Taxi Recapitalisation South Africa (TRSA), the trading entity implementing the Revised Taxi Recapitalisation Programme (RTRP), has seen positive results when it comes to workflow, timesheet management and reporting within its programme management office (PMO), since officially rolling out Project Portfolio Office’s secure, cloud-based project portfolio management (PPM) tool, PPO, earlier this year.
In 2006, the Department of Transport appointed the Taxi Scrapping Administrator (TSA) for the implementation of the scrapping component of the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme (TRP). The overarching objective of the TRP was to increase road safety by removing the unroadworthy taxi vehicles off the road via the scrapping process, utilising the scrapping allowance as a deposit to recapitalise with new compliant taxi vehicles.
The TRP, ending in 2018, evolved into the Revised Taxi Recapitalisation Programme (RTRP), which was initiated in March 2019. The objective of the RTRP is significantly different to the initial TRP but the recognisable aspect of scrapping the ageing and unroadworthy fleet of minibus taxis and recapitalisation remains, with an additional element of introducing commercially viable sustainable solutions to leverage and exploit opportunities available in the taxi industry’s entire value chain.
Soraya Ebraham, Programme Management Office Manager responsible for TRSA’s PMO and joined the organisation earlier this year, explains that TRSA had been previously introduced to PPO via a partner but did not have direct ownership of the tool and its use.
“TRSA did not have its own PPM tool in place and when I came on board to set up the formal PMO, it was daunting to think that everything might need to be processed manually.
“TRSA had already experienced the benefits of PPO, as it had been used within our environment by a management consultant partner brought on board in 2020. Thus, the decision was very much in favour of TRSA officially implementing PPO ourselves and fine-tuning our use of the solution.”
There are currently five project managers within the TRSA project environment, running projects that are geared very specifically towards key areas within the taxi industry. “The projects we run are very varied,” Ebraham explains. “We’ve included the commercialisation aspect in the taxi industry, with a view to making the sector more sustainable.
“At the same time, we’re looking at stats related to operating licences and vehicles registered in the taxi industry, in our attempt to understand the challenges faced by the taxi operators. So, our projects are very much geared towards and providing a holistic solution,” she adds.
Since taking over ownership of PPO, TRSA has customised the PPM tool to meet its PMO’s specific needs.
“The thought of having to handle everything related to these projects manually is overwhelming. And so, the real benefits being delivered to us by PPO include a centralised view of all our projects and fast access to real-time information, which is critical for managing and reporting on projects, while the time entries are there too – all in one neat platform.”
Prior to TRSA’s formal implementation of PPO, reporting had been managed by the organisation’s technology partner and there had been some gaps in the process of keeping the CEO’s office up to date.
“Our CEO has now reached the stage where he is very comfortable with the reporting received via PPO – he believes that the process works, and he is able to see all projects at a glance.”
Time sheeting to drive management of external resources as well as to see where time is being spent on project and non-project work by internal resources was another key requirement from the TRSA CEO’s office, which is being met by PPO, allowing for a clearer picture on where internal resources are being used, and whether work completed is billable and non-billable. “Prior to this, there was no visibility here, and with the advent of PPO, our CEO has become much more aware of where his employees are engaged and thus better able to manage resources.
An additional beneficial requirement is the ability to manage our risks via the PPO platform – where risks are logged, quantified, managed and reported on quite easily without the burden of a manual process.
“Working with the Project Portfolio Office team has been very useful, with continuous involvement from their side. They have definitely helped keep our PMO on track. We really have relied on this support,” Ebraham continues.
Her advice to other PMOs looking to implement a PPM tool? It is critical to have clarity upfront on your requirements and objectives for a PPM tool as well as on expected outcomes. “It’s also important to be aware of change management requirements when it comes to getting users familiar with a new system. Initially, our users needed weekly check ins to ensure everything was on track and that the right information was being entered into PPO. Now, as efficiencies have improved, we’ve found that a monthly check-in suffices.
“We’ve seen a real, positive change, as well as an improvement in the level of storytelling and the quality of information since rolling out the bespoke version of the tool. Holistically, everything just fits and TRSA’s PMO really couldn’t imagine life without PPO.”
Says Guy Jelley, CEO and co-founder of Project Portfolio Office: “TRSA provides an excellent example of how a PPM tool like PPO is able to help government-funded entities meet the critical requirements of project transparency, centralisation of information and the reporting of real-time project information and statuses to stakeholders.
“There is a huge emphasis on the need for performance improvements related to government, and TRSA is proving that efficient project management can play an important role here, demonstrating the value and viability of the organisation’s work.”
Project Portfolio Office would also like to encourage potential partners to consider its PPO Partner Programme.
“Project Portfolio Office is always looking for dedicated, focused partners in all regions that offer business process consulting and other supplementary project and portfolio management services,” Jelley clarifies. “Through our partner programme, Project Portfolio Office provides partners with tools and assistance in developing a sustainable business model around the PPO solution. We invite other local businesses with an interest in working in partnership with Project Portfolio Office to visit https://www.go2ppo.com/partner-programme/, or to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .”