Application of Project Management Techniques to Large Construction Projects to Reduce Delays in South Africa
Delays in completing road construction projects in South Africa have been a trend in recent times. This paper
reports on a study conducted to investigate the causes of such delays inroad construction projects in order to determine
whether project management tools, skills and techniques, as prescribed in the Project Management Body of Knowledge
(PMBOK) Guide, can be of benefit. A qualitative approach was selected where data was collected within 2 months of 2016
from prominent role players in the projects under consideration, namely: the Consultants who design and manage the
projects and the Contractors who execute the projects. In-depth structured interviews were conducted with the selected
participants who were accessible and for geographically distant participants, questions were administered by email and
responses received likewise. A content analysis approach of thematic analysis was conducted to identify themes. Some of the
themes that emerged as causes of delays pointed to lack of skilled personnel, time allocated for executing works, appointing
the lowest tenderer, risk management and change of scope during construction period. The findings were taken to suggest
that project management tools, skills and techniques were not effectively applied by contractors thus leading to the delays.
This article recommends that construction companies should inculcate the culture of project management practices in their
organisations whether it is as per PMBOK Guide or other project management frameworks that are available.