CAPM Online Course

ProjectPro is proud to introduce our completely redesigned Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) ® elearning course based on the latest Project Management Body of Knowledge of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) 6th Edition and Agile Practice Guide. This online on-demand approach to training is convenient and cost effective.

The course provides the 23 hours of project management training that the Project Management Institute (PMI) require to take the CAPM exam.

Professional course and graphic designers have created an engaging and effective online learning experience for those who need to study part-time, at their own place, pace and time . Try our demo module to experience the quality of our course  . You may register for the full course by going straight to www.projectpropm.com

Obtaining your PMP® can prove lucrative - South African PMP® holders report a median salary 58 percent higher than those without the certification. This is a key finding of the Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey, 10th Edition – a leading source of data on project practitioner earning published by the Project Management Institute.

ProjectPro’s traditional classroom courses are also available for those who prefer the face-to -face approach. We offer a 3-day intensive course and a 9-week Saturday mornings course.  Learn more

eLearning for Busy PM’s
Your pace, place and time

No time to attend courses during working hours? Then try ProjectPro’s eLearning courses for CAPM and PMP certification exam preparation workshops from as low as R3 040 incl VAT . Visit www.projectpropm.com or email info@projectpropm.com for more information.

Another successful ProjectPro PMP online student


I would like to thank you very much for offering your PMP course. I enjoyed it, and I learned a great deal. I passed the PMP exam the first time around. Your PMP training course is very well crafted, and I can recommend it to others.


Mike Benson
PMP No. 1803125
Boulder, Colorado, USA.

For more details of eLearning courses visit www.projectpropm.com

PMI 2018 Project Of The Year Winner

Hurricane Katrina decimated thousands of buildings in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, in 2005, including a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facility that served approximately 40,000 military families. The hospital, also where world-class research was conducted and more than 500 medical students were training to become physicians, suffered so much damage that it had to be replaced.

So in 2006, the U.S. Congress authorized funding for a new 148,645-square metre regional referral centre. Dubbed Project Legacy, the 10-year, US$1 billion project delivered an eight-building, 12 hectare campus in the heart of New Orleans. In a city submerged and beleaguered by a deadly storm, rebuilding a critical healthcare centre became a symbol of recovery Read more

Civil contractor sentiment falls to an historic low

The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) SME business conditions survey showed that civil contractor confidence fell by 6 index points to a historic low of 27 during the third quarter of 2018. Weakness in all the underlying indicators, especially construction activity, supported the drop in confidence. Discouragingly, demand for new construction work remains a constraint and implies that activity growth is likely to remain under pressure in the near future.

From a grades perspective, confidence fell to historic lows of 25 and 15 for Grades 5 and 6 as well as Grades 7 and 8 respectively. Respondents in these grades experienced a sharp slowdown in activity which weighed on profitability. Read more

Six (Less Expensive) Ways to Grow Your PM Skills

Bruce Harpham, PMI Southern Ontario Chapter.

Improving your project management skills requires high-priced training, right? I have seen courses and seminars offered on agile, scheduling and exam preparation for $1,000+. Certainly, that is one approach to developing your knowledge. What if you need a different way to develop yourself—and you have a limited budget? There is a way to make this happen without breaking the bank. Read More

3 Steps to Registering as a Scheduling Professional

ProjectPro offers a 3-step approach towards obtaining the sought-after Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)SM credential.

The need for competent project management scheduling specialists continues to grow as projects become more complex with pressures to reduce timelines. This growth is the driving force behind the need for a specialized, internationally
recognised certification in project scheduling.

The purpose of scheduling is to provide a ‘‘roadmap’’ or barchart that represents how and when the project will deliver the products defined in the project scope by the project stakeholders. The dynamic nature of a project’s execution is best served by a tool that allows for modeling of the plan and analysis due to the impact of progress and unforeseen developments

Step 1: Attend the ProjectPro 2-day Introduction to Microsoft Project 2016 course (next course 12-14 December 2018 in Gauteng).

Step 2: Attend the ProjectPro 2-day Advanced Microsoft Project 2016 course (next course 12-14 December 2018 in Gauteng).

Step 3: Attend the ProjectPro 2-day PMI Scheduling Professional Exam Preparation Workshop. (next course 17-18 January 2019)

Depending on the delegate’s experience in scheduling they may come in, or stop, at any step. The PMI Scheduling Professional exam is not based on knowledge of any particular product e.g. MS Project. Sciforma, Primavera, etc.

Employers can trust PMI-SP credential holders to possess the skills, knowledge and experience to contribute directly to their crucial projects and to impact their  organization’s bottom line. This global credential supports organizational needs; organizations can be confident in hiring capable, experienced project scheduling practitioners. Organizations can offer career paths and encourage individuals to pursue a career in the valued role of a project scheduling practitioner

Contact ProjectPro on 012 346 6674 or training@projectpro.co.za for more details. You may register from our website

Project Management Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)

Dhivaash Sadahew has been certified by the Project Management Institute as a Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP). He attended ProjectPro’s PMI-SP exam preparation workshop and passed on his first attempt, becoming one of only 1040 scheduling specialists to have obtained this sought after credential world-wide.

Genoa Bridge Collapses

An 80-metre section of the Morandi Bridge on the A10 motorway  through Genoa, Italy collapsed in an industrial area of the port city during a sudden and violent storm. About 30 vehicles, including cars and trucks were on the affected section of the bridge when it fell about 90 metres, mostly onto warehouses, railway tracks and a river.

Rescuers continued to work under hazardous conditions after the massive bridge collapse in the northern Italian city of Genoa on 14 August, killing at least 39 people. Rescuers compared the conditions to the aftermath of an earthquake, as sniffer dogs searched through the rubble . Heavy equipment was moved in to lift pieces of the bridge.

The disaster occurred on a major artery to the Italian Riviera and to France’s southern coast. Traffic was heavier than usual as many Italians were travelling to beaches or mountains on the eve of a public holiday.

“The scene is apocalyptic, like a bomb had hit the bridge,” Matteo Pucciarelli, a journalist for La Repubblica, who lives in Genoa. “There are about 400 rescuers working continuously. People are in shock, it’s a very important arterial road that connects Lombardy and Piedmont with Liguria.”

The Italian transport minister, Danilo Toninelli, immediately blamed the collapse on poor infrastructure maintenance and pledged that those responsible “would pay”. The minister, from the Five Star Movement, was rebuked by the opposition for using “political propaganda” so soon after the tragedy.

The Morandi Bridge, which was inaugurated in 1967, is 90-metres high and just over 1km long. Maintenance work on the bridge was carried out in 2016. The highway operator said work to strengthen the road foundations of the bridge was being carried out at the time of the collapse, and the bridge was constantly monitored.

Preparing to become Construction Project Managers

Twenty-six officials from the Department of Public Works, KZN attended a 3-day ProjectPro Construction Project Management (CPM) workshop in Pietermaritzburg. The objective was to prepare them for registration as Professional Construction Project Managers (Pr.CPM) with the South African Council for Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP).

The next public CPM workshop is on 13-15 February 2019 in Gauteng. To register visit our website http://www.projectpro.co.za/Training/training.html or  tel: 012 346 6674.

PMP’s earn 58% more in South Africa!

Grab this golden opportunity to get certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) and boost your salary by up to 58% !

ProjectPro offers a 3-day PMP exam preparation classroom course bundled with our convenient PMP online elearning course to take at your own place, pace and time. This will provide you with 60 notional hours of study to ensure you pass the PMP exam on your first attempt.

Across 37 countries included in the Project Management Institute’s (PMI’s) latest salary survey, certification holders reported higher median salaries than those without the certification. This is a key finding of the Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey, 10th Edition – a leading source of data on project practitioner earning – incorporating responses from more than 33000 project management practitioners.

It shows that PMP certification offers exceptional advantage, especially in South Africa, where PMP holders report a median salary 58 percent higher than those without the certification. PMP tenure also plays a role – among survey respondents in most countries, median salary steadily increases with the length of time one holds a PMP certification.

Invest R13 259 (including VAT) by joining ProjectPro’s next PMP course on 20-22 February 2019 at the Centurion Lake Hotel in Gauteng and get our online elearning prep course at no extra charge.

Register from www.projectpro.co.za or contact ProjectPro on (012) 346 6674 or training@projectpro.co.za for more details.

Nuclear cleanup project is POY winner

Nuclear clean-up projects have no margin for error. One misstep can expose workers and a region’s environment to devastating radioactive contaminants. But a project team at a legacy U.S. site had to be more than just painstakingly precise. It also had to be really fast—and frugal. The three-year, US$107.3 million AY-102 Recovery has been awarded the Project Management Institute's Project of the Year (POY) for 2017. A 40-year-old underground storage tank holding 2,8 million litres of nuclear waste sprang a leak. The team needed to make sure that not a drop of waste reached the nearby Columbia River, the source of drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people. The project called for removing all waste from the faulty tank and transferring it to a new underground container for safe storage. Read More

New CAPM® Pilot Exam Launch Deal

The  Project Management Institute (PMI) is updating the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification exam to reflect the latest content from A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Candidates can take the CAPM pilot exam (based on the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition) from 12 March –20 May 2018, and save up to US$210 on the exam fee. Candidates can submit their application now but need to pay after 16 December 2017.
  • Candidates can submit their application now but need to pay after 16 December 2017.
  • Candidates can also take the current CAPM exam at Prometric until 11 March and until 20 May at Pearson VUE based on the PMBOK® Guide – Fifth Edition.
  • On 21 May 2018, CAPM new 6th edition exam launches and 5th edition exam retires.
  • Updated Exam Content Outline has been added to the CAPM® webpage.

Read More for the CAPM Exam Content Outline

Important dates from the PMI

Two key dates, amongst others, have been announced by the Project Management Institute (PMI®).

The Project Management Professional (PMP) exam based on the new Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) 6th Edition commences on 26 March 2018. The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) commences on the Q1-Q2 2018.



 PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition PMP exams start

 26 March 2018

 PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition CAPM exams start

 Q1-Q2 2018

 Agile Practice Guide

 26 March 2018

 The Standard for Program Management – Fourth  Edition

 Q1 2018 (PgMP)

 The Standard for Portfolio Management – Fourth Edition

 Q2 2018 (PfMP)®

 The PMI Guide to Business Analysis (Includes the Standard for
 Business Analysis)

 To be scheduled

(Please note: Dates are subject to change)

Three ways to get PMP or CAPM certified

ProjectPro is a Registered Education Provider (REP) no. 3618 with the Project Management Institute (PMI).

The Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certifications by the Project Management Institute (PMI) are internationally, the most recognised project management certifications. Hundreds of thousands of project managers around the world presently hold this sought-after certification. Read More

Busy PM’s can now prepare for PMP or CAPM Exam after-hours

Many project managers have their work cut out to meet the demands of their projects by working long hours from Monday to Friday. They feel that there is just no time for attending full-time courses on weekdays. ProjectPro has good news for busy project managers who would like to attend workshops to become internationally certified outside normal office hours.

In response to this demand for after-hours Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) workshops ProjectPro will hold a series of nine PMP / CAPM Workshops on Saturday Mornings in Pretoria, Gauteng.

The workshops will be based on Project Management Body of Knowledge 6th Edition which is provided as part of the course documentation. Candidates will also receive a comprehensive manual containing a study guide, AGILE Guide and hundreds of typical exam questions and answers.

The workshops will be held from 09:00 to 13:00 on Saturday mornings  from 2 March to 4 May 2019. Register from our website or contact 012 346 6674 for more details.

Congratulations George!

George Mutera attended ProjectPro’s Saturday morning Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) series of workshops from May to July this year to prepare for the PMI exams …. and passed the exam. The workshops were facilitated  by Terry Deacon.

“Hi Terry

I took my CAPM exam today and passed. Most questions were about the processes, inputs, tools & technics and outputs. Some questions were from page 61 of the PMBOK Guide, which you emphasised as being very important. There were also a couple of questions that came straight out of the ProjectPro manuals that you gave us during the preparation workshop.

Thank you so much for the knowledge you shared with us.

George Mutera  CAPM”

The top 5 risks of 2017

According to Protivity and North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management, these are the biggest risks keeping project owners awake at night.

  • Economic concerns. Seventy-two percent of executives ranked international and domestic economic conditions a significant risk, making it the leading concern for 2017.
  • Regulatory changes. Sixty-six percent of executives rated regulatory change and heightened regulatory scrutiny as having a significant impact on their organizations. For long¬term projects that must adhere to specific regulations, these changes can directly impact the cost and viability of project plans. It's the first time in five years this wasn't the top concern.
  • Cybersecurity. Concerns about cyberattacks rank among the top five risks for all sizes of companies surveyed. This is particularly concerning for IT project leaders, who must balance innovation and ease of use with the need for protecting data from security breaches.
  • Speed of innovation. The rapid rate of innovation is a growing concern: 2017 is the first year this risk has ranked among the top five. This is particularly challenging for project teams that base their ROl on being first to market with a new innovation.
  • Identity protection. A spike in data breaches has put privacy and identity theft on the top five list for the second year in a row

Source: PM Network

Why do disaster inquiries take years to finalise?

Following a two-day sitting of the Commission of inquiry into the Grayston Drive/M1  pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge collapse, the commissioner, Lennie Samuel decided to postpone the inquiry until 2 July 2018. He has set aside July to September 2018 for completing the case. These were the only dates available where all legal representatives would be available.

 Read More

The Third Firth of Forth Bridge

The third bridge to cross the Firth of Forth in Scotland officially opened to great fanfare in September 2017.

The new 2,7 km cable-stayed bridge spanning the Queensferry Crossing over the Forth River will be the longest of its kind in the world. It will take most of the vehicles that currently travel over the existing 53-year-old Forth Road Bridge. Read More

Big Falcon Rocket vs Space Launch System

Elon Musk has laid out his vision for SpaceX’s future. The innovative company is going all-in on a next-generation vehicle called the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR). This rocket, which will be capable of going to the Moon and Mars, will eventually become SpaceX’s primary vehicle for launching satellites and traveling to the International Space Station. But there is stiff competition from NASA’s  Space Launch System SLS). Read More

Big Demand for Project Managers

Demand over the next 10 years for project managers is growing faster than demand for workers in other occupations. Organizations, however, face risks from this talent gap says the Project Management Institute (PMI).

The latest PMI-commissioned talent gap analysis by Anderson Economic Group (AEG) points to outstanding opportunities in jobs and career growth for project managers within the 11 countries studied. Through 2027, the project management-oriented labour force in seven project-oriented sectors is expected to grow by 33 percent, or nearly 22 million new jobs.

By 2027, employers will need nearly 88 million individuals in project management-oriented roles. China and India will represent more than 75 percent of the total project management-oriented employment.

This report shows that project managers are important contributors to productivity. Talent shortages in the profession can potentially create risks of nearly US$208 billion in GDP over the 10-year period in the 11 countries examined.

CAPM/PMP Saturday morning workshops

ProjectPro holds Saturday morning workshops to help candidates prepare for the Project Management Institute’s internationally recognised Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and Project Management Professional (PMP) examinations.  Seen here are some of the candidates at a Pretoria workshop (from left): Letlhogile Lecogo, Guy Erasmus, George Mutera, Karl Reddy, Daniel Modiba and Terry Deacon (ProjectPro facilitator).

Join ProjectPro’s next 3-day weekday CAPM and PMP workshops from 20 to 22 February 2019 or the next Saturday morning workshops from 2 March to 4 May 2019 in Gauteng. Visit Training Schedules

Project Management Demystified

ProjectPro held a 2-day Project Management Demystified (PMD) introductory course at the Centurion Lake Hotel during June. Seen here at a break-out session are from left: Jenny Voordewind, Noelle Boxel, Moipone Ntai and Tladi Mabulelong.  To register for the next PMD course to be held in Centurion on 24 to 25 January 2019. Visit Training Schedules

Another Cyber Attack!

Petya, a new cyber virus spread from Ukraine to wreak havoc around the globe in June, crippling thousands of computers, disrupting ports from Mumbai to Los Angeles and halting production at a chocolate factory in Australia.

More than a day after it first struck, companies around the world were still wrestling with the fallout while cyber security experts scrambled to find a way to stem the spread. The malicious code locked machines and demanded victims post a ransom worth $300 in bitcoins or lose their data entirely, similar to the extortion tactic used in the global WannaCry ransomware attack in May.

More than 30 victims paid up but security experts are questioning whether extortion was the goal, given the relatively small sum demanded, or whether the hackers were driven by destructive motives rather than financial gain.

Ukraine, the epicenter of the cyber strike, has repeatedly accused Russia of orchestrating attacks on its computer systems and critical power infrastructure since its powerful neighbour annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in 2014. The Kremlin, which has consistently rejected the accusations, said it had no information about the origin of the global cyber attack, which also struck Russian companies such as oil giant Rosneft and a steelmaker.

How to defend yourself against ransomware:

  • The vulnerability does not exist within Windows 10, the latest version of the software, but is present in all versions of Windows prior to that, dating back to Windows XP.
  • As a result of Microsoft’s first patch, users of Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.1 can easily protect themselves against the main route of infection by running Windows Update on their systems.
  • Users of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 8 can defend against the ransomware by downloading the new patch from Windows.
  • All users can further protect themselves by being wary of malicious email attachments, another major way through which the ransomware was spread.

And of course, making regular backups.

Leadership versus Management: What is the difference?

The words leadership and management are often used interchangeably. However, they are not synonymous. Management is more closely associated with directing another person to get from one point to another using a known set of expected behaviours. In contrast, leadership involves working with others through discussion or debate in order to guide them from one point to another.

The method that a project manager chooses to employ reveals a distinct difference in behaviour, self-perception, and project role. Table 1 compares management and leadership on several important levels. Read More

Safcec slams lack of ethical leadership

The South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec) has issued a stinging rebuke about the lack of ethical leadership and its impact on foreign direct investment. "That cannot be regarded as ethical,"  Webster Mfebe, executive director of Safcec, told the Captains of Construction and Infrastructure conference at the African Construction and Totally Concrete Expo in Midrand. Read More

World Energy Hits a Turning Point: Solar is Cheaper than Wind and Coal

Transformation is happening in global energy markets as Solar power, for the first time, has become the cheapest form of new electricity.

This has happened in isolated projects in the past: an especially competitive auction in the Middle East, for example, resulting in record-cheap solar costs. But now unsubsidized solar is beginning to out-compete coal and natural gas on a larger scale, and notably, new solar projects in emerging markets are costing less to build than wind projects, according to fresh data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Read More

Hospital collapse caused by negligent

The collapse of a roof at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital in March 2017 was caused by "negligent" overloading of rubble, said Gauteng Infrastructure MEC Jacob Mamabolo.

Workers from a privately-owned company were repairing a leaking section of the roof at the time. The crushed stone should have been removed from the roof, but regrettably it was stockpiled on the roof and the excessive load caused the collapse. Five people sustained minor injuries when part of the roof near the hospital's main entrance collapsed.

"The contractor was negligent in how it conducted their work. They should have removed the crushed stone from the roof. Instead of removing the stones from the roof, they allowed the stones to be piled up....", said Mamabolo. He said the contractor should have known that such  a heavy loading could not be carried by the structure, and it was their responsibility to execute the project safely without damaging the property.

"The damage caused and the people injured are treated in a serious light." Mamabolo said those responsible for the collapse would be held accountable. He said the incident had led the department into reviewing how it appoints contractors.

Six Habits of Bold Leaders

When Deloitte surveyed 600 USA executives for its 2016 Business Confidence Report, respondents were in near unanimous agreement on one point: Bold leaders build breakthrough performance. Yet most respondents worried that companies are not doing enough to cultivate bold leadership skills among rising leaders—and the "leadership deficit" will likely worsen in the future.

These are the traits that set bold leaders apart, according to Deloitte:

  • Setting ambitious goals: This was the most common leadership trait identified.
  • Inviting feedback from colleagues at all levels: Bold leaders take a 360-degree approach to feedback.
  • Innovating: They look for new and better ways of doing things.
  • Proposing ideas their companies might consider controversial: They know it’s necessary to push the envelope.
  • Building strong teams and empowering them to succeed: Project and programme managers who deftly manage teams are already likely to have this skill.
  • Taking risks: This is the least common leadership trait regularly practiced by survey respondents.

Paris or Los Angeles – Who will host Olympics 2024?

