| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Traditional monolithic applications suffer from challenges such as
1. Being difficult to develop and maintain.
2. Inflexibility, for example in being difficult to test, where one single change can affect multiple sub units.
3. Being slow to adapt, where changing even a single aspect of the application can have an impact on the entire code.
Standards are not a silver bullet that will solve all of the problems. Each solution has its own challenges and cannot be blindly applied to all scenarios. Some of the challenges faced by our teams were:
1. How to effectively partition the business and application.
2. How to scale and manage team within government environments.
3. How to find the best technology fit in respect of our sustainability constraints.
TVTC’s innovations included the combination of new architecture paradigms and a concept of customization to fit with specific constraints and the existing culture. The result was a framework composed of:
• Scrum, which represents an agile project management methodology.
• Micro-services with smaller manageable units of business capabilities that are easy to develop, test and maintain and which also allow for speedier adaptation.
• Docker, which is a cloud computing concept hosting smart endpoints.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The CTC e-Platform was designed and developed by TVTC in its Information Technology Department. The Business Centre was involved as a business owner to provide and set all of the business requirements, to coordinate with external stakeholders and manage the training programs. For example training programs such as:
• Social technical training (sponsor by TVTC)
• Mobile sector nationalization (sponsor by HRDF)
• Evening programs (sponsor by the NTP fund)
TVTC governed the training programs through the e-Platform:
• Technical e-Platform governance: TVTC IT Department
• Business owner governance: TVTC Business Centre
• Training session delivery through 45 colleges and 105 other institutions
Statistics in the table below indicate readiness for the training program ‘Mobile sector nationalization’, with training sessions delivered (as indicated) to 59,059 beneficiaries:
Number of trainees Number of applicants Category
56468 151133 Citizens
3532 3532 Government employees
173 173 Private sector employees
20 20 TVTC employees
59059 154858 Total
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Within the context of the CTC e-Platform initiative, and in full alignment with global business drivers to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all the citizens, the TVTC strategy sets the following goals to fulfil its mission through current and on-going programs:
• TVET for GE
• Social technical training
• Training in prison
• Women skills improvement
• International technical colleges
• Strategic transformation program
• Technical assistant program
• Flexible programs
• Mobile sector nationalization
• Private training
• Evening programs
• Strategic partnerships
• Training for special needs
• Capabilities building (CBC)
• Transition to semester training year
• International accreditation
• "Riyada" for entrepreneurship
Exhibit 5: Current and on-going TVTC programs
The CTC e-Portal initiative contributes towards the achievement of the following TVTC goals:
1. Creation of an agile system that is adaptive to changing market demands.
2. Increasing the pool of target students and more efficient utilization of existing resources.
The first iteration scope of the CTC e-Portal initiative covered the following programs:
• Social technical training
• Mobile sector nationalization
• Evening programs
For the listed programs, the CTC e-Portal covers the training cycle from the enrolment of students until the issuing of certificates.
The CTC e-Portal project includes the following business functionalities for serving different training programs:
• Training program creation with specific population targeting
o Programs classified by civil services department
o Programs non classified by civil services department
• Session training management regarding training programs targeting specific populations
o Specialties, trainers and trainee management
o Prerequisite preparation for trainee by the trainers
o Exams and results management
o Training session evaluation
• Session management by region and location
The e-Portal project was created by TVTC employees (auto funded by TVTC) and the technology used was open source. The only license and support used was the infrastructure one Oracle Database/Redhat Operation system (support) and this was already available from other projects.
The CTC e-Portal team comprised:
Information Technology Department
• 6 Developers
• One team lead
• Application Architect
Business Centre Department
• Two business analyst representing the business owner
The e-Portal was produced by this team over a period of 6 months, including design, implementation, unitary testing and functional testing. The development methodology used was DevOps.
The technical phase of the project started on 01/09/2015 and the Technical Project go-live date was 11/03/2016.
Following these milestones, the first training program was initiated. The table below shows the plan of action undertaken in the e-Portal to follow up the training program and make the necessary adjustment when needed.
