb and team (derived from this are the billing schedules that I also needed to manage).
• Establishing a Risk Management plan and overseeing all risk assessments in line with Eskom’s requirements.
• Developing a document detailing the ESCO requirements for contracting purposes.
• A www-based online system was developed to capture all the project-related data which was a first for Eskom for this type of project. Previous projects struggled with Microsoft Access and Excel databases which led to high volumes of re-work and data inaccuracies.
• I managed the project up to the point where roughly 400 000 bulbs had been installed and then handed over to a junior project manager.
Project and Program Management for ARM HR
The objective of this project was to implement PPO (a project management system) and establish an HR Project Management Office. Various initiatives and projects existed in the organisation with varying statuses: these needed to be identified and recorded in the ARM PPO system together with certain key information.
In the process of delivering this project, management started to re-look their business and a number of workshops were held with senior HR and IT management to revisit vision and mature current strategy, and roadmap the way forward.
The team settled on the following four programs with a budget of R100m over the next year: Best employer, Workforce planning, HR Information management systems and Human Resource Development.
My primary role was to develop the costing model for these programs and model various scenarios for funding and implementation across the organisation’s ten operations. Specific responsibilities
• Taking the HR projects onto the PPO Project Management system and planning their remediation up to a level 1 of Project Management maturity.
• Managing Project Communications on a Program level.
• Representing HR in the PMO (Project Management Office).
• Assisting and coaching the Project Managers of the sub-projects.
• Managing the HRIMS (Human Resource Information Management Systems) project which represents the bulk of the spend. This project include a roll out of the full Oracle HR suite of products to all of ARM’s operations in Iron Ore, Copper and Platinum.
• Managing project team training.
• Managing costs from a program perspective together with invoice processing.
• Project managing the implementation of Microsoft SharePoint as a document management system for HR and the project teams.
Qualifications & Certifications
University of Pretoria
University of Pretoria
Pretoria Technical High School
Valhalla Primary School
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