A review of Sasol Technology Engineering division's strategic roadmap and the implementation thereof

Bekker, Michiel Christiaan (1999-12)

Thesis (MBA (Business Management))--University of Stellenbosch, 1999.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Sasol Technology Engineering Division (SED) is part of the Sasol Group of Companies and was formally established in 1983. The organisation's immediate focus was to render technical and project management support to the operating petrochemical units of Sasol 2 and Sasol 3. During the late 1980's and early 1990's various external drivers appeared that necessitated a review and adjustment to Sasol's strategic direction. Sasol decided to unlock the value in raw materials and embarked on an investment program in major chemical production facilities. With this new drive towards implementing large, multi-million Rand, projects, SED had to re-assess its competencies and focus in order to support this new strategic drive of Sasol. During 1995 an extensive management buy-out (MBO) exercise was concluded whereby most of the technical discipline departments were outsourced. The idea was that all modification and operations support projects be handled by the MBO's. This enabled SED to focus on large projects. With the new strategic direction in place SED launched a Balanced Scorecard (BSG) exercise to convert this strategy into specific goals and communicating the strategy to all employees. This exercise led to the development of a document called the SED Strategic Roadmap. This document explained the goals and interventions required for success until 2003. The review and re-visiting of the SED Strategic Roadmap formed the main focus of this study project. A serious concern identified from the outset was that no realised strategy was drafted before the strategic intent was formalised. Therefore, in order to review the SED Strategic Roadmap a study was done on the realised organisational situation of SED by means of the results of various organisational studies done by consultants. With a realised situation formalised the development and contents of the SED Strategic Roadmap were explained. Following this explanation a broad literature review was conducted to grasp the latest thinking around the management science of strategy. With the realised strategy and theory as background the mere reason for SED's existence was unravelled. A very important finding was that SED should rather focus on improving its operational effectiveness instead of formalising a strategy. SED remains a supporting division that should underline and align itself with the strategic needs of Sasol. For reviewing purposes a "new" set of goals was identified that is closer linked with the purpose of SED. An intervention was allocated to each "new" goal to ensure focused implementation of every "new" goal. A proposal was tabled to conduct and implement the interventions in terms of project-based management, meaning that all interventions are handled as projects with budgets, time spans and specified outcomes. The listed "new" goals serve as an alternative to those in the SED Strategic Roadmap. The "new" goals support the vision of SED and provide the opportunity to excel in improving its operational effectiveness.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Sasol Tegnologie Ingenieursdivisie (SED) is deel van die Sasol Groep van Maatskappye en het formeel tot stand gekom in 1983. Die organisasie se onmiddelike fokus was om tegniese- en projekbestuursondersteuning te gee aan die petrochemiese bedryfseenhede van Sasol 2 en Sasol 3. Gedurende die laat 1980's en vroeë 1990's het verskeie eksterne besigheidsdrywers na vore getree wat Sasol genoodsaak het om sy strategiese rigting te hersien en aan te pas. Dit het Sasol tot die besluit gebring om die waarde in rou materiaal te onsluit deur 'n investeringsprogram te loods vir die oprigting van verskeie groot chemiese produksie fasiliteite. Met hierdie nuwe dryf na die implementering van groot, multi-miljoen Rand projekte was SED genoodsaak om bevoegdhede en fokus te hersien om daardeur ondersteuning te gee aan die nuwe strategiese rigting van Sasol. Gedurende 1995 is 'n uitgebreide bestuursuitkoop (MBO) aksie geloods waartydens meeste van die tegniese dissipline departemente uitgekontrakteur is. Die gedagte was dat alle klein modifiserings- en bedryfsondersteuningsprojekte deur die MBOs hanteer moes word. Hierdeur kon SED fokus op groot projekte. Met die nuwe strategiese rigting uitgestippel het SED voortgegaan en 'n "balanced scorecard" (BSG) oefening geloods waardeer die strategiese oogmerke omgesit is in spesifieke doelwitte en na die res van die werknemers gekommunikeer is. Hierdie oefening het gelei tot die ontwikkeling van die SED Strategiese Padkaart dokument. Die dokument beskryf die doelwitte en intervensies benodig vir operasionele sukses tot en met die jaar 2003. Die hersiening en heroorweging van die SED Strategiese Padkaart vorm die fokus van hierdie studieprojek. Vanuit die staanspoor is 'n ernstige bekommernis uitgelig deurdat geen analise gedoen is van die gerealiseerde strategie voordat die strategiese intensie geformaliseer is nie. Derhalwe was dit nodig om eers 'n studie te doen waardeer die huidige, gerealiseerde strategie beskryf kon word. Hierdie studie was gedoen na gelang van die resultate van verskeie organisasiestudies wat deur konsultante uitgevoer is. Met 'n gerealiseerde situasie geformuleer is die inhoud van die SED Strategiese Padkaart verduidelik. Die verduideliking is gevolg met 'n bree literatuuroorsig rakende die wetenskap van strategiese bestuur en die nuutste denke rondom die onderwerp. Met die gerealiseerde strategie en literatuurstudie as agtergrond is die werklike rede vir die bestaan van SED opnuut ondersoek. 'n Belangrike gevolgtrekking wat gemaak kon word is dat SED liewers moet fokus op die verbetering van die organisasie se operasionele effektiwiteit in plaas van die formalisering van 'n strategie. SED bly 'n ondersteuningsdivisie en behoort gerig te wees tot die strategiese behoeftes van Sasol. Vir hersienings doeleindes is 'n "nuwe" stel doelwitte geidentifiseer wat nouer bande het met die rede vir SED se bestaan. 'n Intervensie was toegedeel aan elke "nuwe" doelwit om sodoende gefokusde implementering van elke "nuwe" doelwit te verseker. 'n Voorstel is gemaak om alle intervensies te implementeer in terme van projek-gebaseerde-bestuur. Hierdeur word verwys na die hantering van intervensies as projekte met begrotings, tydskedules en spesifieke verwagte resultate. Die gelyste "nuwe" doelwitte dien as alternatief tot die doelwitte soos beskryf in die SED Strategiese Padkaart. Die "nuwe" doelwitte ondersteun die visie van SED en verskaf die geleentheid om die verbetering van die operasionele effektiwiteit te versnel.

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