The way forward for the South African construction industry : an industry analysis with project management solutions

Groeneveld, G. D. (2006-03)

Thesis (MBA (Business Management))--University of Stellenbsoch, 2006.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South Africa's construction industry is emerging from decades of decline into a period of significant growth and opportunity. The industry will need to double its output over the next ten years in order to cope with the infrastructure and housing demands placed on it. The construction industry is also a national asset and South Africa's economic growth depends on the physical infrastructure that is delivered by this industry. This growth trajectory holds out significant opportunity for employment and training to a community that largely suffers from poverty, unemployment and lack of education. This opportunity will only be realised if the role-players in the industry collectively understand and address the challenges of meaningful and sustainable industry growth and efficiency. The study proceeds with a critical look at issues in the construction industry, to identify the industry's inhibiting factors to delivery and to highlight issues contributing to these factors. A SWOT analysis assists in highlighting internal and external characteristics that can be turned into possible solutions. Based on this analysis, action guidelines are identified. Subsequent chapters investigate possible solutions through project management techniques. The first area of research evolves around labour resource management and finds that thoroughly researched resource planning models could provide predictions regarding shortages and performances, and could also assist in the more accurate planning of skills requirements in the design phase of a project. The advantages of multi-skilling can also be beneficial to efforts to overcome current shortages and train a wider base of new entrants. In order to address low production of workers in the industry, morale-boosting investments are suggested that can yield high returns in the form of improved individual performance, higher job-site productivity, as well as cost and time savings to the project. There is strong evidence that a lack of project team integration is a major constraint to its efficient functioning and, inevitably, successful project delivery. Solutions in the next chapter focus on integration strategies to integrate design and construction in a common goal of delivery methods, to streamline workflow and to find synergy in the efforts of team members. The process of benchmarking encourages participation and clear communication of goals and expectations to all project participants. Process mapping assists in understanding how value is added to projects and mapping of business processes identifies how the project meets its customer's requirements. The third section looks at tools and techniques to promote a more economical construction process through improved management initiatives. Lean construction methods are based on traditional manufacturing concepts, but focuses on minimising waste and inventory and streamlining the flow of resources and information. Another technique is the key emphasis on quality assurance and the advancement through all the processes of innovation that needs to be part of an organisation or project strategy. Knowledge management as a further tool and support measure is complex and challenging in the organisational framework of construction projects. Much of the knowledge gained on projects is lost to future projects. All of the project management tools described in this study will benefit greatly from improved knowledge management. The study identifies some applicable tools and techniques that can be implemented to address critical issues of delivery in the construction industry. The continuous effort and commitment required for successful implementation of these measures will ultimately however depend on change agents and management buy-in that goes with organisation renewal.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die konstruksiebedryf in Suid-Afrika beweeg, na dekades van verval, na 'n tydperk van betekenisvolle groei en geleenthede. Die bedryf sal in die volgende tien jaar moet verdubbel om tred te hou met die eise wat gestel gaan word deur die behoefte aan infrastruktuur en behuising. Die konstruksiebedryf is ook 'n nasionale bate en die ekonomiese groei van Suid-Afrika is afhanklik van die fisiese infrastruktuur wat deur die bedryf gelewer word. Hierdie groeitrajek bied betekenisvolle geleenthede vir werkskepping en opleiding aan 'n gemeenskap wat gebuk gaan onder armoede, werkloosheid en gebrek aan onderwys. Hierdie geleenthede sal slegs realiseer as al die rolspelers in die bedryf begryp wat die uitdagings behels en die geleenthede van volgehoue groei en doeltreffendheid aanspreek. Hierdie studie gaan verder met 'n kritiese benadering tot die strydvrae in die konstruksiebedryf en om die beperkende faktore te identifiseer en die aangeleenthede uit te lig. 'n SWOT ontleding is 'n hulpmiddel om die interne en eksterne karaktertrekke, wat tot oplossings kan lei, saam te voeg. Uit hierdie ontleding kan riglyne vir aksie bepaal word en moontlike oplossings in spesifieke areas van navorsing gevind word. Opvolgende hoofstukke sal moontlike oplossings in tegnieke van projekbestuur ondersoek. Die eerste navorsingsgebied ontvou rondom die bestuur van die arbeidsbron. Die bevinding is dat deeglik nagevorsde modelle van beplanning vooruitskattings lewer ten opsigte van leweringstekorte. Dit bring beter beplanning van vaardigheidsbehoeftes in die beplanningsfase van die projek mee. Die voordele van meervoudige vaardighede kan ook voordelig wees in pogings om die huidige tekort te oorbrug en lei 'n breër spektrum van toetreders op. Ten einde die lae produksie van werkers in die industrie aan te spreek, word die uitbou van moraal voorgestel. Dit lewer hoër opbrengste in die vorm van verbeterde individuele prestasie, hoër produktiwiteit in die werkplek, sowel as algehele koste- en tydsbesparings. Daar bestaan sterk aanduidings dat die gebrek aan interpretasie van projekspanne 'n belangrike beperking op die effektiewe werking en die suksesvolle aflewering van 'n projek het. Oplossings in die volgende hoofstuk fokus op die integrasie van strategiee om ontwerp en konstruksie in die gesamentlike mikpunt van leweringsfunksies te integreer, om die werksvloei te verfyn en sinergie in die pogings van spanlede te vind. Die proses van doelstellingsbestuur verhoog deelname. Dit verskaf duidelike mikpunte en lig verwagtinge aan deelnemers uit. Proses-kartering help mee in die proses om waarde toevoeging tot projekte te begryp. Die kartering van sakeprosesse dui aan hoe projekte die behoeftes van kliënte bevredig. Die derde afdeling plaas die blik op tegnieke om tegniese vaardigheid te bevorder deur meer ekonomiese samestelling en verbeterde bestuursinisiatiewe. Skraalkonstruksie ("lean construction") is gegrondves op tradisionele vervaardigingskonsepte. Dit fokus op minimalisering van vermorsing en stroombelyning van voorraadbestuur sowel as die vloei van hulpbronne en inligting. 'n Ander tegniek is die versekering van kwaliteit en vooruitgang deur die genoemde proses van innovering wat deel moet wees van 'n organisasie of projek se strategie. Kennisbestuur is 'n verdere ondersteuningsmeganisme. Dit is kompleks en uitdagend in die organisatoriese raamwerk van konstruksie projekte. Baie kennis, wat deur projekte verwerf word, gaan verlore vir projekte van die toekoms. Alle hulpmiddels vir projekbestuur wat in hierdie studie beskryf word kan aansienlik baat vind deur verbeterde kennisbestuur. Hierdie studie identifiseer sekere hulpmiddels wat toegepas kan word. Dit spreek ook kritieke strydvrae oor lewering in die konstruksiebedryf aan. Die voortdurende inspanning en toewyding benodig vir die suksesvolle aanwending van hierdie maatreëls vereis voortdurende deelname en onderskrywing van die topbestuur van organisasies.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/5029
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