Without the Ontario Student Assistance Program, there are a lot of worthy students that might never be able to pursue their post-secondary education. And without the work of Sanjay Madan, we wouldn’t have the OSAP system that’s in place today.
Madan, senior manager with the Ontario Public Service, won the ComputerWorld Canada IT Manager of the Year award in the large enterprise category for a project to modernize many of the applications that make OSAP run. The results have been delivered earlier than expected and within 75 per cent of the forecasted budget, allowing greater flexibility for those disbursing OSAP’s loan portfolio of $2.4 billion that assists 585,000 students every year.
“As a true leader, he inspired his team through ‘walk the talk’ and supported the team members at all levels during intense phases of the project cycles along with the formal weekly recognition ‘making the difference’ awards,” Pradeep Mahalingam, senior technical manager with Ontario’s Post Secondary Education Systems (PSES) in the Technology and Business Solutions Branch (TBSB) of Community Services I&IT Cluster (CSC), wrote of Madan in his nomination submission. “He meticulously designed (and) effectively managed the governance model as the main presenter at steering committee and project management level committees for timely issue resolution ensuring smooth delivery.”
Spending only about $4 million and taking just 16 months, Madan’s work included the rollout of six different applications. These included the a Financial Aid Officer Portal (FAO), which provides dynamic updates about OSAP documents and Rules Engine Externalisation, a “plain language” tool by which non-technical staff can use to easily access, view and change business rules. An image migration project moved sensitive data onto a secure storage system to ensure backup and recovery capability. A revamped student-facing application will allow those who need the loan money to apply online and a multi-year accountability agreement system will help OSAP staff collect much-needed data.
Madan’s nomination form was unusual in that included testimonials from end users of the OSAP program. “Upon using the OSAP SFA and Web site,” said Tony Shi, a student with the University of Toronto. “From screen to screen it was clear where to go, and how to go about doing it. The ability to save the application and return to it at a later date is a useful feature. As a whole, the Web site was focused, visually appealing, and easy to navigate, as well as informative.”
Madan expressed his gratitude for the award, and noted that it’s not the first time his team’s efforts have been applauded.
“During the last year our projects have been recognized by our business partners, sponsors and at the provincial and national level for being efficient, delivering more with less and on time within budget on a consistent basis,” he said in an e-mail. “I would also like to mention the support, leadership and strong governance I get from my executive team is very instrumental in making things happen.”