The summer Olympic Games is undoubtedly the mother of all projects when it comes to complexity.  The project management challenge is enormous.  Stakeholder management itself is the most daunting aspect with thousands of athletes and officials from 206 participating countries and an audience of millions.

Bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympics games started in 2015 with five candidate cities in contention, but Hamburg, Rome and Budapest subsequently withdrew. The two remaining candidates are Los Angeles and Paris. The host of the Games is scheduled to be announced at the 130th International Olympic Committee Session in Lima, Peru, on 13 September 2017.

However, IOC President Thomas Bach has suggested awarding the 2024 and 2028 games to Los Angeles and Paris. In April 2017 at the IOC convention in Denmark, Olympic officials met with bid committees from both cities to discuss the possibility of naming two winners in the competition. The International Olympic Committee wanted feedback on the formation of a working group that will consider giving 2024 to one city and 2028 to the other.

Time is of the Essence

By Terry Deacon PMP

"We must use time as a tool, not as a couch" - John F. Kennedy.

As project managers we can appreciate this statement because we often use tools on our projects to boost productivity by managing our limited resources to achieve project milestones.

If we cannot manage our personal time effectively, how can we expect to manage others? This brings me to the topic of personal time management. This is a subject I feel qualified to write about because not only have I read widely on it, but I have also put the techniques into practice while performing dual careers and roles during my years as managing editor of ProjectPro magazine and being a full time  project manager. I still use the techniques every day of my life to great effect.

Successful time management, just like project management, is a matter of planning and control. There are many of people out there who will hijack your day if you let them. You certainly wouldn't hand out thousands of rands of your hard earned cash to everyone who knocks on your door, then why should you give away hours of your valuable time? One can always earn or borrow extra money, but when it comes to time, whether you are a king or a beggar, you get exactly the same quota - 24 hours per day.

Everyone is plagued by "time thieves", my name for people (you are your own worst enemy) who rob you of time that should be spent towards achieving your daily objectives. The most wanted time thieves are: Read More

Association for Project Management is awarded Royal Charter

In the United Kingdom, for nearly 800 years, Royal Charters have been awarded to professional bodies, learned societies and world-class institutions that represent the values of trust, respect and reliability.

In April 2017 the award-winning Association for Project Management (APM) joins this unique group of organisations by becoming the Chartered body for the project profession. It is a significant milestone in the history of the profession enhancing the status and recognition of project management as a means of delivering effective change that improves our economy and society. Read More

Lessons Learned are a top priority

Project Management SA-KZN held its monthly members meeting in March 2017 at Varsity College, Durban North under the topic “A Lessons Learned and Trending System for Projects” delivered by Albert Marquardt from Tennelli. Attended by forty delegates the event was well-received and provided valuable insights.

Albert presented findings from The American Productivity and Quality Centre (APQC) Knowledge Management Survey. 

Among organization that have or plan to implement lessons learned systems, it was found that policy and process improvements, and efforts to promote adoption and use, top the list of priorities. Improvements to supporting technology come in a close second. Read More

DOL postpones Grayston bridge collapse inquiry

The Department of Labour (DOL) has announce that the sitting of the M1/Grayston Drive Pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge collapse inquiry that was scheduled for end of March 2017 has been postponed due to technical challenges affecting the proceedings. The inquiry will resume from 4 May 2017 to 9 June 2017.

The bridge collapsed on 14 October 2015 leading to the death of two people; and injury to 19 persons. Read More

Poor management and workmanship lead to injuries and fatalities

The International Labour Organization (ILO) celebrates the 2017 World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April 2017. It is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work. Read More

Contractor blamed for hospital roof collapse

A seemingly straight-forward job to repair leaks in the roof of a hospital, resulted in a collapse, fortunately not causing any fatalities, but still injuring 5 people.

The collapse of the roof near the foyer of Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, Johannesburg on Thursday 2 March 2017 was a result of the company hired to do maintenance work on the roof failing to assess its strength before piling weight on it, said Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. He addressed the media and said the maintenance company should be held accountable for the roof collapsing and injuring people. Read More

Construction Sector experts to discuss Health & Safety

The Department of Labour (DOL) is to host a Construction Sector Seminar to bring together industry experts and role players to discuss health & safety matters afflicting the sector.

The Seminar to be held in partnership with the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP), a statutory organisation established to regulate Construction Management and Construction Project Management Professionals to protect the public, will be held under the theme: “Collective responsibility for construction health & safety”. Read More

A peek at the new PMBOK 6th Edition

Every 4 years the Project Management Institute (PMI) revises their global standard Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). The 6th Edition is due for publication in the last quarter of 2017.

Here are some of the significant changes:

  • The PMBOK will grow from the present 590 pages to over 660 pages
  • Three new project management processes have been added, making a total of 50.
  • Each of the 10 Knowledge Areas has sections on Key Concepts, Trends / Emerging Practices, Tailoring Considerations, and Considerations for the Agile/Adaptive Environments.
  • New content incorporating the Talent Triangle which comprises Technical Project Management, Leadership, and Strategic and Business Management.
  • Time Management is now called Schedule Management.
  • The Critical Chain technique which featured in the 5th edition has completely disappeared
  • Human Resource Management now includes non- human resources and is called Resource Management.

The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and Project Management Professional (PMP) exams will be based on the 6th  Edition from the first quarter 2018. So do not delay, register now for ProjectPro’s CAPM and PMP exam preparation workshops to obtain your credential while the familiar PMBOK 5th edition content is still valid.

Register on www.projectpro.co.za or contact training@projectpro.co.za  or  tel: 012 346 6674.

2016 Construction Extension to the PMBOK® Guide now available

A well-known Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) provides generalized project management guidance applicable to most projects most of the time. In order to apply this generalized guidance to construction projects, the Project Management Institute (PMI) has developed the Construction Extension to the PMBOK® Guide.

This Construction Extension provides construction-specific guidance for the project management practitioner for each of the PMBOK® Guide Knowledge Areas, as well as guidance in these additional areas not found in the PMBOK® Guide:

  • All project resources, rather than just human resources
  • Project health, safety, security, and environmental management
  • Project financial management, in addition to cost
  • Management of claims in construction

The 2016 edition of the Construction Extension follows a new structure, discussing the principles in each of the Knowledge Areas rather than discussing the individual processes. This approach broadens the applicability of the Construction Extension by increasing the focus on the “what” and “why” of construction project management. This Construction Extension also includes discussion of emerging trends and developments in the construction industry that affect the application of project management to construction projects.

A hard copy of the Construction Extension may be purchased from the PMI Store http://marketplace.pmi.org/Pages/default.aspx PMI members can download a soft copy free of charge.

ProjectPro has included the new 2016 Construction Extension processes in their 3-day SACPCMP validated Construction Project Management (CPM ) course. ProjectPro’s next CPM course will be held in Gauteng on 13-15 February 2019. Contact 012 346 6674 or training@projectpro.co.za

PMP as popular as ever

It requires years of experience and many hours of study to join the elite group of 728 000 globally certified Project Management Professionals (PMPs). Delegates on ProjectPro’s recent PMP exam prep workshop held in Centurion, peruse some of the recommended study material on display at the workshop. ProjectPro’s next CAPM/PMP public workshop will be held in Gauteng on  20-22 February 2019. Contact 012 346 6674 or training@projectpro.co.za  In -house workshops can be held at the client’s premises at any time to suit their needs.

A Question of Quality

Over 728 000  Project Management Professionals (PMPs) are currently  certified by the Project Management Institute (PMI).  To become a PMP requires candidates to have proven experience and to pass a rigorous 4-hour examination comprising 200 questions.  There are many PMP exam preparation discussion groups on the Internet, one of them being the  very active “I want to be a PMP” group hosted by Yahoo.

The PMP multiple-choice exam questions are quite tricky as they are mostly scenario-based.  The following question on quality processes was recently posed on the Yahoo website and led to a lot of discussion: Read More

Collaboration and Conflict

By Mark Mullay

We are social beings. It’s innate to our DNA. It is, arguably , how we got this far as a species. Our ability to establish trust is what enabled us to develop in social communities. The evolved portion of our brain—the cerebral cortex that makes us unique as a species—provides the essential tools required for perceiving the world, abstract reasoning and communicating. All of those wonderful, awesome, essential capabilities that allow us to engage in complex discussion, debate and discourse originate in the cerebral cortex. We are, quite literally, wired to interact.

So why is it so painful to collaborate in real life? Read More

Risky Rio Olympic Games

If I was offered the position of project manager of an Olympic Games, I would have to think long and hard before accepting it, especially the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games. The two aspects that would give me sleepless nights are risk and stakeholder management.

There are over 200 countries, sending more than 10 000 athletes, with vast numbers of spectators, media, sponsors, advertisers, vendors, contractors, etc. The list seems endless, but each stakeholder has needs which must be identified and satisfied. Stakeholder management can quickly turn into a nightmare. Here in South Africa the e-Tolling of Gauteng’s freeways is a classic example of this. Read more

Form-Scaff dismisses suggestions of bias

The next hearings of the Department of Labour inquiry to uncover the causes of the collapse of scaffolding on the Grayston Drive pedestrian and cyclist bridge in Sandton, Gauteng, have continued. The collapse of the bridge temporary works structure led to the death of two people and injury to 19 others. The investigation, presided over by Lennie Samuel, and assisted by Lesibe Raphela is being held in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act in Pretoria.

Gary Farrow, a mechanical engineer from Australia told the inquiry that, although he had limited access to contracts between Form-Scaff and main contractor Murray & Roberts, his analysis of the fatal site disproves insinuations that he was biased in favour of his “employer”.

Form-Scaff, provides an array of products and services to a range of construction and civil engineering industries. It was the supplier of scaffolding material in the temporary structure construction on the M1/Grayston Drive project.

Farrow told the inquiry that he had spent nine days on the site of the collapsed temporary structure at the M1/Grayston Drive bridge to gather information. He further told the inquiry that while he had never worked on temporary structures he had been involved in other large projects. He said in addition to visiting the site on numerous occasions, he also relied on information obtained from Form-Scaff and on interactions with the company’s personnel.

He said he was supplied with a lot of information, however, he prioritised critical information which, he said, carried value to his work. Farrow said his receiving of information from Form-Scaff was intended to expedite his analysis.

“My mandate was configuration of the temporary structure and ascertain the causes of collapse,” Farrow also told the inquiry that he approached his modelling with an open mind and sound judgement, “I did not prejudge evidence in view of evidence on site”.

Asked on the whereabouts of his notes proving his interactions with Form-Scaff personnel, Farrow said although he did not have a copy of notes, these were entailed in a report (survey) submitted to the inquiry, of which he is a principal assistant. He dismissed suggestions that he was a tentative witness intent on speculation.

Murray & Roberts had made a presentation to the inquiry Commission in which it presented a number of models it had designed, in a bid to convince the Commission to provide it with permission to start the reconstruction of the bridge.

Boost for Mvula Trust’s project management

On 5 May 2016, ProjectPro presented a proposal to key stakeholders from Mvula Trust to kick-start  an ambitious programme to improve Mvula Trust’s project management systems and capabilities.

The Mvula Trust (TMT), established in 1993, is South Africa’s leading and largest water and sanitation NGO. Since its inception, TMT has built a good reputation that positioned the organisation as a change agent and champion of community development. Read more

New Microsoft Project 2016 Distance Learning Course

ProjectPro has added yet another course to its impressive list of training options. Now you can master using Microsoft’s powerful Project 2016 scheduling software at your own place and pace using printed step-by-step training manuals.

The training pack comprising a manual and a data CD with templates is couriered to you on receipt of payment. Support is provided through webinars, hotline and email. On successful completion of a scheduling assignment at the end of the course , you will be sent a ProjectPro certificate of achievement. Read More

Earned Value Management:
Now available as a one-day workshop to earn PDU’s

Imagine a technique that’s like switching on the floodlights to illuminate your entire project. If you spot any warning signs, this technique allows you to focus a spotlight on the problem area. If that isn’t enough, turn on the Cost Performance Index which is like a crystal ball to predict what your final project cost is likely to be. This enlightening performance measurement technique is called “Managing with the lights on” or Earned Value Management (EVM). Read more

Around the world on solar power

Solar Impulse 2, a solar-powered aircraft, has landed in Seville, completing the world's first solar-powered crossing of the Atlantic. Taking off from New York, the 6 760 km flight took nearly three days to Spain.

Solar Impulse 2, which is slowly making its way around the world to Abu Dhabi (the starting point), has two pilots that take turns. The Atlantic hop was Bertrand Piccard's longest flight in Solar Impulse 2. André Borschberg, who piloted the agonisingly drawn-out Nagoya-to-Hawaii leg, still retains the record for longest ever solo flight (8924km over 117 hours and 52 minutes) back in July 2015. Read more

Agile Buzzwords

Are you fixing problems or fixating on buzzwords?

If you’re confused by all the buzzwords associated with agile methods, you’re not alone. We’re told we have to track “velocity” using “sprints” towards delivering “epics”. People can get so worked up about implementing strange terms that they fail to make meaningful changes in organisational behaviour. Read more

Project Lessons Learned

Davida van der Walt
Owner Team Consultant

A critical part of a successful project is the ability to identify and apply lessons learned and successes throughout the project life cycle. Key to the success is capturing the lessons learned and making it available from one project to the next.  So what are the typical challenges being experienced with lessons learned on projects? Read more

ProjectPro's ECPM course is in demand

ProjectPro held another successful 3-day Engineering & Construction Project Management course in Centurion during June 2016. The course is in demand because it has been accredited by both ECSA/SAICE and SACPCMP. The next course is to be held at the Centurion Lake Hotel on 13-15 February 2019. To register contact 012 346 6674 or email training@projectpro.co.za

China unveils 'straddling bus' design to beat traffic jams

A Beijing company has unveiled a futuristic design for a pollution-busting, elevated bus capable of gliding over the nightmarish mega-jams for which urban China has become notorious. Plans for the

so-called Transit Explore Bus or TEB were showcased at a recent technology expo in the Chinese capital. 

The “straddling bus”, which owes more to Blade Runner than China’s car-clogged highways, is supported by two legs that run along rails laid along the roadside. Those legs allow the TEB’s giant frame to glide high above the gridlock at speeds of up to 60km/h. Equally, vehicles that are less than two metres high will be able to drive freely underneath the bus, even when it is stationary.

“The biggest advantage is that the bus will save lots of road space,” says Song Youzhou, the project’s chief engineer.  Song claims his buses, capable of transporting up to 1 400 commuters, could be produced for 20% of the price of an underground train and rolled out far more quickly since the supporting infrastructure was relatively simple. One TEB could replace 40 conventional buses, he said.

The project has been greeted with anticipation in China, where traffic jams have grown as the country overtook the United States to become the largest car market on earth. Last year alone 21 million passenger cars were sold here.

A prototype will reportedly be deployed this year on the streets of Qinhuangdao, a coastal city about 300km east of Beijing.

A project to discover how stars, galaxies and black holes are formed

Just like its namesake, the Giant Magellan Telescope is all about exploration and discovery. When completed in Chile in 2024, the project will deliver the world’s largest optical telescope, giving astronomers an unprecedented ability to understand how the first stars, galaxies and black holes formed. The telescope will produce images with 10 times the angular resolution of those produced by NASA’s orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.

Originally slated for completion in 2016 but delayed by the global economic crisis, the project is sponsored by a global consortium of universities and scientific research institutions. They’ve raised half of the telescope’s US$1 billion budget. That price tag makes it the largest privately funded telescope initiative to date.

The project features another first. It will be about 22 storeys tall and rely on the largest piece of optical equipment ever built: seven massive mirrors each weighing about 17 tons. The surface must be polished to an accuracy of 25 nanometres – about the width of a single glass molecule.

The project site, Las Campanas in the Chilean Andes, was carefully chosen. One of the highest and driest places on Earth, it offers extreme conditions that are ideal for viewing the cosmos. But the location also is one of the most earthquake-prone in the world, so the telescope was designed to withstand the largest possible quake in a 500-year period, making it possible for scientists to explore the origins of the universe for centuries to come.

Space elevator has high ambitions

Thoth Technology Inc. has high ambitions. The Canadian space and defence organisation wants to build a 20-kilometre tall, freestanding elevator to serve as a launch pad for rockets and satellites. Launchers from the very tall tower would require 30 percent less fuel than ground take-offs, because there’s less gravity and atmospheric pressure at higher altitudes. The projected cost is between US$5 billion and US$10 billion.

Keeping a tower that tall upright against wind and gravity poses major design challenges, of course. But after eight years of work, the project team of about a dozen people received a U.S patent in July 2015 for the system that solves the problem. The team designed a pneumatic pressure system that creates a foundation capable of supporting the tower and counterbalancing external forces. Tower operators could control the structure’s centre of gravity to keep it upright in the face of strong winds.

The project team will build a shorter, 1.5-kilometre tall demonstration version of the tower to test the launch system. Construction could get underway in 2017.

Robot in a Hard Hat

Construction project managers looking to cope with a labour shortage and speed up the building process are turning to a new talent pipeline: robots. In Japan, Komatsu, one of the world’s largest construction companies, has created a “smart construction” system. Driverless bulldozers use construction-site information gathered by drones, cutting projects’ survey phase from two weeks to one day or less. The new system, which Komatsu is leasing for use on project sites could deliver major efficiencies to organisations executing projects for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Similarly, a €4.2 million project in Leeds, England aims to create drones that can fix streetlights and potholes, as well as robots that can go into utility pipes to perform inspections and repairs. Construction Robotics of New York has rolled out a commercial version of SAM, a semiautomatic mason that can lay three to five times as many bricks per day as a person, depending on the design’s complexity.

Not all team members will see the robots as a benefit at first. “Any time you introduce robots, there is the fear that jobs will be lost,” says Jonas Buchli, PhD, a professor at ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. Dr Buchli was part of a project team that built the In-situ Fabricator, a robot that can perform tasks including laying bricks.

While robots like the Fabricator can lead to reduced head count, the real goal is to automate the dangerous and menial tasks so workers can focus on more high-value work. “Robots will never take over the construction site completely” Dr Buchli says. Instead, they could benefit companies struggling to fill lower level roles and help workers avoid on the job injuries.

PMBOK 6th Edition is well underwa

The updating process for A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), Sixth Edition is forging ahead.

The PMBOK® Guide is unique among the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) global standards because it contains both a standard and a guide, as it has in past editions. The standard presents key concepts—it is the foundation that describes what to do to achieve successful projects—while the guide expands upon the foundation with additional information on how to use proven practices. The standard in the Sixth Edition will have more prominent placement in the Guide than in previous editions.

Let us look at some of the key changes suggested for inclusion in the Sixth Edition. Read More

Scans show possible tomb of Queen Nefertiti

A project to search for the resting place of the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti has revealed possible "organic material" inside empty spaces behind two walls in the tomb of Tutankhamun. His tomb was discovered in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter.

Radar scans carried out by the Japanese pointed to anomalies behind the walls. A more advanced 3-D scan will be conducted this month to ascertain whether the empty spaces are in fact chambers. Read More

Project Management Salary Survey

The Project Management Institute (PMI) publishes a biennial salary survey. For 15 years, this comprehensive report has been an industry-leading source of data, helping employers to better determine salary ranges, and giving project management practitioners a greater awareness of their earning potential. Read More

Underground surprises can wreck the project schedule

Unexpected archaeological findings can wreak havoc on a project’s budget and schedule. In these instances, work has to stop while the discoveries are investigated, documented and excavated. Careful planning and communication, however, can prevent discoveries from throwing a project completely off track. Read More

Legacy Leadership: Is a Leader's True Worth Recognized in their Presence or Absence?

Kevin LaChapelle, EdD, MPA

Is the true worth of a leader recognized more in their presence or absence? This is an interesting question posed to a group of graduate students. In analyzing this provocative question, a number of thoughts were shared. Many reflected on some of the most influential leaders that impacted their lives, and some of the leaders that had a negative impact on the organization and lives of those they led. Read More

Imposed Deadline Syndrome

Gary R Heerkens, MBA, CBM, PMP

When project managers spend the majority of their time trying to achieve the unachievable, the result is frustration and potential burnout.

