Project Management South Africa, December 31, 2013

Authors: Carl Marnewick, Les Labuschagne, Herman Steyn, Mariki Eloff, Dr Peter Tobin

Despite the facts that projects are indispensable for economic development, and that corporate and national strategies are implemented by way of projects, the success rate of projects remains dubious. Project management maturity of organizations is normally measured on a 5-point scale that ranges from Level 1 (little or no formal process) to Level 5 (optimized processes; measured and continually improved upon). The Prosperus Report 2008 described the results of an extensive survey that determined the organizational project management maturity in South African IT organizations, as well as the success of the related IT projects. This report builds on this prior work and investigates not only organizations that perform IT projects but a much wider spectrum of industries.

Furthermore, responses were obtained from most other African countries as well. A total of 1068 responses were obtained, representing 1263 projects of which 1010 were implemented in South Africa, 162 from SADC region (123 from South Africa’s direct neighbours). Of the South African projects, 59,1% were from the ICT industry and 33,5% from Construction and Engineering (Civil engineering; excluding mining, manufacturing, utilities, petro-chemical and transport). Project management maturity of organizations was analysed per industry and per knowledge area. Perceived project success was determined and an attempt made to correlate it with maturity statistics.

Some salient results The project management maturity of merely 8,6% of organizations were perceived to be at Level 5 and 20,4% at Level 4. The majority of organizations (31,1%) were rated at Level 3 while the maturity level of 28,8% of organizations were rated at Level 2. It is clear that most African countries other than South Africa have difficulty achieving maturity levels of 3 and above. The analysis indicated that 55% of projects were perceived to be successful.