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The impact of stakeholder communication on the quality of facility management projects at a life assuarance company in the Western Cape, South Africa
In past, the impact of communication on project quality did not receive considerable attention, perhaps since the inception of project management as the field of enquiry. This is in spite of the fact that the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) has nine knowledge areas, and amongst these elements, communication is regarded as an integral part of these aspects of project quality. While (in principle) communication is regarded as a core element of project quality, in practice, the four core elements, which are used to determine the success of the project are time, cost, scope, and quality. This study aims to investigate the effects of communication on project quality with reference to the Facilities Management Project at a the Life Assurance Company located in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa. The services, which are offered by facility management companies differ across the spectrum of companies, but most of these services include build operations, maintenance, real estate, human and environmental factors , project management, space planning, basic management activities, finance, quality assessment, communication and general administrative support. The major question that the study seeks to address is to determine if stakeholder communication impacts on the quality of projects at all. The research used qualitative methodology research design to approach data collection and analysis, which was supported by survey questionnaires to analyse the effect of communication on Facility Management project quality. In this context, project quality is determined by the extent to which project outcomes meet the needs and expectations of project-end users. The researcher argues that these expectations must be communicated in order to improve the success of the project (i.e. project quality). With regard to the FMU project at the Life Assurance Company, the study revealed that stakeholder communication is crucial and hence it is a core essential element, which affects the quality of FMU projects. The study also revealed that in recent years, tenants have expressed their dissatisfaction about projects that are executed by the facility management division. The major problem for the tenant’s dissatisfaction appeared to stem from the lack of stakeholder communication during facility management projects. This dissatisfaction has led to tenants rating facility management projects quality as poor. In view of these challenges, the study thus concludes with an analysis of stakeholder communication at the life assurance company and its impact on the quality of facility management projects. The findings of the study suggest that communication amongst stakeholders is crucial and can affect the quality of projects. Even though tenants were the custodians of the facility management projects, they only received limited information during the project life cycle. In some instances, communication in the form of layout design, held desk and telephone, were identified as major communication channels that are used to facilitate communication. However, there was a lack of communication with respect to decision-making about the project across the project lifecycle and thus the study recommended that stakeholder communication should occur in all project phases.
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