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 SA Business and Project Managers to Harness International Skills

2015-07-07 00:00

South Africa is currently struggling with lengthy and costly delays in major infrastructure projects, costing tax payers huge sums of money which otherwise could have been used elsewhere much more productively.

Reported project execution delays of up to five years at Eskom’s new Medupi and Kusile power stations is a good case in point.
Global research, also applicable to South Africa, has shown that only 35% of projects in excess $1 billion are in fact successful and delivered on time. This is despite ample room being given for overspending on initial budgets and exceeding initial schedules.

Therefore, specific and more attention in South Africa is critically needed in the interface between business and project management during the planning phase of the country’s high-risk capital projects if more success is to be achieved.

It is against this background that South African business and project managers will later this year be provided the opportunity to experience international exposure with particular regard to the business side and input of major capital projects.

The Transnet Centre for Business Management of Projects at USB Executive Development (USB-ED), the public management development and training company affiliated to the University of Stellenbosch Business School, will be presenting its second International Programme for Business Management of Projects from 13 to 27 September 2015.

The programme is in collaboration with three highly esteemed overseas business schools and thought leaders in project management and will be presented at the University College London’s Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management and Cranfield University School of Management’s international Centre for Programme Management (ICPM) in England, and the IPA Institute in The Hague, Netherlands. Visits to companies will also form part of the programme.

The first study school will be held at in South Africa at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) in Stellenbosch, followed by die overseas leg of the programme.

The centre’s director, Willem Louw, said the core focus of the programme is on what is termed front-end-loading (FEL) or front-end planning (FEP) and on the importance of pre-planning when executing capital projects.

“To this end, participants will receive exposure to executive business thinking via local and international practitioners and peers in the fields of business management, demand management and project management.

“We want to make a significant contribution to not only theorise about our problems as we experience it, but to learn from international experts about their best practices, how and what they do well and bring it to South Africa.

“The programme is aimed at senior executives or senior project managers responsible for the performance and outcomes of capital projects in either a public, state-owned enterprise or in the private sector. No formal tertiary qualifications are required.

“USB-ED will provide follow-up coaching, which participants will undergo for three and six months after the initial two-week programme period. This will ensure that the goals set at the end of the programme by each participant are indeed institutionalised in their respective organisations,” Louw said.

For more information please contact Claire Sissing at 021 918 4222 or or visit

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