ProjectPro Library of Articles

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  • General

    FACILITIES MANAGEMENT

    from a project management perspective 

    (Part 1)

    By Heather Burden & Morgan Haylett*

    In today’s global business arena, change is the only constant. To grow and maintain a competitive advantage in such an environment, organisations need to constantly adapt while remaining cost-effective and efficient. Outsourcing has been embraced as a business strategy through which organisations are able to exploit core business expertise by being flexible and capable of rapid change.

    FACILITIES MANAGEMENT

    from a project management perspective

    (Part 2)

    Outsourcing means change in an organisation

    By Heather Burden & Morgan  Haylett*

    In the May 2000 issue of ProjectPro (Vol 10 No 3), the first part of this article by Burden and Haylett mentioned that in today’s global business arena, change is the only constant. To grow and maintain a competitive advantage in such an environment, organisations need to constantly adapt while remaining cost-effective and efficient. A way of achieving this is, according to the authors, through outsourcing.

    BUILDING FAILERS ON HIGHRISE BUILDINGS IN THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT OF HARARE

     Prof. Dries Hauptfleisch and Tawanda Goronga*

    SUMMARY

    The purpose of the research was to identify the main causes of building defects and possible solutions to avoid or minimize building failures. The focus is on highrise buildings in the Central Business District of Harare (CBDH). The situation and findings regarding the CBDH can be generalized for the rest of the towns and cities in the country and most likely other developing countries in the region.

  • Integration

    Article category: INTEGRATION

    The role of

    INTEGRATED INFORMATION

    in project management

    Stephen Allen and Kosie Smith*

     

    Integration

    Integration of construction teams and project information leads to improvements in the construction delivery process. This article describes different levels of construction information integration. The starting point is a ‘partnering’ approach to project management. It then considers the integration of project information and the integration of construction processes.

    Furthermore, the application of web-technologies to establish an environment or platform for project information integration, is briefly described in terms of the benefits and constraints of web-enablement. Lastly, an example is given of such an integrated project environment as developed by the Division of Building and Construction Technology (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research [CSIR]). This service-oriented web-enabled environment (IPROS – Integrated Project Services) provides a platform for single-project, multi-project and inter-company project information integration.

    THE ROLE OF INTEGRATED INFORMATION IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT

    By Stephen Allen and Kosie Smith (CSIR)

    (This article was presented at a PMISA regional conference held in Durban.)

    Integration of construction teams and project information leads to improvements in the construction delivery process. This article describes different levels of construction information integration. The starting point is a ‘partnering’ approach to project management and then it considers the integration of project information and the integration of construction processes. The application of web-technologies to establish an environment or platform for project information integration is briefly described in terms of the benefits and constraints of web-enablement. Lastly an example is given of such an integrated project environment as developed by the Division of Building and Construction Technology (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)). This service-oriented web-enabled environment (IPROS – Integrated Project Services) provides a platform for single-project, multi-project and inter-company project information integration.

     

  • Scope

    Software Development: Function Point Analysis
    By Ad Sparrius
    Progress in all scientific and engineering fields has been closely coupled to accurate measurements of basic phenomena. Without the ability to measure voltage, current and impedance, there could be no electrical engineering. Software tries to be the only exception. When the Danish astronomer Ole Rømer first attempted to measure the speed of light, his results only indicated 225 000 km/s which differs from today’s value of 299 793 km/s by 25%. However, prior to Rømer’s publication in 1676 most scientists thought that the speed of light was infinite. Even Rømer’s incorrect result started scientists along an extremely useful path. - Capers Jones, Applied Software Measurement – Assuring Productivity and Quality

    Project replanning - points in a process mode
    Project replanning in a decade of change
    By Helen S Cooke
    No one likes to talk about replanning. We all know it occurs, but people do not discuss it very much because it implies error. Not necessarily yours or mine, but “someone’s” error. Somebody was not looking far enough in advance. Someone was not getting the proper “facts” before taking action.

     

  • Scheduling

    Late Completion of Building Projects
    D.G. Brümmer
    Department of Construction Economics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria

    ABSTRACT
    An investigation was launched to determine whether building projects in the Republic of South Africa (RSA) are generally completed on time and, if that is not the case, what the impact potential of late completion holds for the parties to the contract.  The extent of delays caused by individual factors, (each considered separately) are investigated in addition

    Tom Peters gets high on speed
    Terry Deacon

    LESSONS LEARNT FROM MANAGING A PROJECT USING THE THEORY OF CONSTRAINTS/CRITICAL CHAIN
    By Karl Fuchs
    The author shares with readers the significant advantages that he gained by applying the Theory of Constraints Critical Chain Project Management Methodology at the CSIR in South Africa.

    Critical Chain - A detailed example
    By Ad Sparrius

    Critical Chain - A detailed example
    By Ad Sparrius

     

     

  • Cost

    PROJECT ACCOUNTING II
    This is part 2 in a series of articles on the project accountant by authors George Nel, Senior Lecturer, Department of Accounting, University of Stellenbosch & Chris Brown, Associate Professor in Project Management, University of Stellenbosch Business School.
    Keeping an Eye on the Project Budget

    In practice the project accounting function would either be absorbed between the project manager and the accounting department or a management accountant would be appointed.

    PROJECT ACCOUNTING
    *Prof Chris Brown and George Nel, University of Stellenbosch.
    Introduction
    According to Wideman (2002: 4) project accounting is the process of identifying, measuring, recording and communicating actual project cost data. To which can be added, “to compare with the planned data”, so as to enable the project manager to benchmark the progress on the project against the planned. In practice the project accounting function would either be absorbed between the project manager and the accounting department or a dedicated project accountant would be appointed.

    Cost estimation
    By Ad Sparrius
    How could one haruspex look another in the face without laughing? [An Etruscan haruspex divined the future from the entrails of a sacrificial animal.] Cicero; De Diviniatione, ii 24, 50 BC

    In the previous article (published in Vol 10 No 1 of ProjectPro magazine) we described the various cost estimation classes. Which estimation methods can be used to obtain these estimate classes? The three fundamentally different cost estimation methods will now be described.

    Revitalise cost engineering with systems thinking
    By Nick Duursema
    How can you revitalise your cost engineering department in a changing environment?

    PRICE MODELLING IN PROJECT PROCUREMENT SYSTEMS
    By Prof GK le Roux and Prof PA Bowden
    This article examines the worldwide operation of current, traditional price-modelling systems and analyses the extent to which they incorporate the production process in terms of the characteristics of realistic price models.

     

  • Quality

    The role of continuous professional development (CPD) in “Client Delight” relationship
    By Gaye Le Roux, Director, QS EduTech Centre
    According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS, 1993), continuous professional development (CPD) is the systematic maintenance, improvement, and broadening of knowledge and skills, as well as the development of personal qualities necessary for the execution of professional and technical duties throughout the practitioner’s working life.

    Towards Quality Projects - Identifying the principles of project success
    By Prof Basie Verster
    How can a project manager produce a product on time, with set budgets and cost limits and to the required scope and specification standards?

     

  • Human Resources

    HELP YOUR TEAM TO MANAGE PROJECT STRESS
    Simon White

    All projects involve an element of stress. But how you manage stress will influence your performance in your role.

    We all know what stress is. It is the thing that makes your hair turn grey and your frowns appear more often than smiles. It is natural that projects attract a lot of stress, as you have a fixed set of deliverables to produce in a fixed timeframe and with fixed resources - and all with your project sponsor breathing down your neck!

    GROUPTHINK VERSUS GROUPSHIFT
    Brian R. King, P.Eng, PMP.

    To be a good team leader it is useful to understand some basics about group dynamics and its impact on the effectiveness of team decisions.

    Two major aspects of group dynamics are groupthink
    and groupshift. These phenomena can affect a team’s ability to appraise alternatives objectively and to arrive at quality decisions.

    TEN TIPS TO LOWER YOUR RISK OF RECEIVING JUNK EMAIL

    Take advantage of the Junk E-mail Filter in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007   Office Outlook 2007 helps to mitigate the problem of spam by providing the Junk E-mail Filter, which automatically evaluates incoming messages and sends those identified as spam to the Junk E-mail folder.

    ROLE OF PROGRAM MANAGER VERSUS PROJECT MANAGER
    By Jack S. Duggal, MBA, PMP

    A common myth about the role of the program manager is that he or she “wears a bigger and wider hat” to be able to manage large, multiple projects. In reality, the program manager should also wear different pairs of glasses that provide different perspectives and enable program managers to see things differently than project managers. To be successful in a program environment, program managers have to balance between multiple perspectives.

    REWARDING THE PROJECT TEAM
    Brian R. King, P.Eng, PMP, president of Millennium 3 Inc.

    Everyone has a need to be recognized and rewarded for their actions. This need will vary in degree of importance among individuals. It is also important to celebrate, recognize and reward overall team efforts, keeping in mind that a team is a group of people with complementary skills that work together to achieve a shared goal.

    Team leaders need to develop a plan for how the team will be rewarded.

    DUTIES OF THE EFFECTIVE PROJECT MANAGER
    Neal Whitten, PMP, Contributing Editor of PM Network magazine

    Truly effective project managers are not easy to find. Although many people have the potential to become successful project managers, a person must first understand the duties of a project manager before he or she can be sufficiently effective in that role.

    GETTING TO GRIPS WITH THE NATIONAL QUALIFICATION FRAMEWORK (NQF)
    By Terry Deacon

    Did you know that South Africa has yet another “official language”? It’s called SAQ-ish and to a greater or lesser extent we will all have to understand this new language.

    SKILLS TRAINING IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
    WHERE TO FROM HERE?
    Franco Geminiani, Senior Lecturer,  Department of Building, Port Elizabeth Technikon
    Kobus Van Wyk, Dean: Faculty of Civil Engineering, Building, Architecture and Agriculture, Port Elizabeth Technikon

    South Africa stands on the brink of a new era with regards to training. The country is in a transitional phase of change from the old system of apprenticeship training to the new system of learnerships. 

     

  • Communication

    Seven Causes of Communication Breakdown - Part I

    Seven Causes of Communication Breakdown - Part II

    Sue Dyer* 

    Poor communication is far and away the most cited reason by project teams for their failures, so by understanding the origins of communication problems you can vastly improve your chances for success.

    After asking these questions of 134 project teams, and then working with each team to improve their results, I began to realize that often what the team believes to be a communication issue is actually a symptom of the real problem — or root cause. When a team identifies their problem as one of poor communication, and then works to try and resolve the “poor communication” issue, I found that significant improvement could not be made. Only by understanding the root cause can you effectively work to solve the underlying

    Effectively managing project communications – Part I

    Latest technology doesn’t mean excellent communication

    By Jürgen Oschadleus*

    Successful projects require excellent communications. So how can it be possible for a company with the latest technology and a real-time on-line web-based tracking system to still consistently fail to meet projects’ time, cost and quality constraints?

    Effectively Managing Project Communications – Part II

    Latest technology doesn’t mean excellent communication

    Jürgen Oschadleus*

    Good communication is possibly the single most important ingredient of successful projects. Yet, as noted in the previous edition, successful project communications are not guaranteed by the existence of a communications management plan or sophisticated communications technology, including GroupWare and Intranets. If left to chance, people tend to either not communicate, or to miscommunicate (innocently or deliberately).

    Effectively Managing Project Communications – Part III

    Latest technology doesn’t mean excellent communication

    Jürgen Oschadleus*

     “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” These playground words of comfort are among the greatest lies, for the pen is mightier than sword. Words can harm, motivate, inspire, change destinies of countries – or of projects. Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Abe Lincoln and many other great leaders have recognised this. So do the managers of successful companies and projects.

     

  • Risk

    Project risk management Part 1:
    The nature of project risk
    By Antonie M de Klerk

     

    Project risk management Part 2:
    The process
    By Antonie M de Klerk

     

    Project Risk Management Part 3:
    Modelling and Software Tools
    Antonie M de Klerk

     

     

  • Procurement

    HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE SOURCING OF BUILDING PRODUCT INFORMATION IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA?
    Tinus Maritz1, Dr. Carl Klopper and Dr. Thys Siglé
    Department of Construction Economics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
    ABSTRACT
    The growing use of modern communications is bound to result in substantial changes in the way the world does business, and more specifically in the context of this article, in the increasing use of electronic exchange of construction information between different members of the project team, and with product manufacturers and suppliers. These changes are brought about by the availability of fast, powerful and relatively cheap computers; fast and relatively cheap telecommunication methods, and the rise of global electronic networks, particularly the Internet. These technologies are driving the envisaged rapid growth of electronic commerce. In the next few years, e-commerce will impact in some way or another on businesses, if it has not already done so

    THE NEED FOR A STANDARDISED TECHNIQUE FOR TENDER EVALUATION IN SOUTH AFRICA
    Fanie Buys, MSc (QS), Senior Lecturer, Department of Quantity Surveying, UPE and

    Grant Puttergill, BSc Hons (QS) graduate (2001), UPE
    Introduction
    Some contractor selection methods currently in existence are criticised as incomplete and biased, and lacking consideration in terms of the contractor’s ability to achieve simultaneously, time, cost, quality and safety standards.

     

    THE CUTTING EDGE IN PM
    Trials and tribulation: the New Engineering Contract (NEC) in practice

    John Mclure

     

    BUILD-OPERATE-TRANSFER-THE WAY FORWARD
    By Ian McKechnie
    This article focuses on the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) concession-type project model.

     

     

    GENERAL CONTRACTING VS CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT
    By Steve Saucerman
    This article discusses the differences between the titles General Contractor (GC) and Construction Management (CM)

     

    What Does The Law Say?

    In this series of contract law articles we look at how the courts resolved some difficult disputes.

    We are grateful to Tiefenthaler Construction for supplying these articles for publication.

    Case I

    Buzzard Electrical (Pty) Ltd v 158 Jan Smuts Avenue
    Investments (Pty) Ltd and other 1996 (4) SA 19 (A)

    Does a subcontractor have a claim for enrichment against the employer for work done in those instances where a subcontractor has not received payment from the main contractor because of the main contractor’s insolvency? What does the law say?

    CASE II

    Andy's Electrical v Laurie Sykes (Pty) Ltd
    1979 (3) SA 341 (N)

    Contractors are sometimes handed a reduced payment amount for works executed, such payment being issued under the term “full and final settlement of your account”. What are the consequences if the contractor accepts such payment? 

     

  • PM Context

    RESULTS FROM MAJOR STUDY:
    Project Management Delivers Value

    On 14 July at the 2008 PMI Research Conference held in Warsaw, Poland, Janice L. Thomas, PhD and Mark Mullaly, PMP, presented the preliminary findings of their landmark study, Researching the Value of Project Management.

    The study was commissioned by PMI and conducted through Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada. The eagerly anticipated presentation was a featured event of the conference.

    PROJECTS AND PARADOXES
    By Dennis Comninos

    This article focuses on some of the issues of bringing the business of projects and operations closer together, using processes already owned and driven by the organisation. It addresses the paradoxes that upper management and project managers face in the management of projects that lead us to a number of best-practice rules that can generally be applied to a wide spectrum of projects.

    THE VIRTUAL PROJECT OFFICE
    PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN A WIRED WORLD

    By Werner Kapp
    Many companies around the world are replacing some of their physical storefronts with web-based storefronts in the electronic commerce revolution

     

  • Professional

    QUESTIONS ON PMI’s STRATEGY AND FUTURE

    David Pells, a respected protagonist of project management and Fellow of the Project Management Institute (PMI), has published an open letter to the PMI Board of Directors that addresses many salient topics. He raises many questions through a reasoned and thoughtful personal view of the present state of the PMI.

    David Pells has tried hard for a decade to promote the globalization of project management. He was prominent in organising the first Global PM Forum in New Orleans in 1995. Here are his comments on the topic The Global PM Forum -An Opportunity Lost by PMI

    BUILT ENVIRONMENT PROFESSIONS BILL
    The new profession of project and construction management
    A giant stride backwards?

    PROJECT PARTNERING DESTRUCTIVE CONFLICT AVOIDANCE
    By Prof AC Hauptfleisch and Mr J Reed
    Project partnering can significantly contribute towards reducing the possibility of disputes erupting into destructive and costly conflict.

    USE A BENCHMARK TO STAND UP AND BE NOTICES
    Fanie Buys, MSc Qs (UPE) RQS MAQS
    Senior Lecturer, Department of Quantity Surveying, University of Port Elizabeth
    Benchmarking is comparing your company’s performance against others and then using lessons from the best organisations to make improvements. A benchmark is a measured "best-in-class" achievement recognized as the standard of excellence for that business process.

     

  • Editorial

    Project Manager’s Survival Kit
    by Terry Deacon*
    CEO, ProjectPro Management Services
    Project managers everywhere are increasingly called upon to finish projects earlier, within budget and with ever decreasing resources. With this sort of pressure on project managers to produce quality deliverables with ever decreasing durations and resources, we need to look at the survival tactics which should be employed to achieve project objectives.

