The Importance of the Telecom Industry in South Africa:

Advances in telecommunications have enriched numerous sectors and brought about significant improvements for millions of individuals. It plays a significant role in a country’s social and economic progress and is considered a major driver of economic growth. Telecommunications improves the efficacy of fiscal, financial, and administrative programs and public and emergency responses by increasing the quality of operations. Telecoms have played a significant role in the fields of banking, finance, tourism, businesses, the industrial sector, farming, and the public sector. It has promoted the dissemination of knowledge to all of society and has enhanced product marketability and profitability (Sadr and Farahani 2012:74). Telephone access has brought about socioeconomic progress, enhanced health, schooling, and group engagement. Telecommunication, such as e-mail, helps individuals access health care records and the administration of health services, the distribution of patient records, and the purchase of medical equipment (Archibald, S. 2016).

telecommunications industry

In the financial services sector, telecommunications have impacted people’s lives by making accessibility to banking and financial services convenient and fast. Financial institutions in South Africa all depend on the opportunity to use telecommunications to submit to the One Time Passwords (OTP). Internet shopping, bill payment for amenities such as electricity and water, and purchasing fares for commuter facilities such as planes, trains and taxis all use modern technologies. Digital payments give users access to their account records, and the opportunity to move funds and buy items (Buhalis and Hyun 2011:45).

Telecommunications also affects culture because it decreases the costs of transferring knowledge and thereby reduce the expense of doing business. The improvement of information management and the implementation of modern communication technologies facilitate the improved efficiency that results from decisions being made rapidly.

1.Definition of Project Management:

Project management is characterized as the process of applying expertise, experience, resources, and strategies to project tasks to achieve project goals. Project management is the general method of planning, preparation, managing and directing an organization’s resources toward a comparatively short-term purpose that has been developed to complete goals and objectives (Kerzner, 2013).

Knapp (2010) defines the project management phases as organized, implemented, tracked, and closed. Project management stresses the following main fields of knowledge: Integration, Expense, Human Capital, Stakeholder Management, Scope Consistency, Marketing, Sourcing and Risk Management. Project management requires the preparation and monitoring of project variables such as capital, costs, efficiency, plans, risk, and quality.

The Role of a Project Manager:

According to the Project Management Institute, the project manager is responsible for:

  • Supplying the organisation with a project that is efficient, cost-effective, and on schedule.
  • Being accountable for establishing the project scope, completion schedules and achievements.
  • Being the chief operating officer of a transient agency and their role in organizing and empowering workers is valued over his/her role in conducting work
  • A project that is well-structured and well-designed.
  • To choose and assemble a strong team.
  • The planning and prioritizing of tasks.
  • For the effective completion of the project schedule.
  • The overcoming of issues that are overcome.
  • Dissolving the party and reviewing findings upon conclusion of the project.

The Role of the Project Manager in the Phases of Project Management:

According to Kwak, Park, and Ghosh (2012) the project manager’s role across the five distinct management phases, is as follows:

The Project Definition and Proposal Phase:

The Project Manager sets priorities and outlines the levels for expense and time for the project. An initial implementation schedule and preparation plan for the project team are established. The new proposal is reviewed by the project partners and then goes to the project sponsor for final approval.

The Detailed Planning and Scheduling Phase:

Upon acceptance of the application, an action schedule will be created by placing the work list as the framework for a detailed project plan. The project goals are reported to team members and the needed support is determined. A project schedule and a priority list for key participants are then created.

The Implementation Management Phase:

During the job activity, the Project Manager guarantees that tasks are performed on schedule and under budget and that the input on results is collected and offered to improve and ensure project satisfaction.

The Project Delivery and Closure Phase:

This phase guarantees the completion of the output or function specified. The outputs are tested, authorised, and shipped to their required end-users or Operations Business Units. Project management operations are accepted, a third party is paid, and the project is closed.

Post Implementation Review Phase:

In this phase, the project manager reviews the results and assures that all requirements are fulfilled, and all goals are achieved within the specified deadlines. The conclusions and reports to senior management are outlined and the monitoring of benefits from the project to the Corporate Improvement Managers are officially handed over.

