R/€ = 15.16Change: -0.03
R/$ = 13.35Change: -0.02
Au 1156.06 $/ozChange: -2.88
Pt 981.00 $/ozChange: 2.00
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

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

Consulting company recommends discipline-orientated project management to industry

Engineering|Expertise|Africa|Building|Consulting|GIBB Group|Packaging|PROJECT|Project Management|Projects|Systems|Africa|South Africa|Discipline-orientated Project Management|Packaging|Project Management|Service|Systems|Value Chain|Infrastructure|Power|Richard Vries|Information Technology
Engineering|Expertise|Africa|Building|Consulting|Packaging|PROJECT|Project Management|Projects|Systems|Africa||Packaging|Service|Systems||Infrastructure|Power||
© 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
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Construction News
Outgoing Seifsa president Ufikile Khumalo
Downscaling by South African primary steel producers was “unavoidable” despite recent protection measures, outgoing Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) president Ufikile Khumalo cautioned on Friday. Khumalo is also chairperson of...
LEADING THE WAY The Association of South African Quantity Surveyors has embarked on a study to determine a more precise cost of green building in South Africa
Voluntary quantity surveying association the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) is formulating plans to accelerate not only its own but also the general construction industry’s understanding and increased use of sustainable construction...
While there are several opportunities for the construction industry to integrate sustainable materials use in a project – from the design phase to the construction phase – there is still significant scope for the industry to be more innovative, says consulting...
Latest News
South African Airways (SAA) has enhanced its partnership with the airline’s in-flight duty-free concessionaire Tourvest Inflight Retail Services (TIRS), enabling Voyager members to earn miles when buying duty-free products and spend their miles when shopping for...
South Africa's new visa regulations are having an adverse impact on the country's tourism industry without proof that they are making any impact on child trafficking, according to Hussein Dabbas, International Air Traffic Association (Iata) regional vice-president...
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed a semi-autonomous solution for early pothole detection to potentially replace the often time-consuming expensive manual road inspection. Showcasing the Visual Surveying Platform (VSP), CSIR...
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
BUSINESS LEADERS PANEL Adam Craker, Ivor Chipkin, Alan Hosking and Allon Raiz at the 6th IQ Business Active Growth conference
At the sixth IQ Business conference held in Sandton last month, a panel of business leaders and academics advocated that business reclaims the initiative to spur growth in South Africa amid fragmented and haphazard political direction. Management consulting firm IQ...
The building industry is an essential component of the South African economy as it contributes about 15% to the gross fixed investment that drives the economy. However, with the country’s economy going through a tough time currently, this, in turn, reflects on the...
The recipients of the 2015 South African National Energy Association (Sanea)/South African National Energy Development Institute Energy (Sanedi) Awards were announced at a ceremony and banquet in Sandton last month. Sanea chairperson Brian Statham named Exxaro CEO...
ASHER BOHBOT EOH’s corporate goals were originally aspirations, but the company is relevant and is making a difference in the territories it operates in
As South African information technology (IT) firm EOH posted another full year of strong growth, CEO Asher Bohbot, known for his frank words, people-centric management style and stoic humanism, attributed the company’s continued South African and African growth to...
International heavy-equipment engine manufacturer Cummins’ regional distribution centre (RDC) in Woodmead, Gauteng, has halved the average logistics distribution time for clients in Southern Africa and allowed for critical or long-lead stock to be kept closer to...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
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
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96