As my gray hair clearly suggests, I've been around project management for a long time. I began leading projects more than 35 years ago, and I've noticed many changes in my work and in the profession. Some of the biggest changes involve how project timelines and budgets are developed: These responsibilities seem to have drifted away from the project manager's role. Read More

Five Reasons for Change Management Failure

In its 2013 Change and Communications ROI Survey, Towers Watson discovered that only a quarter of change management projects produced the long term success they originally promised. This number should shock no one; the figure of 70% failure of change management projects was first noted by John Kotter in 1995 after a ten year study. The only difference is that, despite the emphasis now placed upon change management theories and practice, the change project failure rate has increased. Daniel Lock looks at five reasons why change management projects fail. Read More

Engineering and Construction Project Management

ProjectPro held a successful Engineering and Construction Project Management in-house course at the Roodeplaat Dam Training Centre for the Dept. of Water and Sanitation during November. One of the course objectives is to prepare candidates to apply for registration as a Professional Construction Project Manager (Pr.CPM) with the South African Council for Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) and to pass the Professional Interview. The course is validated by SACPCMP for 15 CPD hours. The next public course will be held on 13-15 February 2019 in Gauteng. In-house  courses can be arranged in other centres. For more information contact training@projectpro.co.za

A unique team-building experience !

The Department of Water and Sanitation is sending 30 of their staff on ProjectPro’s unique ProjectFlow ® experience. The ProjectFlow ® course comprises four consecutive days of classroom and experiential training using ProjectPro’s project management methodology. Each delegate receives a CD containing the ProjectFlow ® methodology which is based on the latest Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) 6th edition. Read More

Flawed Assumptions

Project managers should check their assumptions when it comes to their ability to empathize, predict and anticipate with teams.


Everyone makes assumptions-both consciously and unconsciously -based on their past experiences. As project managers, we predict our potential for success or failure, and anticipate problems and solutions, based on these assumptions. The challenge for each of us is to be aware of the many assumptions we operate on.

Assumptions can be helpful at the outset of a project, but they require validation and calibration over time. Only with these quality checks do we ensure that our decision-making is as accurate as it can be. Good project managers draw up an assumptions log and keep it up-to-date. Read More

Japan's maglev train reaches 600km/h

A Japanese magnetic levitation train has broken its own world speed record, hitting 603km/h in a test run near Mount Fuji.

Maglev trains use electrically charged magnets to lift and move carriages above the rail tracks. This minimises the friction encountered by ordinary trains, and allows them to travel faster. Central Japan Railway (JR Central), which owns the trains, wants to introduce the service between Tokyo and the central city of Nagoya by 2027. The 280km journey would take only about 40 minutes, less than half the current time.

The Central Japan Railway Company is running eight days of testing for the experimental maglev Shinkansen train on its test track in Yamanashi Prefecture. Train fans have experienced the speed of super-fast maglev trains, during November test runs for members of the public in central Japan. One hundred passengers whizzed along a 43 km route between the cities of Uenohara and Fuefuki, reaching speeds of up to 500km/h. Passengers will not get to experience the maglev's record-breaking speeds because the company said its trains will operate at a maximum of 505km/h. In comparison, the fastest operating speed of a Japanese shinkansen, or "bullet train" is is 320km/h.

Construction costs are estimated at nearly $100bn just for the stretch to Nagoya, with more than 80% of the route expected to go through costly tunnels.

By 2045, maglev trains are expected to link Tokyo and Osaka in just one hour, slashing the journey time in half.

Sistine Chapel Upgrade Project

When the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel needed a new lighting system, the project required an artist’s precision. The team had to illuminate irreplaceable paintings without damaging the fragile frescoes—or disrupting the flow of tourists who flock to see them.

The project, led by Munich, Germany-based lighting manufacturer OSRAM, required careful planning and continent-wide collaboration to protect the 500-year-old masterpieces. With a budget of US$2 million, about half of which came from European Union subsidies, the initiative installed 7 000 LED (light-emitting diode) lights throughout the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.

Choosing an LED system for the Chapel was no leap of faith, as OSRAM had installed a similar LED system at the Lenbachhaus art museum in Munich, completed in 2013. The Lenbachhaus opted for LEDs because they emit no ultraviolet or infrared radiation, which is known to be one of the main causes of damage to pigments. The success of that project, the world’s first LED lighting system for an art museum, convinced the Chapel’s project team that LEDs were the right way to go.

To accommodate the Chapel’s steady stream of 6 million visitors each year, the team installed the LED system only in the evening, when the Chapel was closed. However, crews only worked from 6 to 11 p.m.—rather than the entire night—because many of the supporting team members, such as security guards and scaffold builders, also had day jobs.

The 40-member project team was spread out over four countries: Spain, Germany, Hungary and Italy, which was a requirement of the EU’s funding contract. The project team met in person in various locations and held regular conference calls, but the team selected a single spokesperson to handle direct communication with the customer. It was crucial that the primary contact can speak the native language of the customer. So they appointed some-one from OSRAM Italy who would be able to understand all of the client’s subtleties and emotions. I was afraid my message would get diluted, so I was happy to give that responsibility away.

The project, which ran from mid-2011 to late 2014, closed on time and on budget—and made it possible for some of the art world’s greatest treasures to be appreciated by the public for centuries to come.

ISO 21504: Guidance on Portfolio Management is published

It is with great pleasure that I can announce that ISO21504, the new standard on Portfolio Management which some of you also contributed to under the leadership of Prof. Carl Marnewick, is now published by ISO as an International Standard.

Well done Carl and team. I know how hard Carl worked on this both locally and internationally and I know what influence South Africa had on this standard to get it to its present form. Something we can be truly proud of, and something which I know the international community respects us for.

Please keep supporting our TC (SABS TC 258) and its workgroups, and help us widen the membership by inviting subject matter experts from industry to join us. We DO make a difference and we HAVE a role to play in ISO and at SABS.

I propose we decide at our next meeting whether we adopt this standard also as an SABS standard. Think about it!

JC Kruger
TC 258 Chairman

Creating a Project Business Case

The purpose of a Business Case is to justify the project expenditure by identifying the business benefits you're going to deliver. Here's how to create a Business Case in 4 simple steps : Read More

What is Your Burn Rate?

Project management is full of confusing and esoteric terms. From time to time ProjectPro eNews will discuss the meaning and implications of such terms.

Burn rate is an indicator used to show how the project is performing with regard to meeting the budget. The burn rate of the project is simply the rate at which the project budget is being spent. Faster than the plan? Slower than the plan? Or exactly to plan? Read More

Tips for Work Breakdown Structures

A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a hierarchical approach to define project work components. The top level of the WBS is the total project or programme. Each descending level breaks the project work into more manageable pieces.

The lowest level of the WBS is referred to as a work package. On very large projects, work packages may be handed-off to other project managers. Read more

A Short History of Project Management

As a discipline, project management developed from different fields of application including construction, engineering, defence, etc. The forefather of project management is Henry Gantt, called the father of planning and control techniques, who is famously known for his use of the Gantt chart as a project management tool. He was an associate of Frederick Winslow Taylor's theories of scientific management, and for his study of the work and management of Navy ship building. His work is the forerunner to many modern project management tools including the work breakdown structure (WBS) and bar chart. Read more

The Softer Side

Project management is not all about Gantt charts and risk registers. The Project Management Institute asked practitioners: Which people skills do project managers need to focus on most to get ahead? Here are some of their answers. Read More

Rewarding the Project Team

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. Read more

Historical Blunders: Lotus Riverside building complex collapse

The Lotus Riverside building complex in Shanghai, China was a complex of 11 buildings by the riverside. The project was nearing completion, with most of the flats already sold off. Then the workers showed up one morning to find that one of the buildings had fallen neatly over on its side, virtually intact. The building itself was structurally OK - in fact, considering how well it held together after it "collapsed". But problems were all around and, more specifically, beneath it.

It was all due to an underground parking garage, some rain and a terminal case of foundation piles “Made in China”. Investigations attribute the accident to the excavations for the construction of a garage under the collapsed building. Large quantities of earth were removed and dumped in a landfill next to a nearby river. The weight of the earth caused the river bank to collapse, which, in turn, allowed water to seep into the ground. So when it rained soon afterward, the buildings foundations gave way, narrowly missing the neighbouring structures, and just barely avoiding kicking off the world's most terrifying domino effect.

Eiffel Power

Renowned worldwide for its signature silhouette, the Eiffel Tower is synonymous with the city of Paris, France. When a renovation project required two wind turbines to be added within the landmark’s frame, project managers were able to install them while keeping the tower’s iconic figure intact.

And that wasn’t the only unique project accomplishment. Stakeholders from the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE) and the office of the Mayor of Paris also made it clear that the turbines couldn’t be lifted with cranes, which could damage the 126-year-old tower. In addition, the project needed to accommodate the flow of revenue-generating tourists during business hours. This meant the team needed to find ways to do the most intrusive work at night—without disturbing residential neighbours. Read More

Solar Impulse 2 sets new record

Solar Impulse 2, an aircraft that is powered only by the sun, landed in Hawaii on 2 July 2015, after making an historic 7 200km flight across the Pacific Ocean from Japan.

Pilot Andre Borschberg landed the fragile plane at Kalaeloa Airport after 118 hours non-stop in the air, setting a new record for manned solar-powered flight. The flight is also an absolute record for a solo, un-refuelled journey. Borschberg's time betters that of the American adventurer Steve Fossett who spent 76 hours aloft in a single-seater jet in 2006.

Meeting Borschberg in Kalaeloa was his partner on the Solar Impulse project, Bertrand Piccard. The pair are sharing flying duties in their quest to circumnavigate the globe - an effort they began in Abu Dhabi, UAE, back in March 2015

It is Piccard who will now fly the next leg from Hawaii to Phoenix, Arizona.That will not be quite as far as the leg just completed, but it will still likely take four days and nights. From Phoenix, Solar Impulse will head for New York and an Atlantic crossing that would eventually see the plane return to Abu Dhabi.

Getting Solar Impulse to Hawaii proved more problematic than anyone could have imagined. The project was stuck in Nanjing, China, for five weeks before the first attempt to cross the ocean was made. Solar Impulse's slow speed, light weight and 72m wingspan put significant constraints on the type of weather the vehicle can handle, and that first sortie was aborted after just one day in the air because of a fast developing cold front ahead of it. Borschberg diverted to Nagoya, and then had to wait a further month before being given the green light to again take off for Kalaeloa.

Borschberg said he looked forward to having a shower and visiting one of the many steakhouses suggested to him on the way into Hawaii's O'ahu island.

Race for the Skies

A Chinese construction company is claiming to be the world’s fastest builder after erecting a 57-storey skyscraper Mini Sky City in 19 working days in central China.

Broad Sustainable Building, a prefab construction firm, put up the rectangular, glass and steel Mini Sky City in the Hunan provincial capital of Changsha, assembling three floors a day using a modular method.

It worked on Mini Sky City in two bursts interrupted by bad weather and red tape. Its time-lapse video of the rapid build has become popular on Chinese video sharing sites since it was first uploaded to YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6f_sayw0mM

Liu Peng, the associate director of the engineering consulting firm Arup Beijing, said the method was worth developing because it could become a safe and reliable way to build skyscrapers quickly. “But it is not perfect, and it does not meet all kinds of personalised demands,” Liu said. “People nowadays want more personalised architecture.” Read More

Internet too big for its boots

The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), the organization that assigns IP addresses in North America — the numbers that identify every computer, smartphone and device connected to the Internet — has run out of numbers. It's not the end of the world, because there's a newer, more robust system rolling out, but it's a milestone in our shared online history, nonetheless.

IP addresses are the four-number strings like that you'll sometimes see in your browser's address bar, in the guts of your smartphone's system settings, or that you might be asked to type in to your cable modem or WiFi router. That address,, is one of many that should take you to Google.com.

It's like the highway system. If you're driving through New York, you might take Interstate 95 or I-190 or I-287. But in plain English, it's all the New York State Thruway. Read More

Is a Paperless Society Possible?

Many years ago we were promised the paperless office. A computerised environment where everything is at our finger tips, filed, indexed, tabulated and cross-correlated, all available and searchable at the touch of a button.

Despite promises, vaunted technology solutions and desperately fervent attempts at the person, team and organizational levels, this goal still seems remarkably elusive. If you are like most project managers that I know, you are surveying the ever-growing mountain of reports, forms and budget documentation threatening to engulf your cubicle in a biblical tsunami of letter-size proportions and snorting in derision at the very idea. Read More

New PMI Practice Guide for Business Analysts

The Project Management Institute (PMI) has taken a major step in helping practitioners and organizations address project-related issues associated with requirements and business analysis with the release of Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide.

Organizations now use business analysis as a competitive advantage, which has increased the demand for practitioners with business analysis skills. Business Analysis for Practitioners clarifies the roles of anyone who performs business analysis. This guide is unique in that it also includes collaboration points throughout for project managers and business analysts. Taking actionable steps to bridge the gap between these roles will have an immediate positive impact on project performance and organizational success. Read More

The Power of Vujà Dé

Take a fresh look at old policies and methods.

By Kareem Shaker, PMI-RMP, PMP

French novelist Marcel Proust wrote, "The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes." Some people call this vujà dé: the feeling of experiencing something commonplace as if it were the first time. As project managers, we sometimes fall into the trap of relying on the familiar, everyday routine and approach the same problems in the same ways. It's important to understand human nature in order to harness the power of vujà dé and look at the same, familiar policies in a new light.

We are blind to what we don't allow ourselves to see. For example, in the book The Invisible Gorilla by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, a number of people were asked to watch a video of two basketball teams bouncing balls back and forth. Viewers were asked to count the number of bounces by one team, and though most viewers counted correctly, most did not notice the person in a gorilla costume moving from one side of the screen to the other.

By giving your utmost attention to one detail rather than any other details, you won't see the unexpected events. The same holds true with project management. Being laser-focused on one problem in a project could mean completely missing another problem.

We tend to accept convention and don't often challenge the norm. But unless we ask the right questions, we won't be able to come up with creative answers to problems.

If you've ever wondered why your organization follows a procedure that doesn't make sense, look at this experiment conducted by Gary Hamel in his book Competing for the Future. Four monkeys live in a cage. Inside the cage is a ladder with a bunch of bananas at the top. Every time one monkey tries to eat bananas, the monkeys are showered by cold water. When the monkeys learn the pattern, they prevent any monkey from climbing the ladder.

One monkey is replaced with a new one. The new monkey-not knowing about the cold-water spray, tries to get bananas and is stopped. This continues, and eventually all of the monkeys are replaced, and they all prevent each other from climbing the ladder without knowing the reason behind it.

Sometimes it's worth questioning why we accept the way things are, when an innovative solution may be just out of the normal reach.

Now that you know the possible pitfalls, project practitioners can use many techniques to prac -tice vujà dé: critical thinking, 5W1H (who, what, where, when, why and how), 5-Whys (question-ing the subject problem five times to identify root causes), challenging assumptions , brainstorming, process re-engineering (simplifying underlying steps to boost efficiency of procedures) and flipping preconceived ideas.

Think about how you, as a practitioner, might look at projects through a singular scope. Allocate some time to contemplate policies and procedures from all sides. Practicing vujà dé may help you find innovative solutions to project problems.

Kareem Shaker, PMI-RMP, PMP, is a senior manager, project and enterprise risk at Dubai World, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Olympic Sized Effort: Lessons learned from working on the 2016 games

By Adriano Mota, PMP

When I joined the organizing committee for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I quickly learned that my 10 years' experience managing technology-related projects would only help me so far.

All projects are unique, but planning the summer Olympics might be in a category by itself. Over two weeks in August 2016, 10 500 athletes will compete in 300 events at 33 venues around Rio. Roughly 7,5 million tickets will be sold, and 60 000 volunteers need to be organized. Technology deliverables include mobile, fixed, Internet and cable communications at the competition venues, media centers and athlete accommodations. In addition, the final delivery date is not negotiable, large sums of public and private-sector money must be aligned, and the technology required to successfully deliver the games keeps changing. Read More

e-Waste Recycling Projects Desperately Needed

Last year 42 million tons of electronic waste (e-waste) was discarded around the world, 2 million more than the year before.

The United Nations says 50 million tons could be dumped each year by 2018. If you loaded this waste into 40 ton trucks and park them bumper to bumper, they would stretch from New York to Tokyo and back again. Put other way, the e-waste weighs 110 times more than State Empire Building, or 7 times more than the great pyramid of Giza. Read More

Project Management Demystified

The ladies outnumbered the gents on the ProjectPro’s Project Management Demystified course. Seen here are the eight delegates enjoying the excellent cuisine at the Centurion Lake Hotel during the lunch break. The next course is scheduled for 24-25 January 2019. Register from www.projectpro.co.za or email training@projectpro.co.za

CIDB issues collusion charges against construction companies

Following its own investigation into collusive practices in the construction industry, the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) has served charges on fifteen contractors listed on its Register of Contractors, for contravention of its Code of Conduct for parties engaged in construction procurement. In terms of the charges the parties will now have to appear for a formal inquiry, before an independent investigating committee scheduled to take place in April 2015.

The fifteen companies are: Murray & Roberts Construction (Pty) Ltd, Basil Read Holdings Limited, Aveng (Africa) Ltd, Esorfranki Ltd, G Liviero Building (Pty) Ltd, WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd, Giuricich, Haw & Inglis Civil Engineering (Pty) Ltd, Hochtief Solutions AG, Norvo Construction (Pty) Ltd, Raubex (Pty) Ltd, Rumdel, Stefanutti Stocks Holdings, Tubular Technical Construction (Pty) Ltd and Vlaming (Pty) Ltd.

It has been a protracted process, since allegations of collusion in the construction industry first surfaced in 2011 to this point, where the CIDB is finally able to bring charges against these construction companies, in terms of their specific legislative and regulatory mandate. This is a significant step in intensifying the effort to address fraudulent and corrupt behaviour on public sector projects, in the interest of transparency, fairness and economic transformation in the construction industry.

As the public is aware, there are other companies that have been implicated in the construction collusion scandal. Not all of these construction companies are included in this first phase of the CIDB investigation process. At this point, the CIDB action is only limited to the fifteen companies that have made disclosure of their participation in collusive conduct to the Competition Commission. More work is underway to bring all construction companies involved to book, including investigating those companies that have declined to corporate with the Competition Commission.

The CIDB Act promotes ethical standards that regulate actions, practices and procedures of parties engaged in construction contracts. The fifteen construction companies are to be charged in terms of Regulation 29 of the Construction Industry Development (CID) Regulations of 2004, and the CIDB Code of Conduct for parties involved in procurement and the Construction Industry Development Board Act No.38 of 2000.

Durban bids for 2022 Commonwealth Games

Durban’s bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games was formally lodged in London this week. Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said that a bid by Durban for the 2024 Olympic Games “was on the cards” as a follow up to the Commonwealth Games.

The comprehensive 600-page Commonwealth Games bid book contains an economic impact assessment that predicts a huge boost to the economy, job creation and improve housing and transport as a spin-off, while officials remain tight-lipped about the actual cost of hosting the event, with national government yet to formally sign off the project. The committee are projecting it will create nearly 12 000 jobs and provide an estimated R20 billion boost to the economy.

Durban are the only bid in the running as Edmonton in Canada withdrew due to financial concerns. One wonders why no other cities are keen to host the Games. Although chairman of the bid committee, Mark Alexander, said Durban’s bid could be rejected, the team was confident after their presentation in London. “The federation was very impressed and we are confident and remain upbeat that when the decision is made in Auckland, New Zealand on 2 September 2015, Durban will be rewarded as hosts for the 2022 Games.”

Construction Regulations 2014 causes confusion

The Occupational Health & Safety Act 85 of 1993 was amended last year through the publication of the Construction Regulations 2014 (CR2014) by the Department of Labour.

There appears to be confusion in the construction industry as to:

  • Whether a Construction Manager must be registered with the South African Council for Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) to operate in the built environment wrt CR2014
  • What is an Agent?

It is a requirement in terms of the Project and Construction Management Professions Act No 48 of 2000, sections 18 and 19 that the Construction Manager and the Construction Project Manager be registered with the SACPCMP. Read more

Construction Project Management in Limpopo

ProjectPro was awarded a Department of Public Works tender to train 65 construction site officials in Polokwane, Limpopo during November 2014. Seen here is the first team of 31 officials with the facilitator Eduan Pieterse (PMP) on the top right.

The next public Contruction Project Management course will be held in Gauteng on the 13 - 15 February 2019. Register from www.projectpro.co.za or email training@projectpro.co.za

Tips to Fast-track Team Building - Part 1 and Part 2

In an ideal world team members would spend enough time building rapport before diving into a project. But project practitioners often have to get a team up and running while its members are still getting to know each other. To succeed, they should skip the icebreakers and try some of the following tips instead.

In this issue of ProjectPro’s eNews we deal with the first three tips, and next month the remaining three. Read more

Risks Aren't Always Negative

By Christian Bisson, PMP

The word "Risks" carries a negative connotation, which is why project managers tend to believe risks should be mitigated or avoided as much as possible. But that common belief means you may be missing out on opportunities.

A negative risk is a threat, and when it occurs, it becomes an issue. However, a risk can be positive by providing an opportunity for your project and organization. This is critical to consider when registering your risks.

Let's say your organization is rolling out a new website; an example of a positive risk would be having too many visitors. A large amount of site traffic would be great, but there is a risk the servers won't be able to handle it. Read more

Professional Construction Project Manager
ProjectPro lends a helping hand to register for Pr.CPM

Buildings that collapse while under construction are unfortunately common occurrences these days. The latest collapse in Lagos resulted in 115 people being killed. Unapproved additions to existing structures seem to be the main reason. In South Africa the Meyersdal and Tongaat collapses recently killed 9 people and are under investigation by the Department of Labour. The Tongaat contract had a court order stopping construction, but was ignored by the contractor.

These tragedies could have been avoided if a registered Construction Project Manager had been appointed. Read more

BP found grossly negligent in Gulf of Mexico oil spill

BP potentially faces billions of dollars in new fines after a New Orleans judge concluded it acted with "gross negligence" ahead of the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Federal court judge Carl Barbier said that the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig blowout, which killed 11 workers and spilled millions of barrels of oil into Gulf waters, happened because BP's US subsidiaries, along with oil-services company Halliburton and rig owner Transocean, did not take adequate care in drilling a risky well. Read more

Skylon to fly at Mach 5

PROJECT: The SABRE rocket engine for the Skylon space plane
BUDGET: £5.5 to £7.5 billion for the Skylon, E250 million for the next phase of SABRE prototyping and testing
TRAVEL TIME FROM ENGLAND TO AUSTRALIA: Four hours via the Skylon, versus 22 hours on conventional flights.

The SABRE engine which will be located in each of the wingtips of the Skylon, shown on the left, will propel the plane at five times the speed of sound

The media tend to focus on aerospace developments in the USA, Russia, China and Europe.  But there is a lot of space action taking place in the United Kingdom.

Within the next decade, the U.K.'s Skylon space plane will likely take off from a runway just like countless commercial planes before it. Its passengers, however will be traveling to space. Maybe they'll arrive at a space station, or a far-flung spot on Earth in just a fraction of the usual flight time.

Before it can even get off the ground, the reusable space plane needs s engine powerful enough to propel it into the stratosphere. The Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE), designed by aerospace company Reaction Engines in Abingdon, England, came closer to fruition this year, the British government and the European Space Agency invested more than €60 million in the project.

The next hurdle is to secure the rest of the needed £250 million from investors. Public and private buy-in has worked hand in hand. The organization's proven ability to attain private financing spurred government funding, and that, in turn, has led to more private support.

Reaction plans to roll out the SABRE prototype in 2017. By 2020, the first Skylon flight tests are expected to take to the skies-and beyond.


A Project to “capture” a Comet

After a decade-long journey chasing its target, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft has become the first one to rendezvous with a comet, opening a new chapter in Solar System exploration.

Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and Rosetta now lie 405 million kilometres from Earth, about halfway between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars, rushing towards the inner Solar System at nearly 55 000 kilometres per hour.

The comet is in an elliptical 6,5-year orbit that takes it from beyond Jupiter at its furthest point, to between the orbits of Mars and Earth at its closest to the Sun. Rosetta will accompany it for over a year as they swing around the Sun and back out towards Jupiter again. Read more

Project Management for Engineers and Technicians

ProjectPro facilitated a Project Management for Engineers and Technicians course which was encouragingly well-attended by both male and female delegates. The course was hosted by AllSectors Business & Communications at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton during July.

The High Cost of Low Performance

For the past several years, the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Pulse of the Profession reports have emphasized the benefits of effective project, program and portfolio management. More recently, PMI have begun focusing on strategic initiative management to drive organization success through improved efficiency.

Though executives know what they should be doing – 88 percent say that strategy implementation is important to their organizations – 61 percent acknowledge that their firms often struggle to bridge the gap between strategy formulation and its day-to-day implementation. This gap demonstrates a lack of understanding among organization executives that all strategic change happens through projects and programs. Read more

The Crucial Role of Communications

Good communication is crucial to project success — this may seem obvious, but where’s the proof?

As revealed in a new report from PMI Pulse of the Profession®, 55 percent of project managers agree that effective communications to all stakeholders is the most critical success factor in project management. In fact, for every US$1 billion spent on projects, US$135 million is at risk — and a startling 56 percent of that amount — US$75 million — is at risk due to ineffective communications. Read more

Program Management Standards Revamped

The Project Management Institute (PMI) has recently published a radical revamp of their Program Management Standard. The list of changes from the 2nd to the new 3rd edition comprises 20 pages in the document, which gives some idea of the magnitude of the changes.

The 2nd edition’s three themes have been replaced by five domains which are supported by 36 supporting processes. The five program life cycle phases in the 2nd edition have been streamlined to three in the 3rd edition, but four stages have been introduced. The program process terminology has changed significantly.

ProjectPro’s PgMP Candidates in Centurion

Seen viewing the Hennops River bursting its banks at the Centurion Lake Hotel are some of the candidates on the intensive 2-day Program Management Professional (PgMP) exam preparation workshop. From left: Tanita Bezuidenhout (SyncWise Solutions), Albert Wessels (RSV Enco Consulting), Krish Govender (Umgeni Water) and Msondezi Futshane (Dept Transport).

The next PgMP prep workshop is on request. Contact training@projectpro.co.za or 012 346 6674 for more details.

PMP and CAPM exam prep workshops based on PMBOK 5th Edition

The Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) exams are now only available based on the PMBOK® Guide 5th edition.

ProjectPro will be holding a combined PMBOK® Guide 5th PMP/CAPM examination preparation workshop on 4 to 6 July 2018 in Gauteng. Register now on www.projectpro.co.za or contact training@projectpro.co.za or  012 346 6674.

For those candidates who can’t wait until October, ProjectPro also offers online eLearning PMP and CAPM prep courses based on the 5th edition from www.projectpropm.com or contact training@projectpropm.com

Blended E-learning and Experiential Programme (BEEP)

ProjectPro now offers the popular ProjectFlow® project management methodology course as a Blended E-learning and Experiential Programme (BEEP).

The BEEP programme comprises 4 modules as follows Read more

Construction of a New City

The construction of a “new city to rival Sandton” in north-eastern Johannesburg kicks off early next year with Shanghai Zendai Property’s R84 billion development of the Modderfontein property it bought from AECI. In addition to retail and residential components, it will include the building of schools, a university and a contemporary African art gallery.

Dai Zhikang, the founder of Shanghai Zendai Investments, said the group planned to build a “new city” over the next 15 years that would focus on the retail and residential sectors. The development will house about 100 000 people, focused mainly on international residents, the local middle class and pensioners. Read more

PharoX sculpture to crown Signal Hill

PharoX is an African mega-sculpture, ten storeys high, that speaks to the world about our ancient and contemporary history. The site for erecting the sculpture is on top of Signal Hill, adjacent to the world-renowned Table Mountain, one of the New 7 Wonders of the Natural World.

It will be an illuminated  beacon of inspiration at night, to bring people together and will serve as a landmark symbol of hope and innovation for South Africa and the world. Read more

PMI launches a Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA) credential

Business analysis is a growing area in project management The number of business analysis jobs is predicted to increase 22 percent by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics. This research indicates a growing need for professionals skilled in effective requirements management.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) will be launching a PMI-PBA credential which certifies practitioner’s ability to effectively work with stakeholders to define their business requirements, shape the output of projects and drive successful business outcomes. Read more

Latest Salary Survey Shows Rising PM Salaries

PMI's recently released Project Management Salary Survey, Eighth Edition confirms that the project management profession is experiencing continued growth and high median salaries. This is in alignment with signs of improvement from various global economies.

Conducted by PMI's market research team, the survey is based on self-reported salary information from over 36,000 project management practitioners. The report provides a comprehensive look at compensation in the global project management field, measuring salaries across eight major position description levels in 33 countries.The survey corroborates the findings of PMI's 2013 Project Management Talent Gap Report, which indicates a significant upward trend in compensation for project professionals. This trend is fueled by projected growth of US$6.61 trillion within the project management profession and the creation of 15.7 million new project management roles worldwide between 2010 and 2020.

Most survey participants (71 percent) report that their total compensation (including salary, bonus and other forms of compensation) increased over the 12 months prior to completing the salary survey, with over one-fourth (28 percent) of respondents reporting increases of at least 5 percent over that time period.

The median salary varied greatly depending on a number of key demographic factors, including country of employment, position/ role, average size of projects managed (including average project budget and average project team size) and number of years' experience in project management.

Countries reporting the highest median project management salaries are Australia, Switzerland, the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, Belgium, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Australia was No. 1 with an annual salary of US$134 658. South Africa was no. 14 with US$77 552.

Project Management at DBSA

ProjectPro facilitated a 5-day project management course for the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). The course included developing skills in the use of Microsoft Project, a scheduling application. The course was held in Midrand, Gauteng and was attended by 15 staff members.

The DBSA was established in 1983 to perform a broad economic development function. In 1997, the DBSA was reconstituted as a Development Finance Institution (DFI). Following the adoption of the new Bank’s growth strategy in November 2012 by the DBSA Board, the strategy was refocused to provide sustainable infrastructure finance and implementation support in selected African markets to improve the quality of life, of people, in support of economic growth and regional integration.

ProjectPro Trains Government in Zambia

Thirty staff members of the Zambian Department of Local Government and Housing attended ProjectPro’s popular 3-day Engineering and Construction Project Management course in Lusaka. The course was facilitated by ProjectPro’s CEO, Terry Deacon, and organised locally by Kazma Investments.

Pulse of the Profession

Project Management Institute’s (PMI) 2013 Pulse of the Profession finds that organizations risk, on average, $135 million for every billion dollars spent. Low-performing organizations, however, risk 14 times more money than their high-performing counterparts.

That competitive disadvantage shows how project performance isn't just something that's nice to have. In this complex global environment, it can actually dictate whether an organization thrives or fails.

The good news is that effective project management provides a blueprint for success. High -performing organizations achieve project success 90% of the time (versus 34% for low-performing organizations). They do so by focusing on:

  1. Strong talent management by investing in project talent and providing consistent training, defined career paths and professional development opportunities.
  2.  Standardization of practices and tools, which leads to a more efficient use of resources and a greater ability to lead and innovate.
  3. Strategic alignment of their project, program and portfolio management to organizational goals, creating improved maturity and better project outcomes.

Explore the full Pulse of the Profession report for more detail on these findings, best practices and statistical analysis, and guidance on charting your organization's path forward.

The full report may be downloaded from www.pmi.org/pulse

New Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)SM credential to be launched

The Project Management Institute (PMI) has announced the development of a new credential in the area of portfolio management. Based on encouragement from industry leaders and extensive market research with project, program and portfolio management practitioners, hiring managers, and other key stakeholders, the PMI is ready to move forward with this credential.

This credential is currently under development as part of PMI’s Phase Gate process and it is anticipated that the new credential will begin with a pilot at the end of 2013. Read more

The Last Roll of Kodachrome

Digital photography has made such enormous strides in creating high resolution images, that it has made chemical film obsolete. Famous international photographer, Steve McCurry, secured the last roll of Kodachrome photographic film coming off the Kodak production line after 75 years on the market. Read more

ISO Gives New Programme Management Standard the Go-Ahead

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) Technical Committee 258 ballot results have been received, and it is an overwhelming yes for the development of a new global standard for Programme Management. The ballot passed with a vote of 28 for and 1 against.

The South African team which contributes to the global effort meets at the SABS in Pretoria. Carel Van Zyl of BKS and his team has their work cut out now to support this new undertaking as best they can, and to find people and funds to attend ISOTC258 meetings and carry the South African flag.

Anyone who has an interest in participating or being a potential sponsor to cover cost of travel, should contact Carel Van Zyl on 011 481 0300 or 083 225 0586 to volunteer.

Common Errors Project Managers Make

Leading a project from start to finish can be a daunting experience for any project manager, so it’s no surprise that novice project managers struggle in their early attempts.

That doesn’t mean fallout from any blunder is without grave consequences. Rookie project managers often fall victim to costly mistakes and errors that can derail a project and significantly impact one’s project management career. Read more.

New Software Extension to the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition

The Project Management Body of Knowledge PMBOK® Guide 5th edition is a generic standard for managing all types of projects, be they construction, software, research & Development, Government, etc.

Various extensions to the PMBOK® Guide have been published such as the Government and Automobile Industry extensions. A new Software Extension to the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition is on its way. Read more

PPP Model for R75bn Durban Dig-Out Port

Transnet has announced that funding for the proposed R75-billion Durban dig-out port (DDOP ), which is earmarked for development at the city's old international airport site, is not included in the group's current R300-billion capital budget and that it will have to be pursued as a public-private partnership (PPP). The new habour will add to the shipping capacity of the existing Durban port. Read more

Fast-Tracking Can Invite Disaster

Large cracks in the walls, glass panels falling from the windows, rain seeping in. The Guangzhou Opera House in south China city is falling apart – and it's only two years old. Evoking an alien spacecraft, the structure received accolades from around the world and even inspired a fashion line when it first opened.

But an out-of-this-world design can't hide a slew of flaws on the CNY1,38 billion project, another vivid illustration of how improper planning and short-term thinking can sabotage success. The danger of fast-tracking projects is nothing new, but when executives put market demands ahead of quality, they and their project teams walk a fine line between risk and reward. Read more

ProjectPro is First Private Institution to be Validated

Analysis of registrations as Professional Construction Project Managers (PrCPM) through the South African Council for Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) reveals a disturbing trend. Since the inception of the SACPCMP some 8 years ago there was initially strong growth in the total number of registrations which peaked at 3 418 in 2009, but has leveled off over the past three years. Read more

All fired up to take their Project Management Professional (PMP) exam

Candidates on ProjectPro’s PMP exam prep workshop held in Centurion in November peruse the recommended reading matter. They are, from left: Tanita Bezuidenhout, Nigel Naylor, Joseph Khoza, Anton van Niekerk, Fanus Janse van Rensburg, Tom Sephton, Gary Makschinski

How to Compress a Project Schedule

A project manager often sees a completion deadline looming and has a sinking feeling that the project will not be finished on time.

Should you motivate your team to work faster, overlap tasks, work overtime, add more resources, or reduce scope? The most important thing in choosing which compression method to pursue is to find out why the schedule is slipping.

There is not always a single answer to this question. It could be resources, lack of clarity or constantly changing requirements. But until you know why, you won't come up with the right answer to get the project back on track. Read more

Full House for Women Project Administrators


All-women teams of Ericsson project administrators attended a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) workshop in Accra, Ghana and a PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) workshop in Lagos, Nigeria at the end of May 2012. The teams, comprising delegates from Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Benin and Cameroon, were facilitated by ProjectPro’s Terry Deacon

From Ericsson

To certified Project Support Staff 

It is great pleasure to announce more Project Support Staff who passed successfully the PMI (Project Management Institute) international certification CAPM® (Certified Associate in Project Management) & PMI-SP® (PMI - Scheduling Professional). Well done to the 6 certified PSS!

  • Bernadine Egbe (Cameroon) passed successfully PMI-SP
  • Hellen Allan (Tanzania) passed successfully CAPM
  • Tatiana Ouedanou Nwankpa (Benin) passed successfully CAPM
  • Oumou Cisse (Ivory Coast) passed successfully CAPM
  • Patricia Karanja (Kenya) passed successfully CAPM
  • Lily Mwai (Kenya) passed successfully CAPM 

RSSA Project Support Staff eligible to PMI certifications are this year preparing exams for either CAPM® or PMI-SP®. We wish Success to the candidates and more announcements in the coming weeks. 


  • CAPM®, designed for projects practitioners, demonstrates understanding of the fundamentals, terminology and processes of effective project management
  • PMI-SP® fills the need for a specialist role in project scheduling. It recognizes unique expertise and competence to develop and maintain project schedules, while providing baseline knowledge skills in all areas of project management.

Both certifications are based on PMI PMBOK® Guide and represent an asset for certification holders to provide effective Support to projects with effect on Business results.

LEARN MORE about PMI International Certifications  at www.pmi.org

Nafy Diagne
Manager: Project Support RSSA

ProjectPro Trains Ericsson in Central Africa

ProjectPro was appointed by Ericsson to train their staff in Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana. The courses prepare candidates for the Project Management Institute’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) credential examinations. Seen here in Nairobi are the CAPM candidates hailing from Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Terry Deacon, the facilitator, travelled from Pretoria, South Africa.

Centurion, in Gauteng, may boast with the tallest buildings in Africa by 2018.

The Tshwane Metro is planning Symbio City, an ultra-modern development, with a 110 storey mega-skyscraper 470 metres high as its centrepiece in the middle of the Centurion Lake. The building will be the tallest in Africa and even higher than the Empire State Building (381 m, 102 storeys) in New York, USA. The Carlton Centre in Johannesburg at 223 m is currently the tallest building in Africa.  Two other towers measuring 336 m (80 storeys) and 210 m (60 storeys) will complete the Centurion Towers which is part of Tshwane's ambitious Symbio City development.

The complex will comprise a conference centre of 30 000 m², at least three hotels, shops, office space of up to 150000 m² and luxury residential units.  The development is conveniently situated near the N1 highway and the Gautrain Centurion station.

The Centurion Lake, once a thriving hub of activity, has for many years, been silted up despite large amounts of money being spent to dredge the lake. The solution could be to canalise the river through Symbio City. Some would question the viability of three new hotels in the area as the Centurion Lake Hotel and Protea Waterfront are feeling the pinch resulting from the global recession. Hopefully things will improve by 2018.

Although there is no indication of the cost of the development, Tshwane Metro said in a statement that the project would cost several billion rand and create more than 15 000 job opportunities.

However, one must bear in mind that Centurion has in the past, announced grandiose schemes like the shop-house concept proposed by Malaysian developers. A lavish launch party with Tokyo Sexwale as guest speaker was held, but it all came to naught. Will Symbio City be yet another pipe-dream?

Sticking to the Specification?

Four people were confirmed dead, after a six-storey building under construction collapsed in Nairobi in June 2011.The incident saw the six floors of the building collapse in what was alleged to be the use of substandard materials in its construction.

Terry Deacon, eNews editor, visited Nairobi towards the end of June and took the above photograph of a building under construction. The entire supporting scaffolding comprised of wooden sticks, not steel acroprops as one would expect. Read more

Seven habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives

Sydney Finkelstein, the Steven Roth Professor of Management at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, published “Why Smart Executives Fail". Read more

Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide

PMI’s latest practice guide tackles the need for more thought leadership in the field of business analysis — which is quickly becoming recognized as an essential competency for effective projects and programs.

Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide will be available for free download for six months on PMI’s requirements management web page. A print version will be made available as well at a later date. This is the fourth practice guide released by PMI and follows successful titles on change management, complexity and organizational methodology. Read more

Blended E-learning and Experiational Programme (BEEP)

ProjectPro now offers the popular ProjectFlow® course as a Blended E-learning and Experiential P rogramme (BEEP) Read more

Project Management for Engineers

Engineers from all over Africa descended on Nairobi, Kenya in June to attend the Marcus Evans hosted Project Management for Engineers course. Course facilitator, Terry Deacon PMP, from ProjectPro shared his 35 years of experiences with engineers from Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal, Mozambique and of course, Kenya.

The Art of Program Management

Project management is both an art and a science - the art of project management being the “soft” aspects, the science being the “hard”.

