Welcome to Stellenbosch University


From a survey done by the PRASA Chair in 2011, it was evident that the root cause of many problems experienced by PRASA Engineering Services was the lack of training on all levels. Research revealed that the most appropriate way to involve every member of PRASA in solving the training problem as well as solving other problems was through a companywide visual management system. It was decided to use a proudly South African program called Mission Directed Work teams (MDW). Implementation started in August 2011 at PRASA Engineering Head Office in Johannesburg.

During the next two years all the teams in the Rolling Stock and Main Line Passenger Services depots were trained in the effective use of the MDW program and how to use the program to solve their own problems. The team structure nature of MDW also served as a foundation to launch new processes and systems throughout all depots. As part of supporting the MDW program, teams that performed well were recognised at a Gala event that was held every year. This was always a highlight for the teams and served as good motivation to do well.

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The MDW program continued to be a cornerstone for PRASA in reaching their objectives and in 2013 PRASA started with the implementation of the International Railway Industry Standard (IRIS). The importance of MDW was recognised as a tool to support the implementation of the IRIS standard, making MDW even more valuable to PRASA. As a result, renewed effort and energy was seen at PRASA towards MDW. Part of this renewed effort included reviving MDW teams in the much bigger and more complex Infrastructure division of PRASA Engineering Services. Training workshops were carried out across all the regions during the first half of 2015. With the help of the PRASA Chair, managers and supervisors put team structures in place needed in order to start functioning. Typical Mini Business.JPG Part of the IRIS requirement, and an integral part of MDW, is the use of effective Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The PRASA Chair assisted with the development of KPIs on all levels and departments of PRASA Engineering Services. These KPIs are aligned with the requirements of IRIS, MDW and the business as a whole.

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The next step in the MDW journey is to move to the second phase which involves implementing 5S as part of a wider initiative to have the concept of visual management ingrained in the processes and systems of PRASA. The rationale behind this approach is that by applying 5S, a visual workplace is created making work easier for employees at all levels. Another step, which is more long term, is to transfer the training of new and current staff on MDW to the PRASA Centre of Technology (COT) in order to ensure sustainability of the program. Another long term goal is to expand the program to the supporting divisions of PRASA Engineering Services such as Supply Chain, Finance, Information Technology etc. This step is very important as it has been observed that a lot of problems faced by the MDW teams require the input of their supporting functions.