A SCM approach to project management in the South African construction industry

Brown, Stephen John (2015-12)

Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The two factors that motivated this research were, the failure of construction projects to adhere to budget and schedule and the lack of insight into the management of complex construction projects in South Africa. The construction industry world-wide repeatedly faces challenges in managing projects, this study attempts to solve this problem by investigating an alternative approach to PMBOK project management. This study comprised of five main objectives. The first objective was to identify factors that cause budget overruns and schedule delays in the construction industry; while the second was to identify Supply Chain Management (SCM) methodologies applicable to project management in the construction industry. The third objective was to attempt to highlight the similarities that exist between manufacturing and construction and determine if a manufacturing approach to construction will improve the management of construction projects. The manufacturing industry implements structured frameworks such as the Supply Chain Operation Reference (SCOR) model that facilitate effective management of complex tasks. The fourth objective of this research was to evaluate project management effectiveness and assess whether a SCM approach to project management, more specifically, whether a structured framework such as the SCOR model can be directly implemented in a construction project to facilitate improved management processes. In order to evaluate such an approach, it was necessary to obtain input from practitioners working and managing such projects. As such, a series of discussions and interviews, as well as a case study were conducted at a prominent multinational company, referred to as Company A. Furthermore, consultation of industry experts from manufacturing, construction and engineering consulting was conducted in order to evaluate the feasibility of SCM as a substitute or supplement to conventional PMBOK project management. The principal findings of the research indicate that a structured framework will improve management processes of construction projects, however, the SCOR model specifically is not industry specific enough to be directly applied to the construction industry. Furthermore, there exists specific complexities within the construction industry and more specifically, in the South African construction industry that limit the effectiveness of SCM initiatives such as SCOR. Such complexities include but are not limited to; skills shortages, habituated and familiar management techniques, BBBEE, labour unions, strikes, a politically unstable economy and a change in the socio-economic drivers which motivate human resources. A SCM approach to project management in large corporations was deemed impractical. Instead, a simplification of conventional PMBOK principles and processes by means of a hybrid management model, incorporating SCM as a supplement to PMBOK, was deemed feasible in Small and Medium Enterprises in South Africa. The fifth objective of the study was to determine which project metrics should be measured and managed to improve project management of construction projects. A list of proposed “construction project metrics” that are specific to the success of South African construction projects is presented. Key project management practices and skills considered important in successfully managing a construction project were found to be; effective communication, contractor appointment procedure, resourced schedule development, appointment of dedicated project planner and scheduler, as well as personnel management and development.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die twee faktore wat hierdie navorsing gemotiveer het, is die mislukking van konstruksieprojekte om te hou by die begroting en skedule; en die gebrek aan insig in die bestuur van komplekse konstruksieprojekte in Suid-Afrika. Die konstruksiebedryf wêreldwyd staar herhaaldelik uitdagings in die gesig, wat betref die bestuur van projekte; hierdie studie poog om hierdie probleem op te los deur 'n alternatiewe benadering tot PMBOK (“Project Management Body of Knowledge”)-projekbestuur te ondersoek. Hierdie studie het vyf hoofdoelwitte bevat. Die eerste doelwit was om faktore te identifiseer wat begrotingsoorskrydings en skedulevertragings in die konstruksiebedryf veroorsaak; en die tweede doelwit was om voorsieningskettingbestuur (VKB)-metodologieë wat van toepassing is op projekbestuur in die konstruksiebedryf, te identifiseer. Die derde doelwit was om te poog om die ooreenkomste wat tussen vervaardiging en konstruksie bestaan, te beklemtoon, en te bepaal of 'n produksiebenadering tot konstruksie die bestuur van konstruksieprojekte sal verbeter. Die vervaardigingsbedryf implementeer gestruktureerde raamwerke soos die SCOR-model (“Supply Chain Operations Reference model”), wat effektiewe bestuur van komplekse take fasiliteer. Die vierde doelwit van hierdie navorsing was om projekbestuursdoeltreffendheid te evalueer, en te bepaal of 'n voorsieningskettingbestuursbenadering tot projekbestuur, en meer spesifiek, of 'n gestruktureerde raamwerk soos die SCOR-model, direk in 'n konstruksieprojek geïmplementeer kan word om verbeterde bestuursprosesse te fasiliteer. Ten einde so 'n benadering te evalueer, was dit nodig was om insette van praktisyns te verkry wat met sulke projekte werk, en bestuur. As sodanig, is 'n reeks gesprekke en onderhoude, sowel as 'n gevallestudie uitgevoer by 'n prominente multinasionale maatskappy, verwys na as Maatskappy A. Verder is raadpleging van raadgewende kundiges in die bedryf van vervaardiging, konstruksie en ingenieurswese gedoen, om die haalbaarheid van voorsieningskettingbestuur as 'n plaasvervanger of tot aanvulling van konvensionele PMBOK-projekbestuur, te evalueer. Die hoofbevindinge van die navorsing dui daarop dat 'n gestruktureerde raamwerk die bestuursprosesse van konstruksieprojekte sal verbeter, maar die SCOR-model spesifiek is nie industrie-spesifiek genoeg om direk toegepas te kan word op die konstruksiebedryf nie. Verder bestaan daar spesifieke kompleksiteite binne die konstruksiebedryf en meer spesifiek, in die Suid-Afrikaanse konstruksiebedryf, wat die effektiwiteit van voorsieningskettingbestuursinisiatiewe soos SCOR, beperk. Sulke kompleksiteite sluit in, maar is nie beperk tot; vaardigheidstekorte, gewoontevormde- en aanvaarde bestuurstegnieke, BBBEE, vakbonde, stakings, 'n polities-onstabiele ekonomie en 'n verandering in die sosio-ekonomiese drywers wat menslike hulpbronne motiveer. ‘n Voorsieningskettingbestuursbenadering tot projekbestuur in groot korporasies word as onprakties beskou. In plaas daarvan, 'n vereenvoudiging van konvensionele PMBOK-beginsels en prosesse, deur middel van 'n hibriede-bestuursmodel, waarin voorsieningskettingbestuur as 'n aanvulling tot PMBOK geïnkorporeer word, is as haalbaar geag in klein-en medium ondernemings in Suid-Afrika. Die vyfde doel van die studie was om te bepaal watter projekmaatstaf getalle gemeet en bestuur moet word, om die projekbestuur van konstruksieprojekte te verbeter. 'n Lys van voorgestelde "konstruksieprojekmaatstawwe" wat spesifiek is tot die sukses van Suid-Afrikaanse konstruksieprojekte, word aangebied. Sleutel projekbestuurspraktyke- en vaardighede wat as belangrik beskou word om 'n konstruksieprojek suksesvol te bestuur, is vasgestel as; effektiewe kommunikasie, kontrakteur aanstellingsprosedure, ten-volle-toegeruste skedule-ontwikkeling, aanstelling van toegewyde projekbeplanner- en skeduleerder, sowel as personeelbestuur- en ontwikkeling.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98131
This item appears in the following collections: