A tailored version of this Project Management course has been presented in-house for a JSE-listed construction company since 2007. The seventh and largest to date of these in-house courses drew to a close on 6 June 2014 with the delegates presenting to the panel their chosen group Action Learning Projects. This is the highlight of what the company describes as a very tough but exciting programme. These presentations integrate theoretical project management practices (which have been studied over the past 4 blocks) into practical application directly related to company-specific projects.
During the event seven syndicates each presented a project plan. The panel that evaluated the project plans was comprised of six members of senior management and two faculty members of the University of Pretoria: Prof Herman Steyn and Dr Giel Bekker. Aspects of the project plans that were evaluated, included Background, Scope, Time, Cost, Risk, Quality, Human Resources, Communications, Procurement, Integration and Presentation.
A central theme that was pointed out by panel members is that each project is an opportunity to learn and knowledge management must receive the necessary attention. Close-out meetings at the end of each project phase can contribute to this objective.
Final remarks were made by Dr Bekker of the University of Pretoria who praised the delegates for their hard work on the program.
"Now, don't just manage your projects, live your projects" he said.
Regarding project management methodologies, he mentioned the advantages but cautioned against overdoing it; "project managers should not become project compliance officers".
Project management terms are being standardised by the new ISO 21500 standard. For example, the term "Project Plan" could be considered to replace the term "Project Implementation Plan (PIP).
Everybody is now looking forward to the Graduation Ceremony where official certificates of the University of Pretoria will be handed to delegates who qualify.
“One-fifth of the world’s GDP, or more than $12 trillion, is spent on projects. And with many skilled practitioners leaving or scheduled to leave the workforce due to retirement — a trend the Society of Human Resources (SHRM) identifies as having a major strategic impact for 64% of organizations worldwide — there is a great demand for knowledgeable project managers. When these opportunities arise, certification helps make sure that you’ll be ready.” Project Management Institute
The ever popular Programme in Project Management (PPM) has received international interest from as far afield as Denmark, Mexico and the Netherlands. CE at UP and Graduate School of Technology Management (GSTM), a registered education provider of the Project Management Institute (PMI) in the USA, have been offering the course since 1997.
According to Christina Breum from Denmark, “I searched for a project management course online and chose the PPM offered through the University of Pretoria because of its PMI certification. I am a product manager [in Denmark] and I don’t work on huge projects like they do in South Africa such as construction but the tools and principles are the same. I will still be able to apply it when I get back home. I have no doubt that I will benefit from the course and that it will enhance my career in Denmark.”
The programme in project management is based on international standards and best practices. It has been designed to develop delegates’ project management knowledge; skills and insight as well provide them with the tools and techniques necessary to succeed in the project management arena. According to Prof Herman Steyn, Course Leader, “Over the last decade we have witnessed an increasing realisation of the vital role that projects play in unlocking value for shareholders. More emphasis on the principles and less on procedures should be the next step.”
“The face of education is dramatically changing and knowledge is becoming more important to lead people and to influence people…” - Professor Roelf Sandenbergh, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology.
The GSTM and CE at UP celebrated the achievements of their 2012 delegates at an auspicious certificate handover ceremony. The formalities took place on 8 March 2013 at the recently renovated Aula on the University’s picturesque Hatfield campus.
Approximately 130 delegates who attended the Programme in Project Management (PPM), Advanced Programme in Project Management (APPM), Programme in Logistics, Programme in Engineering Management (PEM), Programme in Maintenance Management (PMM) and Programme in Asset and Maintenance Management (PAMM) were pleased to have received their certificates of completion from the University.
This is what the delegates had to say:
“I benefited greatly from the programmes and procedures learned in the Programme in Asset and Maintenance Management. I have since adopted certain of the models to enhance my current projects.” Nkosinathi Nzima
“I work in the telecommunications industry. I enrolled for the PPM after hearing about it from my colleagues at work. I have really benefitted from the PPM. It makes my work easier to manage/schedule. It has also helped me with time management.” Sadiqua Mahomed
“The Department of Defence enrolled us for the Programme in Logistics because they saw a need for us to do the course. I am from the Logistics Division. The course has positively affected my work especially my understanding of the organisational behaviour and decision making. I now find it easier to work with my fellow colleagues.” Gontse Matsetela
“I heard about the PPM through my colleagues at work. I enrolled for the course for my own personal development. The PPM has given me a more formal/structured approach to project management.” Andrew Maynard
In his closing remarks Sandenbergh urged delegates to use the tools they have learnt and to set platforms for themselves to challenge themselves, “UP offers education of the highest quality and our alumni are sought after in every sphere of industry. The things we teach are but a tool to prepare delegates for their careers. It is something delegates can use immediately and create a platform to challenge themselves. We at the University pride ourselves on the expectations we put on our students. Delegates should know that what they have done has been critically evaluated. The face of education is dramatically changing and knowledge is becoming more important to lead people and to influence people. We want you to be the leading minds. We have broad horizons still open before us limited only by our own imagination.”
L-R Daniel Guambe, Luis Amado, Helder Gimo, Vagner Languene
Some 225 delegates congregated at the CSIR on Thursday 29 November for the Graduate School of Technology Management’s biannual Certificate Ceremony. The hard work and dedication of delegates who attended various Programmes in Project Management (PPM) and Advanced Programme in Project Management (APPM) events during 2011 and 2012 was acknowledged at the Ceremony.
The aim of the Project Management courses, presented by the University of Pretoria and Continuing Education at University of Pretoria (CEatUP), in conjunction with the Project Management Institute (PMI), is to provide ‘globally recognized credentials that certify project management expertise, and resources for professional development, networking and community.’ Sarel Coetzee and Ethel Saayman, PPM delegates from Eskom, remarked on the excellently presented Legal Aspects for Project Managers, and Project Quality Management modules. Both delegates received their certificates with distinction. Another distinction delegate, Luter Roll from Volvo Financial Services, said he is able to apply principles learnt in the course daily in the field, and that he is ‘more conscious of such principles, as they are now built into thinking processes.’
The Annual GSTM Certificate Ceremony was held on 15 March 2012 at the CSIR in Pretoria, South Africa. Delegates who attended the Programme in Project Management, Advanced Programme in Project Management, Programme in Engineering Management, Programme in Maintenance and Asset Management, Programme in Maintenance Management as well as Programme in Logistics received their certificates of completion at the ceremony.
The ceremony, which served as an acknowledgement of the delegates’ achievement of completing the respective courses, welcomed Mr Beeuwen Gerryts (Acting Chief Director: Technology Localisation and Advanced Manufacturing at the Department of Science and Technology) as the guest speaker, as well as Professor Tinus Pretorius, Chair of Graduate School of Technology Management and Professor Roelf Sandenbergh, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology.
The Programme in Project Management was commended by delegates as an industry relevant course that provided delegates the opportunity to apply knowledge gained from the course in their respective professional fields.
The 100th intake of the most popular project management training in SA - the Programme in Project Management (PPM) was successfully completed and the delegates graduated on 15 March 2012.
The Birth of the Project Management Programme at CE at UP
Way back in the 1970s Project Management was taught in the Department of Civil Engineering. The Chair in Engineering Management at TUKS, created in 1987, became a fully fledged Department of Engineering and Technology Management by 1994. So, it all started here at the Faculty of Engineering; Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) in the 1990s, when the Laboratory for Advanced Engineering saw the need to offer short courses aimed at developing the project management skills of practitioners. Unbeknown to them, several other faculties were also interacting with industry about continuing education across a variety of disciplines, yet no-one really knew of one another.