An evaluation of the Western Cape Provincial Government's modernisation programme with a focus on the project management approach blueprint and its implementation within the Department of Transport and Public Works

Kamaldien, Mohamed Sedick (2012-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

If one compares governments to the corporate world across the globe, it often plays second fiddle when it comes to strategy; new ideas, adopting of new management styles & processes and lastly, change, for this reason, the Provincial Government of the Western Cape recently undertook a journey that would shed it from these stereotypical behaviours. The journey was Christened „The Modernisation Programme‟ and was launched in 2009; one of its brainchildren named „Project Management Approach‟ was created as the bastion against inefficiencies and ineffective service delivery. A case in point is the unfinished Eastern Boulevard freeway in the city centre of Cape Town; the project was scrapped in the seventies, as the need for it was not justified by the traffic demand at the time in relation to its astronomical cost - a clear indication of poor project planning and management. This study was therefore undertook to examine whether the Project Management Approach (PMA) as part of the holistic Modernisation Programme was successfully implemented and if it yielded the expected results and attitude change in the project management environment in the Department of Transport and Public Works, which is responsible for more than half of all Provincial Government‟s projects. The study examines the impact the Project Management Approach had on service delivery, project management IT infrastructure and as a strategic tool. The analysis showed that although the PMA was welcomed by top management and even has the Director General (DG) as its business champion. However, it fell by the way side two to three years later, this was mostly due to limited communication, which practically ceased two years later and a steering committee that was never fully established and supported by senior official. An outcome, which resulted in roughly half of the project leaders being partially aware of the PMA, a similar analysis also revealed that they were not even aware of it being a long-term strategy. The analysis based on stakeholder involvement was more positive and many of the client department‟s end users were satisfied with the degree of improved cooperation between departmental teams. Further analysis conducted on the client/end user‟s opinion resulted in positive responses but failed to fire up the researcher‟s enthusiasm, as it was hardly the response one would expect from clients, had international standards and best practices been present. “Project management can be defined as a way of developing structure in a complex project, where the independent variables of time, cost, resources and human behaviour come together.” (Rory Burke) “Operations keeps the lights on, strategy provides a light at the end of the tunnel, but project management is the train engine that moves the organization forward.” (Joy Gumz)

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