Task Name Start Finish
Develop a project governance structure 10/03/16 10/03/16
Develop and publish the e-Platform portal 11/03/16 11/03/16
Registration started in the Business Centre through the portal 14/03/16 14/03/16
Finalization of the acceptance criteria for trainees 15/03/16 16/03/16
Establishment of controls to avoid multiple training registration 16/03/16 16/03/16
Collection of training unit elements of training program delivery 17/03/16 17/03/16
Review registered data and analysis of the population registered 18/03/16 04/04/16
Elimination of fraud cases and enhanced control processes 21/03/16 06/04/16
despatching of the training sessions to all territories using the e-Portal 22/03/16 22/03/16
Enablement of citizen auto registration and automatic acceptance control 23/03/16 25/03/16
Sharing of the training calendar with all the accepted applicants 24/03/16 30/03/16
Start training for sales and customer service - Wave 1 25/03/16
Preparation of workshop for mobile devices maintenance - Foundation - Wave 1 28/03/16 28/03/16
Start training for sales and customer service - Wave 2 29/03/16
Preparation of workshop for mobile devices maintenance - Foundation - Wave 2 20/04/16
Preparation of workshop for mobile devices maintenance - Foundation - Wave 3 21/04/16
Preparation of workshop for mobile devices maintenance - Advanced 22/04/16
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The challenge for TVTC is to equip young people with the skills required to access the world of work, including the necessary skills for self-employment, to improve responsiveness to changing skill demands from companies and communities, to increase productivity and increase levels of wages. TVET can reduce access barriers to the world of work, for example through work-based learning, and by ensuring that skills gained are recognized and certified. TVTC also offers skill development opportunities for low-skilled people who are under-employed or unemployed, as well as out of school youths and individuals not in education, employment and training. Setting out to achieve this challenge required considerable contributions. From the public sector, this came from:
• Staff from the national transformation program
• Staff currently involved with TVTC
• Those working with vulnerable people and communities
Private sector contributions came from:
• The telecoms sector
• The ICT sector
• Business owners, including those who provided staff to work alongside TVTC staff in developing application architecture
• Companies working with the Business centre to stimulate market demands and identify existing skill gaps among private sector employees
NGO’s have been involved both in terms of developing training programs and as the recipients of them. For example, in developing free training in social and other affairs for vulnerable groups and in participating in the ‘Al Rajhee Hadeed, which provided technical training for 34 NGOs and 1027 other trainees.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The most successful output from our e-Platform is the training delivered for the project ‘Telecom retail and maintenance nationalization’, which benefitted 59 059 trainees from all parts of the Kingdom.
The national initiative stakeholders are TVTC, HRDF, PPA, GOSI, MCS and MCI. Thanks to the e-Platform developed and implemented (by TVTC), we succeeded (in a short period) in providing and overseeing transparent progress of the training delivered by TVTC.
We have also been able to provide satisfactory evidence to the project's funding party (HRDF) that showed how our platform was targeting the appropriate (disadvantaged) populations as per the initiative requirement, for example Saudi citizens without any employment or self earned revenues.
Thanks to this CTC e-Platform, the fraud percentage never exceeded 2 % (the risk appetite has been fixed by TVTC and its partners).
Further benefits from this project include:
1. Accessibility: The training program is available for registration anytime, anywhere and for every eligible person.
2. Transparency: The population segmentation process is carried out automatically using agreed rules defined by the stakeholders and shared with the population (clear inputs and clear outputs governed by a centralized platform).
3. Trustworthy: The platform assists TVTC in being a trusted training domain for both citizens and program sponsors. This is due to its transparent acceptance control, billing, and government service business integration module.
4. Scalability : The enrolment process was scalable due to an innovative infrastructure used by our e-Platform (Docker Micro-services). In addition to the technology scalability, the e-Platform helps the training units to scale their teams according to applicant number progress.
5. Liability : Thanks to this e-Platform, TVTC is able to follow all of the training sessions and take the final decision to deliver the training certificate according to several criteria. An auto survey is a mandatory step before awarding the training certificate and this helps TVTC to evaluate all the training environment (Sites, Timing, Curriculum, trainer, etc…).
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The context of this initiative was a challenge for TVTC, based as it was on a commitment to a short deadline in terms of the ‘go-life-date’. Concurrently, TVTC business analysts and the development team were receiving numerous changes in the business rules. Meanwhile, many stakeholders (HRDF, MLSD, TVTC, and other government entities) were working on a national initiative called ‘Telecom retail and repairing nationalization’, with TVTC as the training partner. The e-Platform was the key success factor that overcame these issues and enabled the right population to be reached, anywhere in the kingdom, in the short timelines set.
In order to respect delivery time and meet the challenge of ongoing changes, we used an agile/scrum methodology and Devops foundation framework.
One of the most significant obstacles has been fraud control and how fast solutions can be implemented once a new case is discovered.
With the complicity of their companies, for example, many employees took the following steps to benefit from the training for free:
1. The record in the social insurance and labour database was switched to ‘hold’ by the employer
2. The trainee could then enrol as the platform considered him a ‘Saudi without job’.
3. Once the enrolment was completed, the employee could switch to normal status and get the training session for free.
The analytics carried out on the platform helped us to discover that in many cases the employment record status was changed just after enrolment, so we initiated an investigation and solved the problem by:
1. Installing a batch process to check before each training start.
2. Once a fraud case has been uncovered, the trainee record is removed from the training session.
With this control and others, and in line with our commitment to partners, we succeeded in keeping the fraud percentage under 2 %.