Perhaps projects are more science than art. To complete a project on deadline, the project manager compiles a network diagram and uses the critical path technique to calculate the activity float. This can be done manually but these days scheduling software makes monitoring and controlling the activity progress a breeze. The science of time management is well understood. Read More

The Value of a Checklist

A costly blunder forced Australia's Antarctic flagship MV Aurora Australis to make an unscheduled and embarrasing return voyage to Hobart incurring an additional cost of over $500 000 after someone forgot to pack a vital piece of equipment.

A long, very large hose used to transport fuel hundreds of metres from ship to shore at Macquarie Island, Antacrtica was left behind on the dock in Hobart. It wasn't until the specialist re-fuelling crew of about half a dozen got settled on this Southern Ocean voyage that they realised it was missing. It was scheduled to off-load cargo at Macquarie Island and while that was happening it was supposed to supply fuel to the sub-Antarctic station, home to about 40 expeditioners over summer.

The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) passed the buck by releasing a statement saying it is responsible for the logistical service but "the preparation and loading of cargo for the Aurora Australis is a process jointly managed by AAD, Capital P&O Logistics and P&O Polar. The refuelling hose which was inadvertently left behind, was delivered to Macquarie Island some 40 days later.

The moral of the storyose was left on the dock. or the investigation and disciplining of the engineers concerned is very simple: Use a checklist.

Helping Hands Bridge

A newly constructed bridge in Da Nang, Vietnam has gone viral for its most visually striking element: two giant hands that seem to emerge from the surrounding mountain. The massive hands at Cau Vang (Golden Bridge) support a golden walkway 1,000 metres above sea level.

Though the hands appear to be carved out of weathered stone, they are actually constructed of steel mesh and fiberglass. The eye-catching piece of infrastructure was conceived to solve a logistics problem in the Ba Na Hills Resort, a rapidly growing tourist attraction. Prior to the bridge, considerable height differences at the mountainous resort made moving from the cable car station to the resort’s garden challenging.

However, a project to build a walkway wasn’t feasible, as stakeholders wanted it to integrate seamlessly into the location without damaging the cliff area. To meet these restrictions, the project team settled on a bridge and decided to focus on reducing the amount of support structures needed. Using parametric software and specialized fabrication techniques, the team designed and built branching columns that reduced the number of columns required. These were painted to blend with the forest and cliff-side, and the two giant hands were then added.

The resulting structure blends aesthetics and utility—and is now a tourist attraction in its own right.

What's new in Microsoft Project 2019

Project Professional 2019 has been released in South Africa.

If you're upgrading to Project Professional 2019 from Project Professional 2016, you'll still have all the features you're used to—and you'll notice a few new ones as well! Read more

Pretoria is home to world's largest 3D printer

World's largest 3D printer.

A collaboration between the CSIR and Aerosud Innovation Centre, an aeronautical engineering and manufacturing company, has developed an advanced 3D printer for metal components as part of project Aeroswift.

According to CSIR spokesperson David Mandaha, the programme was initiated after shortcomings with commercially available metal additive manufacturing technology were identified. The system can also be used to produce parts for the power generation, automotive tooling, defence and manufacturing sectors.

The 3D printing machine situated at the CSIR national laser centre allows for the printing of components up to 2m long, 600mm wide and 600mm high. It also uses a hot and inert processing environment to ensure strict compliance to aerospace manufacturing standards.

He said the Aeroswift team had developed new technologies to upscale the additive process to go faster and larger than other systems.In addition, this project aims to transform the country from an exporter of raw materials to an exporter of semi¬-finished or finished goods, which can be sold at a premium.

The envisaged use of the 3D printer system is in factories where titanium metal parts are being produced for the world market.

During proof-of-concept trials, the machine achieved production speeds of up to 10 times faster than those of currently available commercial laser melting machines. Furthermore, its production chamber's volume measures about four times that of the biggest commercial machines currently available.

Mandaha said the Aeroswift project resulted in a metal¬ additive manufacturing system which uses a laser to melt titanium powder to produce metal parts for the commercial aerospace manufacturing sector. The system has the ability to produce geometrically complex parts according to a customer's specification, minimising material wastage while processing difficult-to-machine materials. Compared to other manufacturing technologies, which often rely on the removal of material through a machining process to produce a final component, additive manufacturing relies on various technologies to fuse powdered or wire-based materials.

"In South Africa, the Aeroswift project has the potential to advance economic development and improve market competitiveness by unlocking the growing additive manufacturing industry" said Mandaha.

Construction Management (CM) workshop

Seen above are ten site managers from road contractor Actophambili who attended a ProjectPro Construction Management (CM) workshop in Benoni, Gauteng. The objective was to prepare them for registration as Professional Construction Managers (Pr.CM) with the South African Council for Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP).

Seen below are four site managers from contractor Leomat who attended a ProjectPro Construction Management (CM) workshop in Richards Bay, KZN.

The next public CM workshop is on 13-15 February 2019  in Gauteng. To register visit our website or for more information tel: 012 346 6674.

In-house workshops can be arranged anywhere in South Africa at dates to suit the attendees . Email: training@projectpro.co.za

New Standard for Organizational Project Management is released

The new standard Organizational Project Management (OPM) provides a framework to align portfolio, program and project management practices with organizational strategy and objectives. It’s a valuable tool for organizations looking to better meet their strategic objectives–regardless of approach and where they are in the value delivery landscape.

This OPM standard provides guidance to organizational management, PMO staff, and practitioners on these topics. It spans the value delivery landscape and can be used with all approaches to project delivery—including waterfall, agile, hybrid and next practices (those future approaches yet to be determined).

This standard is one of Project Management Institute’s (PMI)® latest foundational standards and it is aligned with A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition and other PMI® standards.

OPM helps organizations deliver value through the following principles:

  • Alignment with organizational strategy
  • Integration with organizational enablers
  • Consistency of education and delivery
  • Organizational integration
  • Value to the organization
  • Continuous development

Although useful for any organization that is seeking to better meet its strategic objectives, this standard is particularly beneficial for organizations that do not have a unified project management approach and those in the process of improving or sustaining their current project management framework. As organizations grow with the changing times and adapts to disruptive technologies, this standard will help them maintain a stable framework to stay on track with organizational strategy.

Visit www.pmi.org  for more information.

Going for PMP

Six officials from the Independent Development Trust (IDT) are being prepared for the Project Management Professional  (PMP) exam by ProjectPro facilitator Terry Deacon PMP. The nine-week workshops are held in Pretoria on Saturday mornings. Seen from left are: Linnet Mendoza,  Millicent Mogari,  Terry Deacon, Yeline Ferrer,  Sannah Sebito, Alex Noholoza , Philile Hlope.

The next public  9-week PMP workshop is on 2 March – 4 May 2019 in Gauteng. The next public 3-day PMP intense workshop is on 20-22 February 2019 in Gauteng.

To register visit our website http://www.projectpro.co.za/Training/training.html  or  tel: 012 346 6674.

PMI Statistics

as of 31 October 2017

PMI® membership 495,676

 PMI® membership


 Total Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential holders


 Total Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®
 certification holders


 Total Program Management Professional (PgMP)® credential holders


 Total PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)® credential holders


 Total PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)® credential holders


 Total PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification holders


 Total PMI Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)® credential holders


 Total PMI Active Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)®
 credential holders


Yet another structural collapse

Three people were killed after a building collapsed  in the industrial area of Wentworth , Durban, landing on workers and a truck parked outside on the road. Apparently the structure was near completion, but two pillars appear to have caved in, triggering the collapse. Six people were seriously injured. The deceased workers are from Nquthu, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

The Department of Labour (DOL) spokesperson Teboho Thejane said that details surrounding the incident were still unclear and the DOL has launched an investigation. The DOL has a team of occupational health and safety inspectors to investigating the cause of the incident.

If the employer is found to be negligent and flouted any aspect of the Occupational Health and Safety Act or its regulations‚ a recommendation to prosecute will be made to the National Prosecuting Authority.

Meetings That Matter

We asked the project management community -
How do you ensure attendance and full engagement at project meetings?

Here are their answers:


“Don't waste people's time. Make sure the meeting has a clear purpose and intended outcome. Use an agenda, distribute it in advance and stick to it. Unless it's a work session, participants should come prepared to report on work progress-not meet to accomplish the work."

-John Bates, PMP, project manager, Abbtech, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Read More

Don't Waste Knowledge

Done right, knowledge capture and transfer set project teams up for success. The Project Management Body of Knowledge PMBOK 6th Edition has recognized this by including a new process called Manage Project Knowledge in the Integration knowledge area.

 Read More

Amazon’s New Rainforest HQ

Amazon opened its new downtown Seattle office space, revealing a campus that looks more like a rainforest than a typical cubicle farm.

The opening of the new Sphere Complex comes after the world's largest online retailer spent seven years planning and constructing a cutting-edge space that it hopes will help spark its employees' creativity. Rather than the usual mix of closed hallways and traditional conference rooms, the space features winding walkways that lead to hidden nooks and open spaces peppered with tables and chairs. And this being a tech office, the wifi is even accessible in "the nest"—a meeting space ensconced in a wooden structure that resembles a bird's nest.

As striking as the structure, is the vast world of plant life it contains. The Spheres' three glass domes are home to some 40 000 plants from all around the world—including a 17m tall tree, nicknamed Rubi, short for Ficus rubiginosa.

Amazon invested $3,7 billion on buildings and infrastructure in Seattle from 2010 to summer 2017, a figure that has not escaped the notice of cities competing for "HQ2,” its second headquarters.

Amazon has said that it expects to invest more than $5 billion in construction of HQ2 and to create as many as 50 000 jobs.

Moving a Tomb

Here's a stressful project!  Put a 15th-century 1 100-ton Turkish tomb on wheels and then move it 1,6 kilometres to a new site on higher ground. The government officials backing the project – and the clergy - are watching every step.

Earlier this year, a Turkish team pulled off the feat to prevent the medieval structure, the Zeynel Bey Tomb, from being submerged after a hydroelectric dam project is completed in Hasankeyf, Turkey. The move wasn't entirely smooth. For example, after the trip started, one of the 190 tyres burst and a system meant to monitor the mausoleum's stability while in transit malfunctioned. Fortunately a backup system was installed and the move was completed in 3,5 hours.

The US$4,2 million project sponsored by Turkey's national government faced challenges earlier as well. Opponents were concerned that the relocation would cause serious and irreversible structural damage to the monument. That didn't happen, thanks to the team's intense planning and careful execution.


Whether you are moving tombs or constructing office blocks, if you are a project manager in built environment you need to be registered as a professional construction project manager (Pr CPM) with the South African Council for Project and Construction  Management Professions.

For more information on attending ProjectPro's next Pr CPM registration workshop in 13-15 February 2019 contact 012 346 6674 Email: training@projectpro.co.za or visit http://www.projectpro.co.za/Training/training.html

Italian consortium wins $95 m bridge contract in Okavango Delta

Botswana has awarded a 1 billion pula ($95 million) contract to a joint venture between Italian companies Itinera and Cimolai to build a bridge in the remote Okavango Delta, a major tourist attraction renowned for its wildlife.

The project, which will be fully funded by the government and involves the construction of a 1.1 km long road bridge and pedestrian walkways, is expected to be complete in July 2019. It will replace a pontoon service across a section of the Delta.

“An environment impact assessment was done since the Okavango Delta area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will make sure construction will not disturb the environment,” Elias Magosi, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications, told a media briefing.

At certain times of the year, the Okavango Delta is home to some of the greatest concentrations of African wildlife, and development has generally been kept to a minimum there. It floods during Botswana’s winter dry season, making it a magnet to herds of elephants and other animals.

The 4 Pillars of Portfolio Management

Carleton Chinner
Associate Director Portfolio Management in Queensland, Australia.

Organizations implement portfolio management for many reasons. Some are looking for great returns, others want to focus on delivery, while some just seek to bring control to an ever-spreading range of projects.

Regardless of the reasons why an organization wants portfolio management, there are four fundamental aspects that a portfolio manager must master before they can be effective. I refer to these as the four pillars; each describes a specific focus area. Portfolio managers that develop a detailed understanding of each of these four areas will be better positioned to manage their portfolios—and be able to answer the specific questions that executive managers are fond of asking. Read More

How stressed are you?

Project managers are notorious for being constantly under intense pressure to bring their projects in on time, under budget and to required quality standards.

This year, compared to previous years, has been a stressful one with rating downgrades, petrol price increases and overall a busy 2017. Stress impacts us all differently and we all have our own mechanism to deal with the stress we face on a daily basis.

According to Profmed’s 2016 survey, 60% of overall participants agreed that stress impacted them both physically and emotionally. However, interestingly, only 9.7% took time off from work due to stress. 37.6% of participants revealed that exercise is the best stress-busting activity. Last year’s stress index gave us great insight into stress levels and the management thereof.

Upgrading their skills

ProjectPro held a Project Management Professional (PMP) exam preparation workshop at Centurion Lake Hotel in August 2017. Some of the candidates seen from left are: Phuthi Ntjana, Peter du Toit, Mathew Jilu, Reginald Jacobs, and Maxwell Gwatimba,

If you would like to attend ProjectPro’s next course please visit the training schedule or contact 012 346 6674

ProjectPro held a PMI Scheduling Professional exam preparation workshop at Centurion Lake Hotel in September 2017. Seen from left are: Mothusi Maomela, Caleb Gwaintdepi, Paul Monareng, Siphokazi Gcelu and Adriaan van der Merwe

Taking the CAPM exam now more convenient!

The Project Management Institute (PMI) has partnered with Pearson VUE  to offer candidates for the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification the opportunity to take the examination via online-proctored (OP) supervision. Candidates will be able to conveniently and easily take an exam in the comfort of their home or office while being monitored by an offsite online proctor.

Online-proctored exams are available globally, as long as the candidate has a sufficient internet connection and their computer meets the system requirements. There will not be an extra charge for OP testing; the exam fees will be the same as for center-based testing (CBT) or paper-based testing. 

As from 23 July 2017, candidates will have the option to schedule an OP exam at any convenient location in South Africa, or a CBT exam. The first OP exams through Pearson VUE started on 23 August 2017.

Join ProjectPro’s next CAPM and PMP exam prep workshops on the 20-22 February 2019. Click  to register or for more info contact training@projectpro.co.za   

PMI Certification Statistics as of August 2017

PMI® membership is 486 680 – an overall change of 2,0% over the prior 12 month period
Total Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential holders: 777 202
Total Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification holders: 33 880
Total Program Management Professional (PgMP)® credential holders: 1 967
Total PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)® credential holders: 1 710
Total PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)® credential holders: 4 158
Total PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification holders: 16 283
Total PMI Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)® credential holders: 450
Total PMI Active Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)®: 1 479

Worldwide, there are 287 PMI® chapters, with a total chapter membership of 271 684

The Organizational Importance of Occupational Health and Safety

By Khaled Istanbouli

Occupational health and safety (OHS) is a multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety, health and welfare of people at work.

OHS applies to any work activities conducted by the employer (or on behalf of the employer) that may constitute an OHS-related risk to employees, contractors, suppliers and visitors (any member of the public at any location in which they are exposed to employer activities).

Attention to health and safety is not just about being socially responsible—it also makes good business sense. You should regard it as just as important as the achievement of any other key business objective. Read More

Reach for the Sky

There is fierce competition between countries around the globe to construct the world’s tallest building. It probably started circa 1570 BC with the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt which still stands a modest 139 m tall.

In modern times the iconic Empire State Building completed in 1931 set a new record of 381 m tall which it held for 40 years until it was overtaken by the World Trade Centre at 417m. Thereafter various cities around the world broke the record by 5 or 10 metres at a time, until the Burj Khalifa in Dubai broke the record set by Taipei 101 by a massive 320 m topping out at a spectacular height of 828 m. However, the Burj Khalifa will lose its title in 2019 to the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia when it is completed in 2019 at an amazing 1 000 m tall. Read More

Letter to the Editor

Thanks for the recent edition of the ProjectPro eNews. The Zeitz Museum and Silo development in the V&A is quite something and a great tribute to CT and its built environment community.

I read the article about solar energy projects and its costs with interest because the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry has several members in that sector. I checked the prices quoted from Bloomberg New Energy Finance in the article, with the Chamber and it appears that the BNEF figures quoted in the eNews article were heavily inflated even in US$ terms. It started with a contract in January 2016 to produce electricity for US$64 per megawatt-hour in India; then a deal in August pegging US$29.10 per megawatt hour in Chile. That’s record-cheap electricity—roughly half the price of competing coal power.

Read the below letter published in November 2016 by the Chamber based on extensive research by Tony Robinson on the latest global costs of solar energy. I hope that this info will be useful and help to destroy the myths spread by Eskom which seems hell bent on continuing to generate electricity at unsustainably high financial and environmental costs.

Jeremy Wiley
Managing Director
De Goede Hoop
Cape Town

Mobile: 0824460126

Read the letter

How do you turn an old grain silo into a modern museum?

British designer, Thomas Heatherwick mused: “How do you turn forty-two vertical concrete tubes into a place to experience contemporary culture?” The designer’s thoughts wrestled with the extraordinary physical constraints of the historic grain silo in the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. There was no large open space within the densely packed tubes and it was not possible to experience these volumes from inside. Rather than strip out the evidence of the building’s industrial heritage, they wanted to find a way to enjoy and celebrate it. Read More

Hotel perched on top of a grain silo

he latest addition to the V&A Waterfront’s impressive list of projects is the Silo Hotel which was constructed on top of the old grain elevator portion of the historic grain silo complex. The Silo Hotel’s “ground” floor is situated six floors above the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa giving guests spectacular views of Table Mountain and the seaboard.

The 28-room hotel will have individually decorated interiors representing the building's industrial history, whilst giving it a refined modern look. The large glass windows of the rooms will give visitors amazing views of Robben Island, Signal Hill, Devil’s Peak, Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and the ocean. Features include a spa, piano bar, cafe, gym and a rooftop restaurant with a champagne bar. There will also be a glass swimming pool which showcases these magnificent views.

Learn more about managing construction projects in the built environment by joining ProjectPro’s next Construction Project Management (CPM) workshop on 13-15 February 2019 in Gauteng. Registeron www.projectpro.coza or contact training@projectpro.co.za ProjectPro’s CPM course is validated by the South African Council for Project and Construction Management Professions (no. SACPCMP/CPD/12/023/RV) and the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) (no. SAICEproj13/01454/16).

The Supertrees Project

Massive man-made, multi-function Supertrees are springing up in Singapore.

Gardens by the Bay is a nature park spanning 100 hectares of reclaimed land in central Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. An international competition for the design of the park was held, attracting more than 70 entries submitted by 170 firms from 24 countries. Two British firms, Grant Associates and Gustafson Porter, were awarded the contracts for the Bay South and Bay East Gardens respectively.

Supertrees are tree-like structures that dominate the Gardens' landscape with heights that range between 25 metres and 50 metres. They are vertical gardens that perform a multitude of functions, which include planting, shading and working as environmental engines for the gardens.

Supertrees are home to enclaves of unique and exotic ferns, vines, orchids and bromeliads. They are fitted with environmental technologies that mimic the ecological function of trees – photovoltaic cells that harness solar energy which can be used for some of the functions of the Supertrees, such as lighting, similar to trees photosynthesizing; and collection of rainwater for use in irrigation and fountain displays, similar to trees absorbing rainwater for growth. The Supertrees also serve air intake and exhaust functions as part of the conservatories' cooling systems.

There is an elevated walkway, the OCBC Skyway, between two of the larger Supertrees for visitors to enjoy a panoramic aerial view of the Gardens. A food and beverage outlet is planned atop the 50-metre Supertree. At night, the Supertrees come alive with a light and music show called the OCBC Garden Rhapsody.

Gardens by the Bay is part of a strategy by the government to transform Singapore from a "Garden City" to a "City in a Garden". The vision is to raise the quality of life by enhancing greenery and flora in the city.

ProjectFlow and Microsoft Project 2013 course

Thirteen delegates from The Co-op attended a customised ProjectFlow® and Microsoft Project 2013 course held in Jeffreys Bay on 6-8 March 2017 in the Eastern Cape Province. The course was designed and facilitated by Terry Deacon of ProjectPro.

The Co-op is a leading agricultural business that delivers innovative client services such as designing and constructing irrigation systems with the main objective to ensure the profitability of their producers on a sustainable basis. Jeffreys Bay, a thriving tourist destination, is world famous amongst the surfing fraternity for their super-tube waves.

