2012 winners announced

PM Awards

PMSA announces 2012 winners
PMSA announces 2012 winners

Excellence Award

Mike Woodruff and Neil Graham, of GHC Brydens Project Management for Sandton City Repositioning Phase 1

Johannesburg residents familiar with Sandton City shopping centre will be forgiven if they did not noticed the extensive refurbishment project that resulted in around 30 000 square metres of new retail space created in and around the existing shopping centre, which opened earlier this year.

That is because GHC Brydens, working with clients Liberty and Pareto, went to great lengths to minimise the impact of the project on the public and tenants.

With the general public as well as 72 tenant ‘clients’ to consider, the minimised impact was just one of the unique characteristics of this project.

Others were the use of energy-saving initiatives and innovative building techniques.

The latter included a roof modelled on the Beijing swimming cube, using a plastic that is a byproduct of the mining industry – a very ‘green’, lightweight product that gave the architect an opportunity to create something it could not have created in glass.

GHC Brydens' green approach to power saving meant that no additional power was required to service the additional square meterage. Besides delivering some unique results, the project management methodology applied resulted in its being completed on time, to programme, to budget – and all who wanted to trade, did so on time.

Project manager Mike Woodruff refers to two main lessons learnt in the process: "Firstly, the planning process is vital, and pre-planning went a long way to ensure all the aspects are fully understood. This is particularly relevant where new products and techniques (such as the roof) are being used.

"Secondly, communication proved vital and was maintained with all stakeholders so they were aware of the project and its impact on them every step of the way, allowing them to plan accordingly.

"The fact that none of the tenants claimed a rent rebate shows how successful the communication and resultant planning was,” he adds. 

Merit Award

Presented to Lynette van Reenen, Programme Manager for Standard Bank Core Banking Business Release 2: Inclusive Banking

This financial services project had the objective of taking a number of new products – including a transactional, saving and lending product – to the market.

The focus was on the low-income market where there was no previous access to banking.

These services were deployed through two new channels, one being a loan centre or cashless branch in rural areas, and the other a mobile acquisition channel enabling the origination of transactional and savings products from anywhere in South Africa.

This means sales agents are no longer bound to a physical structure and can bring those located in rural areas the access to banking they have never had before.

According to Lynette van Reenen, the most unique characteristic of this project for her was the challenge to create simplicity from complexity.

This not only applied to the end result, namely products and services that are easy to use, but to the project management methodology applied.

To this end, they used Prince2, underpinned by the seven controls and Managing Successful Programmes (MSP), managing the various projects through tranches.

In addition, they adopted what they termed a combined team approach, using principles of Agile and incorporating this into their methodology to ensure a fast delivery.

Project sponsor Leon Barnard says the project was a phenomenal success.

“The project gave us capability to originate at very low cost, and met all the other business requirements. We needed to be able – at the cost structures we predetermined – to remotely acquire customers on scale and on mass and can activate this in field and the customers can transact on the account immediately.”

Besides delivering the business benefits, the project broke a lot of new ground in terms of how capabilities are made exportable into different environments.

It has sparked a journey of transformation that can be leveraged from over time.

As a result, maturity has evolved immensely in the bank from building capability, establishing skills and introducing new project disciplines.

Development Award

Presented to Dr Liezel van Deventer for the Department of Health / Right to Care Colposcopy Centre in Villiersdorp

In evaluating the nominations, the adjudicators were struck by a project delivered in Villiersdorp in the Western Cape.

This project highlighted an area PMSA wanted to acknowledge in a future edition of the awards programme, but this particular submission embodied the spirit of what was envisaged for recognition of Excellence in Applying Project Management to Community Development.

The execution of the project was based on sound project management fundamentals and the outcome makes a notable impact in a local community.

Van Deventer is a medical doctor working in primarily the HIV field, and completed her MBA at the University of Stellenbosch – having chosen project management as an elective.

This project was captured in her MBA dissertation. According to Van Deventer, cervical cancer is one of the greatest killers of women worldwide.

Screening and treating for this disease requires a procedure called a colposcopy, which is not readily available in the rural areas of Villiersdorp. Women have to travel to Hermanus or Worcester to access the procedure, and for many this is not possible.

A decision was made to set up a clinic at a central area and provide the much-needed service.

This was done in partnership with the Department of Health and an agency called Right to Care, and now services female patients with abnormal Pap smears. This promises to make a major contribution to bringing down the mortality rate attributed to what is a preventable disease.

A unique characteristic of this project is that there was no money involved and resources were supplied by the main role-playersm with assistance from those working at the clinic where the colposcopy service was set up.

Research Award 

Presented to Professor Udechukwu Ojiako, University of the Witwatersrand

This award was introduced in 2010 by PMSA Fellow, Les Labuschagne, with the first recipient being Dr Carl Marnewick.

It is made in recognition of an individual for excellence in research in the field of portfolio, programme and/or project management.

The PMSA Excellence in Research Award invited nominations from or on behalf of researchers for work of the highest quality, which was published in the preceding two years.

Prof. Ojiako has a long and illustrious research history in various aspects of project management, including recently earning a Project Management Institute research grant that resulted in the book, Cultural Imperatives in Perceptions of Project Success and Failure.

The PMSA Exceptional Project Management Awards Programme resumes again in early 2013, with invitations to interested parties to begin preparing their submissions in time for the next deadline of March 2014. More information about the programme will be communicated via the PMSA website: www.projectmanagement.org.za.

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