SAQA implements Project Portfolio Office to manage communications projects

logo_saqaThe South Africa Qualifications Authority (SAQA) will roll-out Project Portfolio Office’s online project portfolio management and collaboration software, Project Portfolio Office (PPO), within its advocacy and communications unit to meet its need for a more integrated approach to project management activities and document storage.

SAQA is the body that oversees South Africa’s National Qualifications Framework (NQF). This single integrated national framework for learning achievements was created to facilitate access to, and mobility and progression within, education, training and career paths in order to accelerate the redress of past unfair discrimination in these three areas.

SAQA’s communications and advocacy unit is responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of communications strategies. This includes the compilation of SAQA’s annual reports to Parliament and the co-ordination of work on various SAQA publications. It is also responsible for the internal and external communications of SAQA, including media, events, public and stakeholder relations.

“SAQA is involved in numerous communications projects that need to be planned and executed within tight parameters, and we were finding that capacity identification, project tracking and reporting, and the overall visibility of the projects were all becoming quite challenging in a number of respects,” says Lucas Malambe, deputy director of Advocacy and Communications at SAQA.

“Not only this, but we needed a solution that provided for the central storage, retention and access to project-related and other documentation. These documents hold key knowledge and lessons, crucial for any project delivery team.

“The Strategic Support directorate, under which we fall, therefore established the need for an information system within the communications and advocacy unit that would address these issues, as well as to enable the directorate’s officials to closely examine the current and proposed projects.”

Malambe explains that the directorate’s decision to implement PPO was primarily based on its ease of use.

“The system will be used by all staff members in the unit, therefore it needed to be simple to use, especially for those employees who do not typically operate within a project management environment. The fact that PPO is Web-based also satisfied our specific IT criteria. Plus, its flexible pricing model made it a very attractive option.”

Says Guy Jelley: Project Portfolio Office CEO: “With its sophisticated reporting and dashboard functionalities, as well as document storage and resource and capacity management features, PPO was the ideal choice to meet the specific needs of SAQA’s communications and advocacy unit.

“As a cloud-based application, PPO is easy to use, yet also enterprise capable. From a support point of view, it is also the only solution of its type that has been developed in South Africa and is locally supported. This makes it a great fit for SAQA’s requirements,” he adds.

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