The Critical Chain – PMI explains its disappearance

Terry Deacon PMP

Last month ProjectPro eNews expressed its concern that the Critical Chain Method (CCM) which was first included in the 4th edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) in 2009, and gained more prominence in PMBOK 5th edition, has disappeared from the 6th edition.

ProjectPro approached the Project management Institute for their comment and received the following response from Kristin Vitello, “The PMBOK Guide--Sixth Edition Committee conducted both academic and market research prior to beginning the update process. One of the tenets for the update was to present information that is considered good practice on most projects, most of the time. Based on the research we conducted, Critical Chain does not meet that criteria. This is in no way insinuating that it is not a good practice in some situations, it is just not considered a good practice on most projects most of the time.”

ProjectPro approached the Project management Institute for their comment and received the following response from Kristin Vitello, “The PMBOK Guide--Sixth Edition Committee conducted both academic and market research prior to beginning the update process. One of the tenets for the update was to present information that is considered good practice on most projects, most of the time. Based on the research we conducted, Critical Chain does not meet that criteria. This is in no way insinuating that it is not a good practice in some situations, it is just not considered a good practice on most projects most of the time.”

In the February issue of ProjectPro eNews, Mr Philip Viljoen, of Theory of Constraints Southern Africa (TOCSA) said, “It does not make sense.  CCM and multi-project CCM are more and more being used all over the world in many different project environments with the expected and better shortening of lead times.  In healthcare, aircraft maintenance, shipbuilding, construction, new product development, maintenance shutdowns, IT, government, research & development and many more. The number of software tools supporting the rules of CCM has also increased in recent years.  All of them boast of numerous satisfied customers.”

Time will tell whether the Critical Chain will make a comeback in the PMBOK.

If you are interested in knowing more about CCM, join ProjectPro’s next Engineering & Construction Project Management or  PMI-Scheduling Professional courses by registering on http://www.projectpro.co.za/Training_Schedules/training_schedules.HTM

Read More and comment

What happened to the Critical Chain?

The Critical Chain Method (CCM) was first included in the 4th edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) in 2009, and gained more prominence in PMBOK 5th edition. But to my dismay it has disappeared from the 6th edition. Not even a mention in the glossary.

In 1997 Eliyahu Goldratt improved production scheduling systems using the Theory of Constraints and applied CCM to project management. What is CCM? The Critical Chain is the set of tasks which determines the overall duration of a project after taking resource capacity into account. It focusses on managing the way people behave (avoiding the “student syndrome”), rather than just the task dependencies. Read More and comment

BA vs. PM: Where Do We Draw the Line?

Mark Mullaly

So many acronyms, so little time…

We abbreviate to expedite talking about something that is long, complicated or that we talk about frequently. So project managers become PMs. Steering committees become SCs. Project Management Offices become PMOs. Information Technology becomes IT (and begets hundreds of other mind-numbing acronyms in the process). And Business Analysts have become BAs. Read More

Vent Session

Whether it's last-minute change requests or oblivious stakeholders, recurring problems can push project managers to the edge. We asked practitioners: What's your biggest project pet peeve? Read More

Another successful PMP

Quinton Cartwright, a project manager with Denel Ltd in Centurion, has passed the gruelling 4-hour Project Management Professional (PMP) exam with flying colours. He was wise enough to join one of ProjectPro’s PMP exam prep workshops to ensure he was successful on his first attempt. Congratulations Quinton !

You too can become a PMP by joining ProjectPro’s next PMP exam prep workshop in Centurion on 4-6 July 2018. Register from www.projectpro.co.za/Training/training.html

New law will improve USA federal government project management

The Project Management Institute (PMI) reports that on 14 December 2017, President Barack Obama signed the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA) of 2015 into law.

Read More

Six ways to let go

Learning to let go of a project or program is a skill unto itself.

Sheilina Somani, RPP, FA PM, PMP

Although inevitable, moving on from a project or program can be very difficult. For contractors, it's business as usual. But for staff mernbers – or contractors closing out a longer-term position-transitioning a project or program into new hands can be a challenge. Read More

China implodes 19 inner city buildings in 10 seconds

Nineteen buildings were demolished in central China in less than 10 seconds, making it the country’s largest building implosion project.

The buildings ranging from seven to 12 storeys high were razed just before midnight in Hankou, Hubei province. The operation involved more than 5 tonnes of explosives distributed in 120 000 locations. It was the third implosion operation carried out on the 15 -hectare site, demolishing a total of 32 buildings so far to make way for a marquee business district in the city.

The project is said to have attracted more than 30 billion yuan (HK$33.8 billion) in construction investment, which will include one of the world’s tallest buildings standing 707-metre tall, a cross-harbour tunnel and an underground complex.

Wang Xuguang, an implosion expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said the event was the first attempt in China to demolish a large complex of buildings in a bustling metropolitan area. Wang said that by using the implosion technique rather the traditional demolition approach, the city saved more than four months in preparing the building site.

Tile Africa opts for ProjectPro’s Construction Project Management course

Project managers from Tile Africa attended ProjectPro’s Construction Project Management course held in Midrand. The South African Council for Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) has validated the course for 15 CPD hours. The course prepares Construction Project Managers to become registered with the SACPCMP as Professional Construction Project Managers (Pr.CPM) which is a legal requirement for operating in  the built environment.

ProjectPro’s next CPM course will be held in Gauteng on 13-15 February 2019. Contact 012 346 6674 or training@projectpro.co.za  to register.

World’s longest and highest glass-bottom bridge opens

Whatever you do, don’t look down!

The world’s highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge opened to visitors in China in August 2016.

The suspension bridge, which spans 400m the Zhangjiajie Canyon in Hunan province, hangs 600m above the ground, and is paved with 99 panes of three-layered glass. A maximum of 8 000 visitors will be allowed to cross the bridge each day.

Some 870 m long and suspended 300 metres above the earth, the bridge spans the canyon between two mountain cliffs in Zhangjiajie park in China’s central Hunan province. Six metres wide and made of some 99 panels of clear glass, the bridge can carry up to 800 people at the same time. Tourists can walk across the bridge, designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan, and the more adventurous will be able to bungee jump or ride a zip line.

Following an alarming glass bridge cracking incident at the Yuntai mountain in northern Henan in 2015, authorities in Zhangjiajie were eager to demonstrate the safety of the structure. They organised a string of media events, including one where people were encouraged to try and smash the bridge’s glass panels with a sledge hammer, and another where they drove a car across it.

But the bridge stood firm!

Success! Thanks to ProjectPro

Dear Terry,

Just want to inform you that I passed my PMP Exam today (Proficient in all domains), Thanx for your efforts and support  ( I remembered your statement of model student :) ).

Here are my comments on the exam questions:

  • There were no questions on the PMI Talent Triangle,
  • 2 questions on network diagram and critical path,
  • 3 straight-forward questions on Earned Value,
  • 2 questions on kick-off meetings,
  • many questions on Risk, Communication and Stakeholder Management Plan,
  • I noticed the Project Charter was used a lot in the answer choices.

Hope we meet soon. Thanx again
Tamer El Akkad

Hi Tamer


Thanks for the valued feedback.
Look forward to seeing you again for certifying as a Program Management Professional (PgMP).

Best wishes
Terry Deacon PMP
ProjectPro workshop facilitator

To register to the next ProjectPro exam preparation workshops for CAPM, PMP and PgMP visit our Training Schedule for dates

ProjectPro training is in demand

Candidates for the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and Project Management Professional (PMP) have completed their series of 9 workshops to prepare for the tough Project Management Institute (PMI) certification exams. Seen here with course facilitator, Terry Deacon PMP (right), during a break are some of the candidates on the 2 April to 28 May 2016 workshops. The next course commences on 2 March and ends on 4 March 2019 in Gauteng.

Candidates pose for a “selfie” during the Project Management Demystified, a 2-day introductory course, which was held at the Centurion Lake Hotel during April 2016. The next course commences on 24-25 January 2019 in Gauteng.

The final Engineering and Construction Project Management (ECPM) course in a programme of six courses for Department of Water and Sanitation was held at the Roodeplaat Training Centre, north of Pretoria.

The Riverside Hotel in Durban North was the venue for an Engineering and Construction Project Management (ECPM) course for seven of Engen Oil’s project staff. The next course commences on 13-15 February 2019 in Gauteng.

For more details on future courses contact ProjectPro on 012 346 6674 or training@projectpro.co.za or www.projectpro.co.za 

Get Certified as a Risk Management Professional

A Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)SM credential for project managers who specialize in project risk management is now available through the Project Management Institute (PMI). ProjectPro offers a 2-day exam preparation workshop in Gauteng (or other venues if there is sufficient demand). This workshop will be of value to not only practitioners who wish to become certified, but also those wishing to learn more about project risk management. Read More Contact ProjectPro on 012 346 6674 or training@projectpro.co.za or visit the Training page for details and to register.

Elon Musk’s incredible project factory

Elon Musk is an entrepreneur extraordinaire.  He has progressed from founding a start-up company during the dot-com mania, called Zip2 when fresh out of college, to taking on NASA with his SpaceX endeavours.

Born and raised in South Africa, Elon Musk purchased his first computer at age 10. He taught himself how to program, and when he was 12 he made his first software sale—of a game he created called Blastar. At age 17, in 1989, he moved to Canada to attend Queen’s University, but he left in 1992 to study business and physics at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated with an undergraduate degree in economics and stayed for a second bachelor’s degree in physics. Read More

Five Ways to Build Your Leadership Skills

Leadership is an important skill for project, programme and portfolio managers. No matter how much technical expertise or strategic and business management experience you may have, without an equal knowledge of leadership, your skill set may be out of balance.

So, how can you improve your leadership skills? Here are five ways we can learn from the experts on projectmanagement.com. Read More

Steve Jobs 10 rules for success

Steve Jobs

1. Don’t live a limited life

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. Read More

Major bridge collapse in Kolkata

A collapsed highway overpass in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), India at the end of March claimed at least 24 lives and injured many more . The collapse of about 100 metres of the under-construction Vivekananda Overpass buried cars and pedestrians in a crowded neighbourhood north of the city's center.

At first, people desperately dug into the rubble with shovels and even their bare hands. Later, an army of hard-hatted rescue crews arrived. Bright lights illuminated the scene as heavy machinery lifted heavy slabs of concrete that trapped scores of people. Read More

ISO 9001: 2015 Seven quality management principles

ISO 9001 builds on seven quality management principles. Following these principles will ensure your organization or business is set up to consistently create value for its customers. With these seven pillars firmly in place, implementing a quality management system will be much easier. The seven quality management principles are : Read More

Five Reasons for Change Management Success

By Daniel Lock

How can your organisation prepare for its next change project? The difference between those organisations that are prepared for change and those that aren't is the difference between change management projects that succeed and those that don't. Here I look at the five big take-aways from that organisations with which I've worked that have experienced change management success. Read More

Murray & Roberts Collapse and Claims Update

Grayston Drive Bridge Collapse.

Murray & Roberts (M&R) estimates that it will make a loss on the R130 million project to build a pedestrian bridge over the M1 highway in Sandton near the Grayston Drive off-ramp. This loss results from the collapse of scaffolding in October 2015 that resulted in two fatalities and 19 injuries. Read More

Microsoft Project 2016 launched!

Microsoft Project 2016 is now available. It has retained all the functionality and features of Project 2013, with some added enhancements and new features. Here are some of the top new features in Project 2016.

More flexible timelines

With Project 2016, not only can you leverage multiple timelines to illustrate different phases or categories of work, but you can also set the start and end dates for each timeline separately, to paint a clearer overall picture of the work involved. Read More

Experiential Project Management

Roodeplaat Dam, north of Pretoria, was the venue for the latest experiential ProjectFlow® course for the Department of Water and Sanitation staff.


The ProjectFlow® course comprises four days of classroom and experiential training using ProjectPro’s project management methodology. Each delegate receives a CD containing the ProjectFlow® methodology which is based on the latest Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) 5th edition. This methodology takes the delegates through the sequential flow of processes and documentation from Project Charter through all the phases from Concept to Close-out. Templates and sample documents are provided on the CD for ease of use and to maintain a consistent planning approach. Read More

Discover the Talent Triangle

As the global business environment and the project management profession evolve, the Project Management Institute (PMI) adapts their credentials to promote the development of new employer-desired skills. Employers need project practitioners with leadership and business intelligence skills to support long-range strategic objectives that contribute to the bottom line.

A recently completed Role Delineation Study (RDS) provided an updated description of the project management professional role. Research included a large-scale survey of global Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification holders to validate updates to domains, tasks, knowledge and skills. The RDS captures perspectives of project management practitioners from all industries, work settings, and regions. It serves as the foundation for the PMP exam and ensures its validity and relevance.

The ideal skill set — the PMI Talent Triangle — is a combination of technical, leadership, and strategic and business management expertise. The Talent Triangle should not be confused with the well-known Iron Triangle (Time, Cost and Scope). Read More

Mega solar plant even works at night

A giant plant using energy from the Sun to power a Moroccan city, even at night will open in December 2015. The solar thermal plant at Ouarzazate will harness the Sun's warmth to melt salt, which will hold its heat to power a steam turbine in the evening.

The first phase will generate for three hours after dark; the last stage aims to supply power 20 hours a day. It is part of Morocco's pledge to get 42% of its electricity from renewables by 2020. The UN has praised Morocco for the level of its ambition. The UK, a much richer country, is aiming for just 30% by the same date.

The Saudi-built Ouarzazate solar thermal plant will be one of the world's biggest when it is complete. The mirrors will cover the same area as the country's capital, Rabat. Paddy Padmanathan of Saudi-owned ACWA Power, which is running the thermal project, said: "Whether you are an engineer or not, any passer-by is simply stunned by it. "You have 35 soccer fields of huge parabolic mirrors pointed to the sky which are moveable so they will track the Sun throughout the day."

The developers say phase one of the futuristic complex will bring energy to a million people. The complex stands on the edge of a gritty, flat, rust-red desert, with the snow-clad Atlas mountains towering to the North. It is part of a vision from Morocco's King Mohammed VI to turn his country into a renewable energy powerhouse.

Morocco's previously useless slice of the Sahara is proving a blessing for solar power. Solar thermal technology only works in hot sunny countries. The price is falling, and its growing capacity to store energy is arousing interest. The cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels is falling much faster but the International Energy Agency expects them both to play a part in an energy revolution which is likely to see solar as the dominant source of electricity globally by 2050.

What is project success?

Every project manager should ask themselves and all other project stakeholders: What is the definition of success for this project? It seems simple, but it is infrequently done. Without getting into the specifics of any particular type of project, a simple definition of success is:

A successful project is when the team delivered what was required and in line with expectations.
The definition is light on specifics, but very clear. How does this simple statement help define success? The traditional definitions of success tend to be what people can measure. This is why on-budget, on-time and to the customer’s satisfaction tend to be the most common KPIs determining whether a project is successful or not.
Read More

The most prosperous country in the world

The 2015 Legatum Prosperity Index has ranked Norway as the most prosperous country in the world for the seventh year running. It reveals that Indonesia has made the most radical improvements since 2009, while the least prosperous countries are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The annual Legatum Prosperity Index ranks 142 countries across eight categories: the Economy, Entrepreneurship & Opportunity; Governance; Education; Health; Safety & Security; Personal Freedom; and Social Capital. Read More

The construction world is collapsing

In the previous issue of ProjectPro eNews we reported on the collapse of a crane at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, killing over 100 people.

This month the temporary works for a pedestrian bridge over the busy M1 highway in Sandton, Johannesburg collapsed killing 2 people, injuring 19 others with 3 still critical in hospital. Both lanes of the M1 had to be closed for nearly 24 hours causing massive traffic jams. Read More

PMI Project of the Year 2015

El Segundo Refinery Coke Drum Reliability Project

The El Segundo Refinery Coke Drum Reliability Project has been honoured by the Project Management Institute (PMI) as the winner of the profession’s highest accolade—the 2015 PMI Project of the Year Award Read More

Engineering and Construction Project Management

ProjectPro held a successful Engineering and Construction Project Management course at the Centurion Lake Hotel during October. One of the course objectives is to prepare candidates to apply for registration as a Professional Construction Project Manager (Pr.CPM) with the South African Council for Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) and to pass the Professional Interview. The course is validated by SACPCMP for 15 CPD hours. The next course will be held on 13-15 February 2019 in Gauteng. In-house  courses can be arranged in other centres. For more information contact training@projectpro.co.za

The Ladies Outnumber the Gents on PMD

The ladies outnumbered the gents on ProjectPro’s Project Management Demystified course held at the Centurion Lake Hotel. The next PMD course takes place on 24-25 Janaury 2019 in Gauteng. For more information and to register contact training@projectpro.co.za

Eta Speedbike

GOAL: Break current world record of 133.8 kilometres per hour  for fastest human-powered vehicle

Cameron Robertson and Todd Reichert, PhD, have spent nearly 10 years developing human-powered vehicles. But the founders of engineering and design group AeroVelo in Toronto, Canada, are getting help from aerodynamic engineering students at the University of Toronto for their latest project to build the fastest human-powered vehicle, namely .the Eta Speedbike. The project team wanted to break the current world record, but working with students posed a scheduling challenge. To accommodate classes, the bike was primarily developed within a four-month stint in 2014. They debuted the invention that fall at the World Human-Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, Nevada, USA.

The team designed a frame that resembles a recumbent bike encased in an oval, carbon -fiber pod. Yet, the tight schedule didn't leave enough time to test and resolve mechanical flaws. The Eta suffered broken spokes, blown tires and more problems on the racetrack.

Still, the bike reached a top speed of 126.3 kilometres per hour not far from the team's goal. AeroVelo is applying lessons learned by designing an ultrastrong carbon fibre tri-spoke wheel, and testing which tires and chains will work best for the vehicle.

World's Largest Hotel

Saudi Arabia is making the headlines again, this time with some positive news.

When the Abraj Kudai project in Mecca, Saudi Arabia is completed in 2017, it will be the world’s largest hotel. Its 10 000 rooms will be twice the number in the now-largest hotel, the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, USA. The US$3 .5-billion project comprises an amazing twelve 44-story towers, 70 restaurants, four helipads, a full-size convention centre with a ballroom, a shopping mall and one of the largest domes in the world.

Located just over 2 kilometres from the Grand Mosque, which surrounds Islam’s holiest site, the hotel will cater to an elite crowd. Ten of the building’s towers will offer four-star accommodations, with the other two providing five-star lodging. Five floors will be reserved for the Saudi royal family.

The megaproject is just one of many initiatives to accommodate Mecca’s 20 million annual visitors. As many as 3 million make the yearly pilgrimage for the hajj. Other projects underway or completed in recent years include the Makkah Clock Royal Tower, which has 1 542 hotel rooms; the Jabal Omar development, which will accommodate 100 000 people in 26 luxury hotels; and a US$60 billion expansion of the Grand Mosque itself. 

A tragic crane collapse at the Grand Mosque during inclement weather killed over 100 worshippers in September 2015. The accident has been cited as the deadliest crane collapse in modern history, with the previous most deadly incident being the collapse of a construction crane in New York City in 2008, killing seven people. An Grand Mosque accident report stated that the crane's 190 metre long boom was not sufficiently secured by its operators so as to withstand the high winds blowing on the day of the collapse, and using the crane in the 80–100 kph wind was well outside the manufacturer's recommended operating parameters.

Mecca is no stranger to mass deaths during the hajj pilgrimage. In 2006 a stampede caused the death of 340 people and just a week ago about 800 were killed in a stampede in Mina, a few kilometres outside Mecca.

ProjectPro Trains Nepad

ProjectPro trained 40 officials from Nepad, the planning and co-ordinating technical arm of the African Union, in various aspects of project and program management such as the ProjectFlow® methodology, preparing for the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam, and integrating Microsoft Project with the SAP financial management system. The courses were held between 20 to 31 July 2015 at the CSIR in Pretoria.

Why you need a Work Breakdown Structure

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is considered to be the heart of a project. One definition of the WBS goes as follows: “A WBS in project management and systems engineering, is a tool used to define and group a project’s discrete work elements in a way that helps organize and define the total work scope of the project.” Read More

Program Management Professional

Program managers can now obtain an internationally recognised credential that recognizes their knowledge, experience and skills in managing multiple related projects. Since the Project Management Institute (PMI) launched their Program Management Professional (PgMP) credential over 1100 program managers have obtained this sought-after certification.