Characteristics of an Effective Project Manager:

The Project Manager must possess the following qualities to be successful in his/her duties as a project manager:

  • Must have professional competence, organisational prowess, and organizational abilities.
  • Should be a creative communicator, successful negotiator, problem solver, and acquainted with the political climate of the company in which they function.
  • Must give attention to detail, recognizes, and appreciates risk management, and holds outstanding project and process management skills (Baker, Ali, and French, 2019).
  • Must be able to identify variables that will lead to project success.
  • Must be outstanding at handling people
  • Be a good strategist and be decisive.
  • Must have both hard and soft skills
  • Must have a balance between the technological and leadership element of project management
  • Must have sufficient professional expertise in the project and the community where the project is being conducted
  • Must have adequate technical qualifications in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
  • Must have specialized expertise in the field of the project they are overseeing, be product aware, provide services, and be knowledgeable of the business dynamics
  • Must have good leadership skills.
  • Must be able to schedule, arrange, and take care of the project to insure its completion (Cain, 2018).
  • Be good at people skills
  • Should be a problem-solver, agile, patient, considerate, diligent, straightforward, imaginative, and successful in communication.
  • Should be responsible for other people in how they address challenges, create trust, display sympathy, and include people’s emotions.
  • Have strong leadership styles that relate to project effectiveness. Strong leadership is essential to allow successful project management. (Dainty, Sage, and Brookes, 2014:46).
  • Must have an academic background in project management
  • Must be competent in math, computing skills, and communications. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in business is not mandatory but advisable to possess.
  • The project manager must be legal.
  • Must have ethics which build trust and dignity and adhere to board governance standards (Keil et al 2013). 

References:

Alzahrani, J. and Emsley, M., 2019. The impact of contractors’ attributes on construction project success: A post-construction evaluation. International Journal of Project Management, 31(2), pp.313-322.

Amalraj, J., Hernani, C., Ladouceur, K. & Verma, A. 2017. Project Management: Challenges & Lessons Learned. Retrieved January, 29, 14-20

Archibald, R.D. & Archibald, S. 2016. Leading and Managing Innovation: What Every Executive Team Must Know about Project, Program, and Portfolio Management (22), 6-9. CRC Press

Arroyo, A., 2018. International project management – leadership in complex environments20101Thomas W. Grisham. International project management – leadership in complex environments. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, ISBN: 978‐0‐470‐57882‐7. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 3(4), pp.705-706.

Baker, M., Ali, M. and French, E., 2019. The impact of women’s representation on performance in project-based and non-project-based organizations. International Journal of Project Management, 37(7), pp.872-883.

Basile, G. and Caputo, F., 2017. Theories and Challenges for Systems Thinking in Practice. Journal of Organisational Transformation & Social Change, 14(1), pp.1-3.

Bronkhorst, Q., 2021. SA mobile subscribers: Vodacom vs MTN vs Cell C vs Telkom. [online] Businesstech.co.za. Available at: <http://businesstech.co.za/news/mobile/85752/sa-mobile-subscribers-vodacom-vs-mtn-vs-cell-c-vs-> [Accessed 23 February 2021].

Buhalis, D. and Marinakou, E., 2017. Book Review. Tourism Management, 63, pp.12-13.

Cain, T., 2018. The Sage handbook of action research: participative inquiry and practice. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 37(4), pp.461-462.

Caldwell-Gunes, R. and Parham, T., 2019. The Bakari© Project: A Lifeline for African American Adolescent Development and Success. Journal of Black Psychology, 46(6-7), pp.431-456.

Keil, M., Lee, H. and Deng, T., 2018. Understanding the most critical skills for managing IT projects: A Delphi study of IT project managers. Information & Management, 50(7), pp.398-414.

Project Management Journal, 2017. Project Management Journal Guidelines. 41(1), pp.93-95.

SAGE Publications Ltd. 2021. Education. [online] Available at: <http://www.paulchapmanpublishing.co.uk/books/ch1.pdf>

Statistics.laerd.com. 2021. Spearman’s Rank Order Correlation using SPSS Statistics – A How-To Statistical Guide by Laird Statistics. [online] Available at: <https://statistics.laerd.com/spss-tutorials/spearmans-rank-order-correlation-using-spss-statistics.php>

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