23 July 2014

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.