The PgMP credential recognizes those practitioners who are responsible for the coordinated management of multiple, related projects that advance organizational objectives and strategic goals.

ProjectPro, which has trained hundreds of candidates to pass the PMI credential exams, offers PgMP 2-day workshops to prepare candidates for the exam and to inform others interested in program management.

The ProjectPro workshop is structured such that it will also benefit delegates who just want to know more about program and portfolio management. They may not necessarily want to go through the whole PgMP process or pay the PMI exam fee.

Those interested in joining ProjectPro’s PgMP workshop should register from our website www.projectpro.co.za or contact ProjectPro on 012 346 6674 or email training@projectpro.co.za for more information. The course fee is R 9 920.00 including VAT.

Who should attend?

ProjectPro’s workshop is ideal for:

  • candidates wishing to apply for the PgMP exam 
  • for executives, sponsors, project directors, program managers, portfolio managers and Project Management Office (PMO) heads wishing to know more about the processes and benefits of the program management approach in supporting organisational strategy.
  • holders of the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential who will earn 15 Professional Development Units (PDU) for re-certification purposes.

Mexican drug lord escapes via tunnel

In an incredibly well planned and executed project, Mexico's most powerful drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from a maximum security prison through a 1,5-kilometre tunnel from the shower area of his cell to a house under construction.

The elaborate, ventilated tunnel built allegedly without the detection of authorities allowed Guzman to do what Mexican officials promised would never happen after his re-capture from a previous escape last year – to slip out of the country's most secure penitentiary for the second time. Read More

The Super Suez Canal

Egypt has opened a major expansion of the Suez Canal, which deepens the main waterway and provides ships with a 35km channel parallel to it.

The expansion aims to increase the traffic handled by the canal. Egyptians appear divided over the project, with many asking if the $8.2bn spent on the expansion could have been better deployed on improving infrastructure and public services.

The canal is already the fastest route between Asia and Europe and accounts for 8% of the world’s sea trade, according to the Suez Canal Authority. The canal’s improvements, including the building of a 35 km parallel channel, will allow two-way traffic for the first time and reduce waiting times by as much as eight hours for ships traversing the waterway. The construction of the new lane began a year ago. Read More

BP will pay $18.7 Billion to Settle Oil Spill Claims

BP has agreed to pay US$18.7 billion to settle all federal and state claims and pollution penalty arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP was found to be grossly negligent during a project to drill an oil well to a record depth of 5 000m, in that they took shortcuts on quality and safety to save time and money.

If approved by a federal judge, the deal would conclude a monumental legal wrangle over the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which killed 11 crew members aboard the drilling rig when it exploded and caused the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Read More

Engineering and Construction Project Management (ECPM)

ProjectPro’s popular Engineering and Construction Project Management (ECPM) course was held at the Centurion Lake Hotel. From left the delegates are: Hleketani Mathebula, Elijah Van Wyk, Hemraj Ramnarain, Gary Pio, Mark Mbuzi, Anthony Jamieson, Patrick Tanaye, Chonde Chiluba and Eksteen Uys.

The next ECPM course will be held in Gauteng on 13 to 15 February 2019.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Terry,

I write to say thank you for your expert delivery of the Engineering and Construction project Management (ECPM) three day short course that I and my colleagues attended from 17 to 19 June 2015 at Centurion Lake Hotel.

I must say that it was indeed beneficial and opened us up to things we need to constantly look out for in our daily management of projects and that is to check, check and re-check. The case studies equally gave us a new dimension of pitfalls to avoid and we look forward to attending other short course next year.

However, going forward, I and my colleagues would like to get certification as PMP’s so I write to seek guidance on how we can get this done from that end as at the moment there is no accredited PMP in Zambia.

Thanks a lot and good day to you.


Chonde Chiluba
Architect, ZESCO Limited, Zambia. 


Hi Chonde

Thanks for the positive feedback on our Engineering and Construction Project Management course.

Obtaining certification from the PMI as a Project Management Professional (PMP) is the next logical step. If you cannot attend our 3-day PMP exam prep workshop, we recommend our online eLearning PMP  course. Visit www.projectpropm.com to see our course demo and to register.

Best wishes

Terry Deacon PMP
ProjectPro eNews Editor and Facilitator

PMI Announces the Talent Triangle

The Project Management Institute (PMI) has made an important announcement regarding an update of their Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Programme which becomes effective on 1 December 2015. The CCR deals with the recertification of practitioners holding PMI credentials such as CAPM, PMP, PgMP, etc. Read More

SAICE wants Cuban engineers to go home

The South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) yesterday expressed its disapproval at the decision taken by the Free State government to bring in 40 Cuban engineers to help. They are calling for their Cuban counterparts, who have been brought in to help improve service delivery in the Free State, to go home, reports the Sunday Times.

SAICE CEO Manglin Pillay said Cuban engineers should not be allowed to practise in SA as they could not be registered by the Engineering Council of SA. "They can also not mentor aspiring registrant graduate engineers in SA, according to a law created by the South African government - the Engineering Profession Act of 2000," Mr Pillay said.

Receiving the engineers, Free State Premier Ace Magashule said the Cubans were qualified to do their work in SA. Their fields of expertise included civil engineering; hydraulic, structural and mechanical engineering, as well as project management, he said.

The Cuban engineers will be involved mainly in the construction of houses and government subsidised settlements, the provision of water, planning and project management, and sewerage and bulk infrastructure basic services supply.

But Mr Pillay said the decision of the provincial government to appoint Cuban engineers illustrated the state's disregard for local industry bodies. "It brings to the fore the apathy and general disregard for the opinions of industry institutions and highly acknowledged key decision makers. SAICE implores the department to review the Cuban appointments and to invite relevant institutions to fashion alternatives that are more appropriate to the challenges at hand. Consulting Engineers SA (CESA) has publicly confirmed that there is a 40% under utilisation of local consulting engineering capacity in SA," Mr Pillay said.

SA's engineering institutions had direct access to, and influence on, its members, some of whom had indicated willingness to work in the public sector.

Source: Sunday Times

14 Points for Improving Quality

The quality guru, Edwards Deming has drawn up a classic list of 14 points along which the quality of an organisation can be improved. These 14 points apply anywhere, to small organisations as well as large ones, to manufacturing as well as to the service industry and also in education.

Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service.

Adopt the philosophy that Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities and take on leadership for change.

  1. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.
  2. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Move towards a single supplier for one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.
  3. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, and thus constantly decrease cost.
  4. Institute training on the job.
  5. Institute leadership. The aim of supervision should be to help people do a better job.
  6. Drive out fear.
  7. Break down barriers. People must work as a team.
  8. Eliminate slogans and targets asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity.
  9. (i) Eliminate work standards (quota). Substitute leadership.   
    (ii) Eliminate management by objectives, by numbers and by numerical goals. Substitute leadership.
  10. (i) Remove barriers that rob workers of their right to pride of workmanship.
    (ii) Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means abolish the annual or merit rating.
  11. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.

Put everyone in the company to work to accomplish the transformation.

Meticulous Planning Pays Off in London Robbery

In a notorious example of effective project management, burglars gained entry to the Hatten Garden Safe Deposit facility in London over the Easter weekend.  Scotland Yard police were only alerted on Tuesday 7 April. A gem industry expert James Riley said the raid was ''a very highly organised and very cleverly masterminded crime''.

Burglars entered on the top floor, broke through a wall, abseiled down a lift shaft, smashed through a concrete floor, cut through two metal gates and a 500mm thick vault door. They then cut open at least 70 of the 300 safety deposit boxes and departed with possibly hundreds of millions of pounds in jewellery and other valuables. Read More

The Future of Quality

By David Armstrong, Chartered Quality Institute

For all organisations, the delivery of high-quality products and services is essential. The consequences of failure grow ever more significant in today's world of increasing customer and stakeholder expectations, regulatory oversight and use of social media to  broadcast success or failure. Yet we live in a world where there are still too many organisations failing to deliver against all stakeholder  requirements. Ultimately this can cause harm to society, damage lives and waste money. Read more

Top 10 National and Global Risks

The Institute of Risk Management of South Africa (IRMSA) recently produced a report that represents an evaluation of the top risks over a two-year time horizon through several workshops at IRMSA conferences and a survey of 620 of the country’s foremost risk management experts. The risk management fraternity respondents represent every major industry within the public and private sectors. Read More

7 Tips for Estimating Your Projects

Take the subjectivity and speculation out of estimating.
By Christian Bisson, PMP

Estimating can be a tedious task, and the final numbers are influenced by a daunting number of factors: scope, type of project, resources involved in estimating, type of client, unknown variables, potential risks and more. But estimating is critical to your project's-and your organization's-success. These tips can help practitioners arrive at an estimate that's both useful and accurate.

1. Always include contingency
A contingency is something that's expected to be spent. Therefore, project managers shouldn't remove it from an estimate simply to make the project look less expensive. In addition to a monetary contingency, also include the time and resources needed to handle the work the contingency implies.

If the contingency is not needed, the project will simply be done earlier and the organization can keep the funds for another time.

2. Avoid making numbers fit the budget
When working on an estimate, a project manager might be tempted to pressure the team to keep the numbers optimistically low. But this creates an estimate that is only good on paper; when the time comes to justify an overage, the team members will simply reveal that they were asked to estimate low numbers and overage should be expected. If the budget and scope are at odds, practitioners should instead adjust the scope: Ask the team to provide what can be done within the budget.

3. Communicate team assumptions
A common mistake when estimating is listing tasks and numbers while not specifying assumptions behind the numbers. For example, team members may say they can create an online form in seven hours, but they're envisioning a form with 10-12 fields, while you are expecting 20 fields. Employ good requirements management by making sure team members provide clear details on what they're estimating to avoid costly surprises later in the project.

4. Avoid using only high-level breakdowns
The more detailed the breakdown, the more accurate the estimate and the easier it is to get the whole team on the same page. For example, it's too high-level to say: We will create an online store with a shopping cart. It's clearer to state: We are responsible for the login, account creation, account management interface, shopping cart and confirmation emails.

Clearer estimates may reveal higher costs, but it's better to find that out while you can still control scope or expectations, rather than mid-project when you are reporting an overage.

5. Double-check for commonly overlooked activities
In the strain to consider every task, deliverable and bit of scope, it can be easy to overlook ancillary activities, such as meetings, edits on internal or client feedback and bug fixing. But these often-overlooked activities happen frequently during a project-and can frequently derail estimating efforts. Though these tasks can have a huge impact on your estimate, it's difficult to gauge how long certain parts of the project will take. Feedback, for example, can range from "Change these two sentences" to "I don't like the concept, can you propose something else?" To handle this ambiguity, look at historical documents like past project reports and assess a percentage of the work rather than a specific amount of money or time.

6. Include the accuracy of the estimate
Estimates are all guesses based on assumptions, but some guesses are more accurate than others. If the project involves using new technology, for example, then your estimate will be less accurate than if you're using a system the team already knows. In addition, many estimates are done too quickly due to time constraints; in those cases, the accuracy of estimates drastically diminishes.

It's crucial to communicate the accuracy of the estimate, meaning to specify by how much the amount given can vary. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) provides the following guidelines:

  1. Rough Order of Magnitude Estimate: -25 percent to +75 percent
  2. Budget Estimate: -10 percent to +25 percent
  3. Definitive Estimate: -5 percent to +10 percent

By communicating this information to your client, you set expectations and avoid surprising anyone when the estimate changes.

7. Don't forget risks
This part may be tricky depending on how aware of risk management your team is. Often, the team will do a quick assessment, agree that it's a risky project and add more hours to the estimate.

However, that's not enough. Planning for your risk budget means using the registered risk and mitigation plans and accounting for the time needed to make those plans happen. For example, to prevent a technological constraint in a future phase of the project, you may plan to build a prototype. It would potentially avoid 200 hours of rework and would confirm
the look and feel the team can obtain before the organization commits to the client. However , the prototype will still take 70 hours to build, and that effort needs to be taken into consideration when estimating the project.

Christian Bisson, PMP, is a project manager at Twist Image, Montreal, Canada.

Solar Impulse 2: Flying around the world on sun power

Solar Impulse 2 landed in Shanghai, China last week, completing the fifth leg of its landmark global circum-navigation powered solely by the sun. The plane's maiden global circumnavigation began in Abu Dhabi and is scheduled to take in 12 stops, with a total flight time of around 25 days spread over five months. The two pilots are Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard.

With Piccard at the controls, the revolutionary plane landed in Chongqing airport at after a 20,5 hour flight from Myanmar, its vast wingspan lit up by rows of lights.

The plane had been expected to make just a brief stop in the south-western city and quickly travel on to Nanjing, about 270 km from Shanghai, but that was delayed due to weather and safety concerns, with the team now expecting to stay a few days waiting for better conditions for the trip east.

Piccard, one of the two Swiss pilots of the solar-powered plane, battled extreme cold, as low as minus 20°C, in the cockpit and the general unpredictability of flying above the mountainous Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan.

Flying at high altitude for most of the journey from Mandalay to Chongqing – 28 000 feet at its highest point - Piccard had to use additional oxygen on the 1 459 km route.

On a previous circumnavigation, Piccard passed over China in a specially designed balloon, but only after he flew to Beijing personally to negotiate the trip, and with conditions requiring the balloon to avoid large swathes of the country.

Ridiculed by the aviation industry when it was first unveiled, the Solar Impulse 2 venture has since been hailed around the world, including by UN chief Ban Ki-moon. The team behind Solar Impulse 2, which has more than 17 000 solar cells built into its wings, hopes to promote green energy with the circumnavigation attempt.

PMI-PBA Pilot Participants Recommend Certification

The Project Management Institute (PMI) recently launched one of their highest certifications – the PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA). Business Analysis is an important aspect of developing a Business Case for a project to determine its feasibility and viability. Read more

Rail rivals look to gadget-packed trains

Trains are likely to become more like long-haul planes, with customised carriages and tablet computers embedded into hi-tech seats, as Western manufacturers fight back against cheaper Chinese rivals and Europe's railways open up to greater competition.

Europe's rail passengers may feel their comfort has long been overlooked by an industry, still largely in the hands of cash-strapped governments and struggling to compete with low-cost airlines as well as buses and cars. Read more

Drones Can be a Useful Project Tool

There’s been a lot of discussion and a tremendous amount of speculation lately about the nature of drones and their role in our society as useful tools and hobbyist toys.

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) is set to clamp down on the illegal flying of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones, in civil airspace. According to a statement sent out by SACAA, the move was prompted by recent reports of drones already operating in the South African civil aviation airspace.

Drones are classified as any aircraft that can fly without a pilot on board. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and can be controlled remotely by an individual on the ground, in another aircraft or through an on board computer system.    Current civil aviation legislation does not provide for certification, registration and/or operation of UAS in the South African civil aviation airspace.

While this was hardly problematic before, a surge in demand for the use of drones - especially for commercial purposes - has prompted the SACAA to integrate the use of drones into the South Africa airspace as speedily as possible.

The use of drones has proven to be particularly useful in the creation of video and photographic content for project documentation, inspections and reporting. The bird's eye footage not only provides alternative, fresh views of events and happenings, but also allows access to dangerous or inaccessible areas.

Unmanned aircraft systems are a relatively new component of the civil aviation framework, one which the SACAA, together with other regulators worldwide and under the guidance of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), are working to understand, define and ultimately integrate in to the civil aviation sector. As such, the process of developing policies, procedures, regulations and associated standards in order to certify and subsequently authorise operation of UAS is currently in progress.

ProjectPro Trains Ingula Pump Storage Project Team

Team members of the Ingula Pump Storage project are attending a series of Project Management Professional (PMP) exam preparation courses facilitated by ProjectPro in Ladysmith, Kwa-Zulu Natal

Ingula is an Eskom and Braamhoek Consultants Joint Venture in the escarpment of the Drakensberg range straddling the border of the Free State and KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The scheme consists of an upper (Bedford Dam) and a lower dam (Bramhoek Dam) 4,6 km apart and connected by tunnels.  The underground powerhouse will house 4 x 333MW reversible pump-turbines. The project budget is R27 billion and the scheme is scheduled to come into operation in 2015/2016.

The pumped-storage hydroelectricity plant will be used to generate electricity during the peak demand periods of the day. At night, excess power on the grid generated by conventional coal and nuclear plants is used to pump water to the upper reservoir.

Projects of the Past: Relocating the Abu Simbel Temples

The relocation of the Abu Simbel temples in 1964 was a fascinating project to relocate two massive rock temples in Nubia, southern Egypt. This was necessary to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River.

The Abu Simbel temples are now situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230 km southwest of Aswan (about 300 km by road). The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments," which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan). Read more

First MeerKAT radio telescope dish launched

Derek Hanekom, South African Science and Technology Minister, has formally launched the first dish of the MeerKAT radio telescope array in the Karoo, some 90 km west of Carnarvon. When completed, MeerKAT will have 64 such dishes.

“The MeerKAT is something concrete,” Hanekom told Engineering News Online . “It is a wholly South African designed and funded project. MeerKAT will be the world’s largest radio telescope when it is commissioned. It is a demonstration of our own South African capabilities.” Read more

Implementing Organizational Project Management: A Practice Guide

A growing number of organizations have embraced organizational project management (OPM) in an effort to increase performance and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Research shows that a successful OPM strategy is dependent upon a strong project management methodology-one that aligns organizational goals across the portfolio of projects.

An effective project management methodology provides a standardized, organization- or situation-specific approach that encourages efficient use of resources in order to enable the organization to focus on its most important tasks-leading, innovating and delivering products and services. While some organizations recognize the importance of project management, others continue to execute projects without a methodology. The lack of a strong methodology could lead to project or program failure.

The Project Management Institute has introduced Implementing Organizational Project Management: A Practice Guide to assist organizations in developing and defining effective project management methodologies. In a 2012 PMI market research project, more than half of respondents identified a lack of published guidance on development of customized methodologies. This practice guide outlines practical knowledge and steps to define and develop a methodology in alignment with the foundational standards and framework that were first provided in PMI's A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide).

Implementing Organizational Project Management demonstrates how an effective project management methodology integrates globally accepted best practices with business-specific processes and techniques. The guide will help practitioners develop relevant and effective methodologies for their organizations, with emphasis on:

Important elements of a methodology

  • Essential tools, templates and resources
  • Custom-fit approaches for consistent management of all projects
  • Alignment of project management practices across the organization's portfolio of projects
  • Application of lessons learned to capture organizational knowledge and learning, resulting in regular updates and refinements
  • Consistent application of project management practices within the organization

This practice guide provides the tools to help project management practitioners develop a living, evolving methodology that will allow them to assess and refine their practices and become "best in class" performers.

"Developing a project management methodology is a key success factor for realising projects on time, budget and to requirements", says Terry Deacon, CEO of ProjectPro.

ProjectPro recently developed a project management methodology for Sasol Gas, based on the global standard Project Management Body of Knowledge 5th Edition.

For more information contact Terry Deacon on 082 557 3119 or terry@projectpro.co.za.

Fears that Kariba Dam may collapse

The foundation of the Kariba Dam wall is eroding and has to be repaired urgently to avert a massive disaster. A large pool carved out by opening the sluice gates has eroded the integrity of the wall, which may collapse within the next three years.

If the wall collapses, it will affect 3,5million people living downstream from the dam. Power supplies to large parts of southern Africa will also be disrupted because a collapse with subsequent downstream flooding will affect two hydroelectric schemes – one at Kariba and another at Cahora Bassa, which supply a combined 1 500 megawatts of power to South Africa. Read more

Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project forges ahead in 2014

2014 is going to be a key year in the process of transforming the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope programme from vision to reality. “We’ll have a huge amount of work on the design of the SKA and its systems and subsystems,” explains SKA Organisation director-general Professor Philip Diamond. “In the third quarter of the year, we’ll have the preliminary design reviews (PDRs) for all the work groups. No major decisions will be made until the PDRs have taken place. And I’m hoping that the hosting agreements will be finalised and agreed – but not signed. They will not be signed until the governance details are worked out.” Read more

Raising the Costa Concordia

In one of the most audacious and dangerous salvage operations ever undertaken, the world's top engineers attempted to raise the wreck of the Costa Concordia. The Salvage Master was a South African, Nick Sloane of Titan Marine.

