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The Department of Health (DoH) provides leadership and coordination of health services to promote the health of all people in South Africa through an accessible, caring and high quality health system. The department contributes directly to achieving the government’s goal for a long and healthy life for all South Africans. As part of its Medium Term Strategic Framework, also known as the 10 Point Plan, the National Department of Health (NDoH) identified the revitalisation of health infrastructure as one of those priorities of the Ten Point Plan for the health sector.
As part of this process, the focus was on three areas of infrastructure revitalisation which included, accelerating the service delivery of health infrastructure for the construction of tertiary hospitals, revitalising primary level facilities and accelerating the delivery of Health Technology and Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure. The NDoH identified the need for a project management information system (PMIS) to manage their infrastructure programmes and projects more effectively.
The NDoH needed an integrated PMIS that allowed for consistent tracking and reporting of the progress against funding and schedule milestones for all health infrastructure projects with a budget exceeding R9 billion across all nine provinces. In addition to inaccurate reporting, a number of delays and cost overruns were being experienced due to poor contract management and non-compliance to the Infrastructure Delivery Management System (IDMS). The adoption of the IDMS (a strategic framework which is the preferred method for the delivery of infrastructure projects in government) was weak resulting in large numbers of projects not meeting the compliance requirements for the release of funding.
“The reporting process was completely manual with no visibility of the complete master project list and took a significant amount of time to consolidate spreadsheets from the provinces to ultimately produce accurate reporting to the health council executives, DG, minister and national treasury.” Exley Louters, PMIS Manager / Deputy Director of Projects
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The State Information Technology Agency (SITA) was approached by the NDoH to source a project portfolio management (PPM) solution via an open tender process. In 2011, Project Portfolio Office (PPO) was awarded the tender to deliver an online project portfolio management solution. PPO was chosen due to the fact that it was a locally developed, cost effective application with local 24/7 support, PPO has a local supplier network of certified partners across South Africa and vast experience with implementations of this scale with the Department Provincial and Local Government (DPLG) and Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) being just two previous such implementations. Furthermore, PPO is a configurable solution that facilitates the management of both infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects.
“PPO is simple, easy-to-use and yet enterprise capable accommodating mixed levels of resource skill and experience ranging from data capturers, administrators, project managers to engineers. Its ability to publish a visual view of the IDMS methodology and help our users adopt the process was significant in the decision making.” Exley Louters, PMIS Manager / Deputy Director of Projects
Within 3 months of the implementation starting, the master project list had been consolidated into an active portfolio of over 4000 projects in PPO with improved quality and accessibility of projects and its related information across all 9 provinces. Three months later, record of contracts, budgets and milestones were available reducing the time spent on manual reporting and consolidation across almost 400 project and programme managers. Since the implementation of PPO, NDoH is the first National Department to successfully integrate their own PMIS with the IRM (Infrastructure Reporting Model) system of National Treasury. PPO’s robust API facilitated integrating with other tools easily and allows NDoH’s infrastructure project information to flow seamlessly through to the IRM system without having to duplicate any information management processes at National or Provincial Health level.
“Both NDoH and NT have realised operational efficiencies specifically around having consistent single source reporting and increased accuracy of data due to the improved data quality processes. With PPO, information is captured once and the automation facilitates a seamless flow of information between systems significantly reducing turnaround times to produce IRM reports.” Exley Louters, PMIS Manager / Deputy Director of Projects