The Top Consulting Group
Innovation and sharing
Read the TCG quarterly reflections.
In a consulting working day, week, month and year, not all great ideas and efforts
get communicated to the rest of the teams. This quarterly digital briefing cuts
through the silence to provide you with a Top Consulting Group wide view of new
things the group is doing
Each edition connects consultants and clients with matters of the quarter with
front-line Top Consulting work done
Research, trends, and emerging thinking
1. Implementation view: What 3. What lessons can be learned 5. Changing the way we think:
it takes in developing the form working with non-agile Insights into the coal face of
new weekly report leaders primary energy
2. What it takes to get an edge 4. How to effectively introduce
in the Internet of Things dashboards to clients
Implementation view: What it takes in developing
the new weekly report
Many teams have tried to integrate their clients with dashboards and online
platforms. Can we do better?
By Claude Claassen
TCG have been doing weekly reports from form, over and above the functionality that
through email to the General manager for the SharePoint provides.
past few years. This method, however
effective, did not provide the opportunity to Issues face by SOE’s
keep a history of the work done.
Eskom is struggling with keeping up with new
To improve the internal workings of TCG, TCG technology platforms, due to the regulation
have started the journey of improving the and stringent requirements which software
process through capturing the reports on needs to adhere. This is further exacerbated by
SharePoint. the slow speed at which procurement is done
to gain access to new software.
SharePoint was selected due to limited choices
in software as well as specific data security Support for InfoPath have officially been
requirements set out by Eskom. Eskom discontinued. “On January 31, 2014, Microsoft
currently only have access to a dated Microsoft announced that InfoPath was discontinued and
suite functionality, due to delays in the will be replaced by a more cross-platform
migration to Office 365. As for data security, solution called PowerApps, released in late
Eskom data may not be hosted on international 2016. InfoPath will however still be supported
servers, therefor Microsoft’s South African till July 2026”
server are utilised.
Thus the solution created was not at the
To create the report, a combination of Custom leading edge, but rather a “make-do” solution
Lists on SharePoint and submission forms on with what Eskom have available. A more
InfoPath was created to populate the forms. leading edge solution might have made use of
InfoPath is a Microsoft suite software package Office 365 with the integration of various
that allows them user to create customized power apps.
TCG quarterly reflections: Edition 1 3
Benfits introduced throught the use of an integrated reporting methods Documents can be added to be
viewed by TCG at a later stage
Documents can be searched
Easy to complete through with context of the weekly
standardised forms report
information, forms can
be completed faster
Consolidation Multiple uses
All reports can be viewed in one EOW By completing weekly reports data
can be used to inform other TCG
90% Reduction in report
reviews ( 10 emails to functions Consultant tenures
1 dashboard) • Staffing
• Review calls, etc
Accurate record keeping Compromise
History is built, which keeps record of TCG Completing the weekly report now
work, which can be used in handover needs to be done on sharepoint via
Study information is now freely
available for all consultants to • Anyconnect will be
ensure alignment required when
completing the report
Adopting the new method the greater TCG towards the end of November.
At the start of December 13 Teams adopted the
The information captured from the weekly new method, showcasing that TCG is capable of
reports are consolidated on SharePoint, and prototyping, implementing and adopting new
displayed in PowerBI. PowerBI allows the processes within 2 months.
information to be displayed in a live digital
dashboard with hourly updates, to ensure the This is however not the final solution and as
latest submissions are displayed. Eskom improves software packages, so to the
department needs to improve their ways of
The weekly report went live for three TCG working, in accordance to what is available.
teams on 15 November 2019 and rolled out to
More about the work done
The weekly report was born out of the thinking that the way in which reporting is done could be
improved. The initial thoughts were just the improvement of the capturing of TCG weekly reports.
After the initial iterations, it became apparent that the information can be used for much more, such
as archiving documents, creating a searchable database for work done, allow the performance and
development team to see in what combinations consultants have worked with clients and teams
leads and see the tenure of consultants on certain projects.