Factors that may obstruct proper project management functioning at the Epping branch, Cape Town, of African Oxygen Limited (Afrox)

Brand, Sharon Lee (2008-03)

Thesis (MBA (Business Management))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research study report takes place in a business setting, namely the new system implementation for consignment distributors supplied by the Epping branch of Afrox. Various signs of problems within the management of this project were observed, and this has led to research into those factors that may be obstructing proper project management at Epping, Afrox. The aim of the study is to gain understanding of these factors and to provide recommendations to the decision-makers in the organization. The author draws on a stream of research in order to identify those factors that in theory inhibit proper project management. Fourteen factors were identified, namely, business strategy; performance management system; communication; continuous improvement; customer focus; leadership; monitoring, control and measurement; motivation; organizational behaviour; risks; resources; skills; specifications and teamwork. These factors form the basis for the development of a structured questionnaire, and responses were received from a sample of employees in various departments at the Epping branch. The numeric data from the responses was analyzed through the descriptive statistical technique of describing the population proportion. The findings from the empirical study reveal that none of the factors identified and tested to be statically significant in obstructing proper project management. The overwhelming success of engineering projects and other information technology projects may have influenced the results. However, pressures may exist in the project management areas of performance management, continuous improvement, organizational behaviour and skills, as these factors received the least favourable responses from the sample group. It is concluded that opportunities exist, based on this primary research study, for further and more in-depth research. Recommendations are made to repeat the study by delimiting the population to only those employees assigned to and stakeholders affected by the consignment distributor new system roll out. Alternatively, a recommendation is made to conduct further research into those areas that may be under pressure in project management by means of personal interviews or through a second empirical survey focused on performance management, continuous improvement, organizational behaviour and skills.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studieverslag het betrekking op ’n sake-omgewing, te wete die nuwe stelselimplementering vir vragverspreiders soos verskaf deur Afrox se Epping-tak. Daar is talle tekens waargeneem van probleme met die bestuur van hierdie projek, wat gelei het tot ’n ondersoek na die faktore wat behoorlike projekbestuur by Afrox se Epping-tak moontlik kniehalter. Die doel van die navorsing is om hierdie faktore te ondersoek en om voorstelle vir oplossings te doen aan die besluitnemers binne die organisasie. Die outeur maak gebruik van ’n stroom navorsing ter identifisering van daardie faktore wat behoorlike projekbestuur teoreties inhibeer. Veertien faktore is geïdentifiseer, te wete: sakestrategie; prestasiebestuurstelsel; kommunikasie; voortdurende vordering; klantefokus; leierskap; monitering, beheer en meting; motivering; organisatoriese gedrag; risiko’s; hulpbronne; vaardighede; spesifikasies; en spanwerk. Hierdie faktore vorm die basis van die ontwikkeling van ’n gestruktureerde vraelys, en antwoorde is verkry van ’n toetsgroep van werknemers in verskeie afdelings by die Epping-tak. Die numeriese data van die response is ontleed met behulp van die deskriptiewe statistiese tegniek van beskrywing van die toetsbevolking. Die bevindings van die empiriese studie toon dat geeneen van die geïdentifiseerde en getoetste faktore statisties betekenisvol is in die belemmering van behoorlike projekbestuur nie. Die oorweldigende sukses van ingenieursprojekte en ander inligtingstegnologieprojekte kon dalk die uitslae beïnvloed het. Nietemin, daar mag dalk drukpunte bestaan in die projekbestuursareas van prestasiebestuur, voortdurende vordering, organisatoriese gedrag en vaardighede – siende dat hierdie faktore die mins gunstige respons by die toetsgroep ontlok het. Die gevolgtrekking, gebaseer op hierdie inleidende navorsingstudie, is dat daar geleentheid bestaan vir verdere en meer deurtastende navorsing. Dit is aan te bevele dat die studie herhaal word deur die toetsbevolking te beperk tot slegs daardie werknemers en belanghouers wat deur die nuwe vragverspreidingstelsel se inwerkingstelling geraak word. As alternatief word die voorstel gedoen dat verdere navorsing oor daardie areas van projekbestuur wat moontlik druk ervaar deur middel van persoonlike onderhoude gedoen word, of deur ’n tweede empiriese opname wat gefokus is op prestasiebestuur, voortdurende vordering, organisatoriese gedrag en vaardighede.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/845
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