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Monitoring and controlling of projects within selected organisations in the public sector
The study is located within a Project Management paradigm. The South African national Department of Education’s (the DOE) approach to e-Education and its directive issued in 2004 to integrate Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s) into teaching and learning forms the premise of this study. In 2009, the Western Cape Government adopted the Modernisation Programme to bring the provincial government on par with international best practice, to ensure that government officials are fit for their respective purposes. The challenge for the Western Cape Government was its ability to implement a project management approach to all activities performed by all stakeholders and role players in the project implementation process. The core objective of the study was to develop a theoretical framework to monitor and control projects and practices within selected provincial government departments in the Western Cape, with specific reference to the Department of the Premier (DotP) and the Western Cape Education Department, in order to achieve and provide an improved project management approach to monitor and control projects when implementing strategy and, in turn, enhance effective and efficient service delivery. A qualitative research approach was used, as the researchers were keen to hear verbal accounts around the experiences and perceptions of selected individuals within the Department of the Premier and Western Cape Education Department around the MSPiL Training Project in particular, and how it is monitored and controlled. Applicable literature was consulted which indicated the complexity of project management in the public sector as it relates to monitoring and control of projects. Methods/mechanisms, procedures and systems for defining, planning, scheduling, controlling, organising, monitoring and evaluating project activities to enhance service delivery, were forwarded. One of the core findings of the study was that an agile project management approach/methodology is best suited to an environment that has faster turnaround times with more streamlined, speedier approvals and processes, red tape reduction, as well as more direct communication channels. The aforementioned lacked in the South African public sector. A recommendation forwarded is that the Department of the Premier, Centre for e-Innovation’s (Directorate GITO: Education, Cultural Affairs and Sport) project office and a task team that specifically deal with the MSPiL project should clearly understand their department’s requirements whilst defining, planning and managing projects to improve project management maturity, as well as constantly communicate the roadmap, benefits and progress at both project/programme, departmental and provincial level by 2019, since this is when the Western Cape Provincial Strategic Plan reaches its end. This will assist the department and its MSPiL project team to improve project tasks and activities for future projects with similar characteristics.