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The impact of project maturity on project performance in the Cape Metropole
Organisations in both private and public sector have embraced Project Management as the ideal means of managing projects with the hopes of ensuring that they deliver their intended benefit. Projects have therefore become particularly prominent within the public sector including Municipalities, as a means of fulfilling developmental goals and delivering services. This has resulted in organisations investing considerable resources to ensure that they build the capacity needed to effectively manage projects. This investment usually takes the form of training and development of project managers or adopting and implementing project management methodologies with clear processes that guide how projects are managed. Within academia there has also been a broad spectrum of research devoted to the field of project management. A major focus area of project management research has been to determine the value of Project Management by measuring aspects of an organization’s project management performance and how best they can improve it to ensure project success. However, despite the advances in Project research and the practice of project management, organisations continue to face low project success rates. Findings from previous research has found that project management is very context specific and that there is not a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to implementing project management practices. Therefore, organisations should be tailoring their project management approach to best suit their unique needs. This study has therefore chosen to evaluate project management performance within Municipalities in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. The aim of which was to find how best municipalities can improve their current performance and ensure project success. The rationale for this research is further supported by evidence which indicates that project management within the public sector is generally less developed than in the private sector. In this study a construct was developed to define project management performance consisting of Project Management Maturity, the impact of project teams and effective project partnerships. Project management maturity was analysed adapting a project management maturity model developed by Labuschagne and Marnewick (2008). Project success was defined by five project success criteria that were identified through literature reviews. The success criteria consisted of the completion of a project within time, budget, quality requirements, satisfaction of the public’s needs and ensuring organizational success. A survey questionnaire was developed and distributed to 108 project managers working within a selected municipal department in South Africa. The results of this research has provided evidence of the link between project management performance and project success within municipalities. These findings provide insights on which aspects of their project management practice a municipality should focus on and develop to maximise project success. In addition, the research also contributes to a deeper insight into the application, benefits and pitfalls of project management maturity models.