http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.69Change: -0.12
R/$ = 10.63Change: -0.08
Au 1291.71 $/ozChange: 8.34
Pt 1406.00 $/ozChange: 3.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013   Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science & Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Jul 20, 2012

Consulting company recommends discipline-orientated project management to industry

Back
GIBB Group|South Africa|Discipline-orientated Project Management|Project Management|Value Chain|Richard Vries|Information Technology
gibb-group|south-africa|discipline-orientated-project-management|project-management-industry-term|value-chain|richard-vries|information-technology
© Reuse this



Consulting engineering company GIBB Group CEO Richard Vries says the company’s discipline-orientated project management has given it a competitive edge in the engineering industry.

“We focus purely on developing and managing engineering-related projects, as this is where our expertise lies. Our experience and expertise in this area have put us in a strong competitive position, given our understanding of the full value chain of a project,” he states.

Vries notes that discipline-orientated project management has also prevented the company from being affected by the shortage of skilled project managers in the country.

“It is our way of mitigating the challenge as well as the problem that comes with it – not meeting client expectations. We hire employees with years of experience who have worked their way up in the engineering industry.

“If we are hiring a project manager for a power station project, for example, we ensure the person has experience in that particular discipline. Project management at GIBB is not simply about administering software – it is about understanding the value chain of the entire process,” he says.

Vries says that problems arise when companies hire nondiscipline project managers.

“When a project manager is hired to manage a type of project he or she has never managed before, problems arise. For example, hiring an information technology project manager to manage the building of a dam will result in the person not knowing exactly what to do. He or she will then rely on the software, or other people, to try to get by,” he explains.

Vries states that discipline-orientated project management should be a solution not only for GIBB, but also for the rest of the industry.

“When hiring a project manager, companies must ask applicants what experience they have in that particular field [which empowers them] to know what needs to happen on site.

“It is not only about the project management qualification; it is about discipline-related experience as well,” he stresses.

Other Challenges
Meanwhile, GIBB says it faces challenges other than skills shortages.

“The biggest problem we face is managing timeframes and budgets, as projects in the engineering discipline tend to be large scale.

“Time and budget management are probably the most important criteria for our clients and large projects make it a huge challenge to ensure we deliver what is promised within the allocated time and budget,” says Vries.

Scoping and packaging the project is another challenge.

“Take the building of a dam, for example. There are so many unknown elements when the project starts. You can never, with absolute accuracy, predict what you might find when digging the tunnel or what other unexpected challenges may arise.

“This makes scoping the project and the budget another challenge for us. This is where our experience in the industry comes in. We can rely on past experience and expertise to help us face the challenges and ensure our client is satisfied,” he says.

Further, Vries points out that GIBB’s clients, particularly outside South Africa, are often also faced with funding challenges.

“The need is there to build the infrastructure but the funds are not.

“On the other hand, we see a lot of financiers wanting to fund infrastructure projects. The challenge for us is to bring the two together,” he explains.

This is an area where he feels the company is develop- ing strong capabilities and expertise.

“We have the industry knowledge to tell financiers where they can spend the money and we can foster the relationship to benefit our clients as well,” he says.

Industry Importance
Vries emphasises the importance of project management in the political stability of a country.

“Project management plays a key role in service delivery. A lack of service delivery leads to political instability. We have seen it in our own country.

“We need more project man- agers who understand this role and who can deliver, so that when the politicians make promises, they are promises that can be delivered on,” he says.

Experience, task orienta- tion, strong commercial orientation, industry knowledge and extensive knowledge of project-management delivery techniques are Vries’s criteria for a successful project manager.

“At GIBB, we have a structured process that our project managers must go through to become a project leader or project director. This ensures they are sufficiently trained and experienced,” he says.

Future Plans
Vries says the company is strengthening and developing its project-management sys- tems and procedures for large projects.

“We are aiming to develop our software, internal quality controls and other systems into a real science. With large projects, the work can become very complicated. There are ways and means of monitoring and managing a project in a simpler way than what we are currently doing. We want to find those ways and means.

“We also plan to develop the human capabilities in the company by improving the technical and project-management skills of our people. We also continue to recruit top engineers and project man- agers from all over the world to come on board with us,” he says.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Construction News
Updated 2 minutes ago The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Transport on Thursday announced a 77.3 km, R1.2-billion road upgrade that would connect Pongola and eDumbe, in the north western part of the province. The project, of which the first 6.5 km, R65-million, construction phase had...
Updated 30 minutes ago Corobrik has secured the Diamond Arrow Award for the fourth consecutive year after survey respondents in the construction industry rated the brick supplier ahead of the pack. Last week, PMR.africa presented the award to Corobrik after the supplier achieved the...
DPE director-general Tshediso Matona
Updated 4 hours ago Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) director-general Tshediso Matona confirms that the interdepartmental task team established to find a solution to Eskom’s financial problems has agreed that further support will be required. However, he says it is premature to...
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 30 minutes ago Corobrik has secured the Diamond Arrow Award for the fourth consecutive year after survey respondents in the construction industry rated the brick supplier ahead of the pack. Last week, PMR.africa presented the award to Corobrik after the supplier achieved the...
Updated 32 minutes ago South African producer price inflation (PPI) again surpassed expectations in March, registering growth of 8.2% year-on-year from the 7.7% recorded in February, climbing to its highest level since February 2012 on the back of rising domestic price pressures, BNP...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Human Settlements Minister Connie September
The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) and the Department of Human Settlements launched the ‘One Learner – One Estate Agency’ internship programme aimed at creating one internship position at each of the estimated 10 000 estate agencies in South Africa to grow...
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
MORE IN SA Phase 2 should see local content on the mainline locomotive increase from 65% to 80% by the end of 2014
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks