An investigation into the criteria for project success within Transnet
Project Management is the wave of the future. This discipline and its evolution continues to be one of the principal means by which operational and strategic changes are managed in the enterprise. The importance of Project Management for organisational success will expand, rather than wane, in years to come. Projects, particularly large scale complex ones with multiple stakeholders, are failing at alarming rates despite a wide spectrum of efforts to solve the problem. The lack of meaningful results and outcomes is due, in part, to the fact that organizations tend to operate on a set of unproven assumptions concerning project objectives, business requirements, user expectations, motivations, agendas, schedules, costs and time frames. The management dilemma is that Transnet has committed R 65 billion to projects in the hope of developing its core businesses to that of world-class standards as a logistics service provider in South Africa. Transnet’s capital project division, Protekon, is responsible for managing the projects committed to this R 65bn capital expenditure. Transnet’s perception of Protekon’s failure to successfully deliver projects could result in appointments of external consultancies such as Hatch McDougal and Guba (HMG – an engineering consultant firm). Whereas, previously, Protekon was the monopoly service provider of engineering and project management skills within Transnet, Transnet’s sub-divisions appear to be utilizing outside consultancies more frequently. The reason for procuring engineering and consultancy services external to Transnet, among others, is the perception that Protekon is performing poorly in delivering successful projects. The outsourcing of work, fuelled by the negative perception of Protekon’s performance, directly impacts on the profitability of Protekon in the short to medium term. The objective of this dissertation was firstly to investigate the effect of Protekon’s involvement in Transnet’s project success; and secondly, to recommend strategies to improve the rate of project success, that could be applied within Transnet and Protekon.