For more than a year, the Costa Concordia cruise ship sat half-submerged off the coast of Italy—a striking reminder of the disaster that befell it on 13 January 2012. Read more

The Hyperloop Project

Ex-South African entrepreneur,  Elon Musk, envisages a design for a new transportation system that he said could shuttle passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco in just 30 minutes!

The Hyperloop is the right solution for high traffic volume cities that are less than 1 500 km  apart, said Musk.  Above that distance, he believes that supersonic air travel ends up being faster and cheaper. However, for a shorter journey, having a supersonic plane is rather pointless, as you would spend almost all your time slowly ascending and descending and very little time at cruise speed.

The Hyperloop is a system of people-sized pods that are moved over a network of vacuum tubes built above or under the ground – much like the pneumatic tubes seen at drive-up windows at banks. Magnetic attraction would move the pods through the tubes.

To create a low friction suspension system for the pods traveling at over 1 100 km/h, it would rely on a cushion of air. Air bearings, which use the same basic principle as an air hockey table, have been demonstrated to work at speeds of Mach 1.1 with very low friction. In this case, however, it is the pod that is producing the air cushion, rather than the tube.

The straight pneumatic approach would be problematic because the friction of a 560 km long column of air moving at near sonic velocity against the inside of the tube is too high.

Another approach -- using hard or near hard vacuum in the tube and then using an electromagnetic suspension -- would be too hard to maintain in a system of tubes with dozens of stations. All it takes is one leaky seal or a small crack somewhere in the hundreds of miles of tube and the whole system stops working.

Musk said the project could take seven to 10 years for the first trial if all conditions are met. The system could cost as much as $6 billion, but he said that would be about one-tenth the projected cost of a high-speed rail system that California has been planning to build.

Musk said he would publish an open-source design that anyone can use or modify. But if no one volunteers to actively take the lead on the project, he said he would build a prototype.

The Future of Gautrain

Soweto to Mamelodi on the Gautrain? That is one of the ambitious goals of Bombela, as it mulls over adding 140km of new rail.

But there’s more.

Balloon rides to the Edge of Space

Lift-off: Initially, six passengers and two pilots will be aboard a pressurized capsule that is still under development

Tickets at $75 000 a pop will soon be available for balloon flights to the edge of space some 30 km above Earth. Read more

Lean Practices in Project Management

Lean Practices have been working miracles in manufacturing for decades, driving early adopters – most notably Toyota – to the top of their markets.  Given that track record, lean processes are now cropping up in project management across many industries.

Organisations that apply lean principles to their project management practices are able to identify and weed out processes and activities that introduce wasteful spending. In a world of big-budget projects and programs, such improvements can yield huge bottom-line benefits. Read more

EC Harris and Mace to Build World’s Tallest Building

The Jeddah Economic Company (JEC) has appointed a joint venture including consultants EC Harris and Mace to project manage the construction of the world’s tallest building, the Kingdom Tower, in Saudi Arabia.

The joint venture will provide design, commercial and project management for the $1,2bn development. Standing at over 1 000 m high. This will be 170 m taller than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai which is currently the world’s tallest building.

"We are delighted to be on the team to deliver this iconic project," said EC Harris head of property and social infrastructure Keith Brooks. "The Kingdom Tower is a landmark building that will clearly demonstrate Saudi Arabia's ambitions to the world. We have a world-class team in place and I am confident that our integrated approach to project, design and construction management will help deliver a safe and successful project."Construction is due to start later this year and is to be completed within 63 months.

Mega-Artist Christo to Build a Pyramid in Arabia

Here’s a project manager with a weird mind and an audacious endeavour. Christo Javacheff, a Bulgarian born mega-artist, is planning to build 'The Mastaba' , a trapezoidal structure of over 400 000 oil barrels, near Abu Dhabi, UAR.

His other works include the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont-Neuf bridge in Paris, the 39 km-long artwork called Running Fence in Sonoma and Marin counties in California, and the Umbrellas project in Japan and California, USA. Read more

Our World is Collapsing

An industrial crane crashed through the roof of the Golden Walk shopping centre in Germiston, Gauteng, injuring 25 shoppers, two of them seriously.

The Department of Labour will no doubt commence one of their drawn out inquiries, which will take years to complete. The DOL inquiry into a building collapse in 2008 in Stellenbosch, Western Cape which killed 5 people, is still underway in 2013, over 5 years later. The lessons learned seem never to be implemented as the spate of fatal accidents continue unabated.

But the problem is not confined to South Africa. It is a world-wide problem, particularly in developing countries. Read more

Who Runs the Internet?

Following the article on Who Owns the Internet in our previous eNews, we now look at Who Runs the Internet?

As mentioned in the previous ProjectPro eNews, the Internet works because of a system of rules called protocols. By following these protocols, computers can send information across the network to other computers. If there were no protocols, then there'd be no guarantee that the information sent from one computer could be understood by another, or that it'd even reach the right destination.

As the Internet evolves, these protocols must also change. That means someone has to be in charge of the rules. There are several organizations that oversee the Internet's infrastructure and protocols. They are:

  • The Internet Society: A non-profit organization that develops Internet standards, policies and education.
  • The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF): An international organization with an open membership policy that has several working groups. Each working group concentrates on a specific topic, for example, Internet security. Collectively, these working groups try to maintain the Internet's architecture and stability.
  • The Internet Architecture Board (IAB): An IETF committee, the IAB's mission is to oversee the design of Internet protocols and standards.
  • The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN): A private non -profit corporation, ICANN manages the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS). ICANN is responsible for making sure that every domain name links to the correct IP address.

The Internet Society and IETF are open membership organizations. Both welcome the participation and input of Internet experts. They shape the way the Internet works and evolves. Think of the Internet as a massive map. Every computer connected to the Internet is a location with a physical address on that map. On the Internet, this address is a series of numbers called an IP address. It's not easy to remember a list of seemingly random numbers. Fortunately, the people who created Internet protocols recognized this problem and came up with a solution: Domain names. A domain name uses words instead of numbers for Internet addresses.

ICANN is a private organization. The exclusive nature of ICANN concerns some people. They argue that ICANN holds a lot of power over anyone who wants to register a domain name. ICANN makes money by accrediting vendors called registrars. These registrars then sell domain names to consumers and businesses. If you want to register a specific domain name, ultimately ICANN decides if you can have it.

While none of these organizations own the Internet, they each influence how the Internet works. The Internet has no central owner. While its structure remains carefully designed and maintained, the actual content on the Internet continues to be the untamed cyberspace we all know and love.

Kickstart Your Project with Crowdfunding

Securing funding for a cutting-edge project isn't as simple as walking down to the corner bank-especially in today's economy.

Joseph Schlesinger, for example, thought he had a pretty solid project plan to design, develop and mass-produce an inexpensive, easy-to-build robot. But he discovered coming up with the concept was just the beginning. To get the project off the ground, he needed US$13 000. It wasn't a huge budget, so rather than navigate the complicated and often cut-throat world of venture capitalists, he turned to Kickstarter. Read more

ISO 21500: Guidance for Project Management is Published

In September 2012 the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) published a standard entitled ISO 21500: Guidance on Project Management. ProjectPro’s Terry Deacon, a member of the Technical Committee developing ISO 21500, reports on the objectives and features of the published document. Read more

ISO Starts New Program and Portfolio Management Standards

After the successful launch of ISO 21500: Guidance on Project Management in September 2012, the efforts of technical committees TC 258 around the world, now shift to developing standards for portfolio and program management.

Program (programme) management is the process of managing several related projects, often with the intention of improving an organization's performance, by realising one or more strategic objectives. Read more

A South African team comprising the local ISO Technical Committee holds regular meetings at the SABS in Pretoria to provide valuable input to the global initiative to develop Program and Portfolio Management standards.

Cost Engineering in Doha, Qatar

Terry Deacon, CEO of ProjectPro, was invited by Marcus Evans International to facilitate a 3-day Advanced Cost Engineering for Project Managers course in Doha, Qatar. The course was held at the Millennium Hotel with 33 delegates coming from all over the Middle East.

Special Combo Offer for Program Managers

Program managers can obtain a PgMP credential from the Project Management Institute (PMI). This sought after credential is the highest presently awarded by the PMI. ProjectPro offers an intense PgMP exam preparation workshop in Gauteng.

The 2-day PgMP workshop is sufficient preparation, provided candidates do the necessary study after the workshop and have all the Project Management Professional (PMP) knowledge fresh in their minds when they sit for the PgMP exam. ProjectPro does not repeat all the PMP Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) knowledge during the PgMP workshop.

If you would like to include a PMP PMBOK refresher course in your study plans ProjectPro offers a discounted combo comprising a 2-day PgMP workshop and a PMP online eLearning course. The latter is discounted by 50% for this deal, and is only available for PgMP candidates. Try the PMP demo at www.projectpropm.com

Register now at www.projectpropm.com or email  suppot@projectpropm.com for more details.

Project to recover $200m shipwreck treasure

The SS Gairsoppa was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1941, taking its fabulous $200m gold and silver cargo to a watery grave. Seventy years later, USA divers are planning to recover what may well be the biggest shipwreck treasure ever.

Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration confirmed the identity and location of the Gairsoppa and cited official documents indicating the ship was carrying some 219 tons of silver coins and bullion when it sank in the North Atlantic ocean some 490km off the Irish coast.

The salvage team has accomplished the first phase of this project, the location and identification of the shipwreck, and now they are planning for the recovery phase, said Odyssey senior project manager Andrew Craig. "Given the orientation and condition of the shipwreck, we are extremely confident that our planned salvage operation will be well suited for the recovery of this cargo", he said.

After a tender process the British government awarded Odyssey an exclusive salvage contract for the cargo, and under the agreement Odyssey will retain 80% of the treasure salvaged from the wreck.

The 125m Gairsoppa had been sailing from India back to Britain in February 1941, and was in a convoy of ships when a storm hit. Running low on fuel, the Gairsoppa broke off from the convoy and set a course for Galway, Ireland. It never made it, succumbing to a German U -boat's torpedo. Of the 85 people on board, only one survived. The Gairsoppa came to rest nearly 4 700m below the surface, making recovery quite a challenge. However, the shipwreck is sitting upright, with the holds open and “easily” accessible using remotely operated vehicles.

Cape Town Stadium Cost Report Still Under Wraps

The cost of the Cape Town Stadium (previously known as the Green Point Stadium) which exceeded its budget by a massive 175% is clearly proving to be an embarrassment to the city council.

The stadium was handed over in December 2009, but ProjectPro could not obtain a copy of the final cost report, notwithstanding many emails and telephone calls to the relevant authorities and invoking the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA). Our application was refused on the grounds that the project team is still in the process of collecting outstanding invoices from contractors and professional claims.

The latest communication from the council’s legal department informs ProjectPro that “The draft 2010 WC Close-Out Report was submitted to the Executive Management Team (EMT) meeting on 20 June when it was agreed it that it should be submitted to a the Strategic Mayoral/EMT meeting scheduled to obtain guidance on the publication and dissemination of the report”.

ProjectPro will keep you informed. Related articles

Mentoring Role Reversal

Traditionally, mentoring has involved the most seasoned professionals offering best-practice advice to their junior counterparts. But today, some organizations engage in reverse mentoring programs in which younger practitioners teach new tools and insights on process improvements to the veterans. Read More

Tips to Help You Lead Distributed Teams

Today, few projects are limited to the confines of an office. A project team could consist of members located across the world or from multiple functional areas and offices within an organization. It could even be made up of members from different companies. Such dispersed teams allow project managers and organizations to use the best talent no matter where it is found. Read More

The Built Environment is a Hostile Place

Civil wars in Africa, tornados in the USA, floods and run-away fires in Australia, earthquakes and tsunamis in countries near the ring of fire are common occurrences these days. Constructing infrastructure in frigid sub-zero temperature or blistering 50oC heat wave is not for sissies. These hostile environments are uncomfortable, risky and even life threatening for construction project managers to operate in. Read More

Tender Dispute Ends up in Court

South African courts seem to be bogged down with matters that should never end up in court . Julius Malema, ANC Youth League President should find something to sing that does not cause offence, or sing what he likes, but in the privacy of his shower (Jacob Zuma will attest to the benefits of a shower). Jackie Selebi, former head of the SA Police and Interpol should accept his fate gracefully and not play for time by appealing. Ditto to Mrs Sheryl Cwele, wife of the Minister of State Security, convicted to 12 years in jail for drug dealing. There are many other instances of this wasteful practice. Read More

PMI’s New PDU Category Structure

The Project Management Institute (PMI) has introduced a new, simplified structure for their Professional Development Units (PDUs) necessary for credential holders to maintain their certification. Research has shown that people did not fully understand the PDU categories and how to appropriately report their PDUs using that structure, so it has been made more user-friendly to better serve the certification holders. Read More

Demand Is Growing for Agile Practices in Project Management

In last month’s ProjectPro eNews we looked at the history and principles of the Scrum or Agile project management approach. This month we look at the new Project Management Institute (PMI) Agile certification programme as well as details of the Scrum role-players.

Organizations who use Agile techniques in managing projects have documented the value they obtain from its use:  Read more

Air France Wreck Found After 22 Months

After a frustrating 672-day search project, the illusive wreck of the ill-fated flight Air France flight AF 447 has been found 4km below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.

Few clues as to the destruction of flight AF447 are evident from initial photographs of the wreckage, but discovery of the wreckage may provide reasons for the crash which killed all 228 people on board.

While the precise location has not been disclosed, the wreck lies on a mid-Atlantic abyssal plain just north of the last confirmed position transmitted by the Airbus A330-200 before it disappeared en route to Paris on 1 June 2009.

AF447's debris was located about nine days after the specialised vessel Alucia arrived on 25 March 2011 to begin comprehensively mapping the ocean floor at depths exceeding 3 500m - the fourth dedicated mobilisation of resources aimed at finding the missing aircraft. Initial data suggests the three previous searches only narrowly missed the crash site. The latest search focused on systematically scanning every unchecked region, beginning with a full sweep inside a 37km circle centred on the aircraft’s last known position.

France's investigation agency has identified structures including the wing, main landing-gear, and the General Electric CF6 engines.

There was no indication that the search had located the rear fuselage. The flight recorders, or so-called “Black Boxes”, crucial to understanding the accident sequence, are installed behind the rear pressure bulkhead.

Airbus and Air France co-funded the latest search project and confirmation of the recorders' location will result in a fifth phase being launched to recover them

APM Launches Its Registered Project Professional (RPP)

New credentials for project managers are regularly popping up all over the world.

A new British designation designed to raise the standards of professional project management, has been announced by the Association for Project Management (APM). Following the completion of the first pilot of the new APM Registered Project Professional standard, 28 candidates were awarded with their certificates at a presentation in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster, London. Read more

Bloodhound stays on the Scent of World Speed Record in RSA

Engineers designing the world’s fastest car believe they now have a solution to keep the vehicle touching the ground.

Bloodhound SSC is being built to smash the world land speed record by topping 1,000mph. Initial iterations of the car’s aerodynamic shape produced dangerous amounts of lift at the vehicle’s rear.

But the latest modelling work indicates the team has finally found a stable configuration. “At Mach 1.3, we’ve close to zero lift which is where we wanted to be,” John Piper, Bloodhound’s technical director, said.

By playing with the position and shape of key elements of the car’s rear end, the design team has now found the best way to manage the shockwave passing around and under the vehicle as it goes supersonic.

To claim the record, Bloodhound will have to better the mark of 763 mph set by the Thrust SuperSonic Car in 1997.

The team plan to mount their assault on the record in late 2011, driving across a dried up lakebed known as Haksteen Pan, in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

The World’s Top 10 Environmental Disasters

Time Magazine has listed what they consider to be the top 10 worst environmental disasters in the world prior to the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. When the BP saga is finally put to bed it will be interesting to see where it ranks in the top 10. Read More.

To Make an Ass out of You and Me

Whenever we make an assumption, we take a risk. What are the consequences if the assumption is not reasonable and turns out to be untrue? We need to understand the critical role of stating and validating assumptions on projects.

The title of this article is a play on the word assume (ass-u-me). Making unreasonable assumptions can lead to embarrassing situations. To assume blindly, arrogantly, without checking out and validating what we are holding to be ‘true’ for planning purposes is very likely to result in you, or others looking ‘ass-like’ – like the supposedly unintelligent and stubborn animal from the horse family. Read More

Project Management in 2025

What is the future of project management? What changes can we expect and how should we plan for growth? Editors David I. Cleland (PhD, PMI Fellow), Bopaya Bidanda (PhD) and 39 experts from around the world share their insights in a new book entitled Project Management Circa 2025.

For decades, humans have pushed the boundaries of space exploration. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has sent more than 120 missions into space. Twelve astronauts have walked on the moon. And Voyager 1, launched three decades ago, continues to explore deeper and deeper into space. Read more

What is Your Biggest Risk?

It should not be too hard to answer the question "What is the biggest risk in your project or business?" Most of us know what keeps us awake at night, either worrying about what could go wrong (threats), or getting excited about possible improvements (opportunities). But how do we decide which risk is the "biggest"? Is it just an intuitive feeling, or are there measurable parameters we can use? Read More

Contract Law III

What Does the Law Say?

ProjectPro is publishing a series of watershed court case findings that have important contract management implications. Read More

Benchmark Your Organisational PM Maturity

How does the management of your projects stack up against the world leaders? What are the best practices that your organisation should implement to generate a stream of consistently successful projects? Read More

Using Milestones

The purpose of a milestone schedule or chart is to communicate important project dates to project sponsors, customers, functional managers and the outside world. Almost every project needs a milestone schedule. A milestone is defined as a significant achievement at a point in time. Read more

Project, Program or Portfolio Management?

The terminology used in project management can be confusing. Even project management has multiple meanings. In the past it was only associated with projects, but two decades ago that began to change. Today the term project management is understood to include program management and portfolio management.

The distinction between a project, program and portfolio is generally not well understood. However, it is important to know the difference because each has a special role to play. They need to be managed differently if the organisation’s strategy is to be successfully transformed into reality. Read more

ProjectPro Launched a Weblog

This weblog may be used to interact with Terry Deacon, ProjectPro's experienced PMP workshop facilitator, or with others that are preparing to sit for their PMP® exam. Featured also is the e-News and e-Zine weblogs where you can respond and launch topics of interests.

To access the weblog on our website click here or at the bottom of the left hand sidebar, click the PMP Weblog and sign up. Confirmation will be emailed to you.

Enjoy our new Weblog!

Who’s Accountable?

“The buck stops here” said American president Harry Truman. In other words he was unequivocally saying, “I am accountable”

The responsible person is tasked to do a job, but the accountable person is answerable (or in a negative sense, blameworthy) for the performance of the responsible party. One sometimes hears about being made “Primarily responsible”. To my mind this is the same as being accountable Read more

Elusive Concept of Project Success

Groups of project managers around the world are developing a new global standard for project management for the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). Terry Deacon is part of the South African contributors who meet at the SABS headquarters in Pretoria. He would like to invite our readers to respond with their comments on how project success should be defined. Read More

IceCube Telescope Below Polar Ice Cap

Looking to study some of the least-understood and most elusive particles in the universe, a team led by the University of Wisconsin launched a project to construct a super-powered telescope. But unlike most telescopes, this one points downward and is buried deep within the ice at the bottom of the Earth. Read More

A Bleak Future for Civil Engineering

We are facing a potential disaster in the coming years. How can we as a developing country afford to have young, and not so young and experienced engineers, made redundant because government cannot get its "ducks in a row"? With 50 years of experience in the consulting industry in many parts of the world, which has given me great satisfaction, it saddens me that this experience is being denied to many young and enthusiastic new entrants. Read moreConstruction Project Management at SARS?

Heads down and concentrating on their individual assignment. Fifteen South African Revenue Services (SARS) employees are being prepared by ProjectPro in Pretoria for registration as Professional Construction Project Managers (Pr CPM) with the SA Council for Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP).

Some may question why SARS is involved in construction project management. Well, they have 19 projects  presently under construction throughout South Africa. The projects range from refurbishments of existing office buildings to constructing new office facilities.

The 11-module Construction Project Management course, facilitated by ProjectPro over a period of four months, will prepare delegates to pass the SACPCMP Test of Professional Competency and the Professional Interview. For more information contact Terry Deacon on 082 557 3119

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