AbstractsBusiness Management & Administration

Project management in Africa : the use of survey data for comparative risk analysis

by S.P.J. Rose

Institution: University of Johannesburg
Year: 2015
Keywords: Project management - Africa
Record ID: 1480064
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10210/13179


Globalisation and the drive for competitive advantage are necessitating the need for international projects. This is exemplified in Africa where vast mineral resources and opportunities are only now being recognised and exploited. Conventional project management approaches often fail in Africa due to wide cultural, political, economic, and infrastructural disconnects. This research analysed the perceptions of project managers working in Africa through the use of a nonprobability survey, and used the data gathered in the survey to generate a comparative risk model for country analysis. Survey analysis showed that a large majority of the project managers surveyed (76.47%) believed that planning and executing projects in Africa is more difficult than projects in more developed parts of the world. Additionally, infrastructural issues, ethical issues, and a lack of local skills were cited as the largest barriers to effective project management in Africa. The majority of survey respondents also indicated that South African project managers do possess some advantage over their foreign counterparts in the management of projects in Africa, due to insider knowledge and an inherent understanding of cultural issues. Almost 65% of respondents also indicated that they had been involved in a failed project in Africa, providing reasons such as ineffective scheduling and unrealistic expectations. In the risk management section of the survey 94.11% of the project managers agreed that risk management was important in African projects, with 97.06% stating that that it was vital for project success. The largest risks in an African project were also quantified, with infrastructure deficiencies, political instability, and economic instability being the largest. Using the quantified risks, the data from the Global Competiveness Report, and the International Country Risk Guide, a comparative risk model incorporating Monte Carlo simulation was created. It was used to comparatively rank three countries in Africa for demonstration purposes, providing good results with the inherent ability to represent a range of risk ratings for each country – thereby allowing for a more exact country risk ranking when projects are evaluated.