An investigation into project management failure

Nkhalamba, Emmanuel Silvester (2000-03)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: As modern business environment continues to be uncertain and risky due to rapid changes in technology, consumer tastes and international trade that exposes smaller economies to larger and stronger economies of the world, smaller organisations to larger multinationals, conventional management approach becomes inadequate. Better methods of managing business and projects have to be found in order to deal with tough competition. Before 1970's, very few people ever talked about project management. This could be attributed to relatively stable environment in which the rate of change was either bearable or easily predicted. It was relatively easy to use established management rules, tools and procedures to deal with such changes. However, since the 1980's, the scenario has changed, organisations are struggling to cope with the pace of change and the pressure is on for organisations either to adapt or die. Consequently, project management has become the sought after management alternative to deal with this unprecedented rate of change and for survival. Project management attractions are mainly its emphasis on teamwork and multidisciplinary approach. It holistic approach makes it very useful in unfamiliar and risky projects in which information is either scanty or overwhelming. The need for project management in such situations cannot be overemphasized. As the business environment continues to become more chaotic, project management will continue to be the management tool of the 21st Century. Organisations that fail to learn the new technique of project managing their business will soon find themselves unable to compete or even survive. This study project examines through a review of relevant literature and by means of a questionnaire the critical factors that constitute project management failure. Questions like what impact can project management failure have on an organisation? What managerial and environmental factors can lead to project management failure? These and other similar questions on this subject are answered. Management, especially top management, would do well to address these factors as proposed in this study findings if they hope to remain operational in this century. The onus is on the leaders of organisations to ensure that their organisations are able to compete, grow and deliver to the satisfaction of shareholders and their customers.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Soos die moderne besigheidsomgewing onseker en vol risikos bly, as gevolg van drastiese veranderinge in tegnologie, verbruikersondervinding en internasionale handel wat die kleiner ekonomie blootstel aan die groter ekonomie van die wereld, kleiner organisasies aan groter organisasies, word konvensionele bestuursbenadering onvoldoende. Beter metodes van besigheidsbestuur en projekte sal gevind moet word, om te kan kompeteer met gevestigde kompetisie. Voor die 1970's het bitter min mense oor Projekbestuur gepraat. Dit kan toegeskryf word aan 'n taamlik stabiele omgewing waarin die spoed van verandering aanvaarbaar of maklik voorspelbaar was. Dit was betreklik maklik om die bestaande bestuursreëls, werksmetode en prosedures te gebruik om by te hou by sulke veranderinge. Vanaf die 1980's het hierdie prentjie egter verander. Organisasies sukkel om by te hou by die pas van verandering en die druk is op dié organisasies om aan te pas of onder te gaan. Gevolglik het dit'n alternatief geword om by hierdie veranderinge aan te pas en te oorleef. Projekbestuur se aantrekkingskrag lê daarin dat dit die klem plaas op spanwerk en veelsydige dissipline. Die holistiese benadering maak dit baie nuttig in onbekende en gevaarlike projekte waarin inligting skaars of oorweldigend is. Die behoefte aan Projekbestuur in sulke situasies kan nie genoeg beklemtoon word nie. Soos die besigheidsomgewing chaoties word, so sal die bestuur aanhou om die besigheidstyl van die 21ste eeu te wees. Organisasies wat nalaat om die nuwe tegnieke aan te leer, sal gou agterkom dat hulle nie kan kompeteer of miskien oorleef nie. Hierdie studieprojek ondersoek deur middel van toepaslike literatuur en vraelyste die kritieke faktore wat die mislukking van Projekbestuur konstitueer. Vrae soos, watter inpak kan die mislukking van die bestuur op 'n organisasie hê; watter bestuurs- en omgewingsfaktore kan lei tot die mislukking van Produkbestuur? Hierdie en soortgelyke vrae ten opsigte van hierdie onderwerp word beantwoord. Bestuur, en veral seniorbestuur, sal goed doen om hierdie bevindinge te bestudeer as hulle hoop om operasioneel te bly in hierdie eeu. Die verantwoordelikheid lê by die leiers van organisasies om seker te maak dat hulle kan kompeteer, groei en 'n diens lewer na die satisfaksie van die aandeelhouers en hulle kliënte.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51607
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