    Tom Peters gets high on speed
    Terry Deacon

    Project Health Check
    By Terry Deacon

    PMBOK PICKS THE WORLD’S FINEST BRAINS
    By Terry Deacon
    Terry Deacon reviews the PMBOK Guide 2000 Edition (PMBOK 2000). 

    Making Waves
    By Terry Deacon
    Taking a fresh look at the Information Age.

    TIME IS OF THE ESSSENCE
    By Terry Deacon
    Successful personal time management, just like project management, is a matter of planning and control

    Are you worth your salt as a project manager?
    Terry Deacon discusses the global status of certifying project managers

    How many projects can you juggle?
    *Terry Deacon
    A question often asked is “How many projects can a project manager cope with simultaneously?” The answer is “It all depends.”

     

  • Project Parade

    Fluor Wins 2007 PMI’s Project of the Year Award
    The Project Management Institute (PMI®) has announced the selection of the Fluor Corporation as the winner of its 2007 Project of the Year Award. The recognition honours a project and its project team for superior performance and the execution of exemplary project management.

    Burj Dubai Now World’s Tallest Building
    Dubai boasts the world's tallest building, with the Burj Dubai (DubaiTower) scraping the sky at 512m (1,680ft) a year before its slated completion.

    The Burj Dubai, built by South Korea's Samsung, now covers 158 floors and stands at a magnificent 598.5 meters tall.

    More Questions Than Answers on Injaka Bridge Debacle

    Professional engineers and the general public expressed confusion and outrage when the finding of the inquest into the Injaka Bridge Collapse was announced on 13 November 2006. Over eight years has elapsed since the collapse that killed 14 people in July 1998.

    The inquest magistrate Ms J E Serfontein surprisingly found that “none of the deaths were brought about by any act or omission prima facie involving or amounting to an offence on the part of any person. This Office does not intend prosecution in the matter.”

    More Questions Than Answers on Injaka Bridge Debacle

    Professional engineers and the general public expressed confusion and outrage when the finding of the inquest into the Injaka Bridge Collapse was announced on 13 November 2006. Over eight years has elapsed since the collapse that killed 14 people in July 1998.

    The inquest magistrate Ms J E Serfontein surprisingly found that “none of the deaths were brought about by any act or omission prima facie involving or amounting to an offence on the part of any person. This Office does not intend prosecution in the matter.”

    AllPay Project gets PME 2003 thumbs up

    Casino construction projects
    Saving grace for building industry?

     

    Sydney Olympic Games: A real winner!
    Paula Schultz

     

    Sydney Olympic Games: A real winner!
    Paula Schultz

    HUMAN GENOME PROJECT
    Blueprinting the body?
    Paula Schultz

     

    “IT NEVER RAINS, BUT IT POURS”
    Mozambique Reconstruction and Development
    Paula Schultz

    MEGA-PROJECTS IN THE MAKING
    Fascinating world of Extreme Engineering
    Paula Schultz

    PME ‘99 WINNER- MORE THAN A DECADE OF WORK JUSTLY REWARDED
    This article focuses on the 1999 winner of the Project Management Excellence (PME) Award, namely the Delivery Tunnel for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.

    THE 3 TENORS
    THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE? HOPING IT WOULDN’T RAIN
    By Lene Ecroignard
    The Three Tenors “Bravo Africa” concert in Pretoria, promised to be the most spectacular and ambitious event ever staged in Sou

    th Africa. Who was ensuring that this promise was kept?

    Winner of the Project Management Excellence Award (PME) 2001 and the International Project of the Year (POY) Award
    Mozal Smelter Project breaks records against all odds

    Louise van Niekerk
    The Mozal Smelter Project in Mozambique is a worthy winner of the Project Management Excellence (PME) Award for 2001! This US$1,3 billion project built in an under-developed country, finished under budget and well ahead of schedule, is believed to have set a world schedule record for construction of an AP-30 single line aluminium smelter. To top it all, this was achieved despite the additional challenges of working in adverse conditions in Mozambique, especially in view of the floods early in 2000. When choosing a winner the Project Management Institute South Africa who organises the annual PME Awards, took all these factors into consideration.

    SALT
    Lene Ecroignard
    Recently the South African government approved construction of the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT). This is a very exiting project that will run for five more years and promises significant technology and skills development for the country. Says Dr Robert Stobie, Director, South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), “With the construction of SALT, South African scientists will be able to match or exceed the astronomical resources in South America and Australia for the first time in decades”.

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