Conquering Mind Over Matter in Project Management

25th August 2022

UKZN Extended Learning

– by Nkosingiphile Ntshangase

On the 15th of August 2022, UKZN Extended Learning (UEL) hosted the first block of its Advanced Project Management (APM) programme. The purpose of this programme is to fill the knowledge gap of individuals that are entering the project management arena of expertise or wish to strengthen their experience with project management techniques. Project management is no revolutionary concept as elements of these skills have been applied to everyday planning in life. The use of project management principles and tools is evident in structures such as man-made structures including the Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal, Colosseum, Christ the Redeemer Statue, Petra, Machu Picchu and Chichen Itza.

Technology has allowed the discipline to grow exponentially, and the results are evident. In a world that is evolving at a rapid pace, effective project management is a necessity for achieving business success. During this block session delegates deep-dived into what it takes to manage a successful project by engaging in thought-provoking exercises that required critical thinking, foresight, and problem-solving skills. At the beginning stages of project conceptualisation, many individuals are thrown into the deep end when approaching the task at hand. This can present many challenges that can be easily mitigated if the person responsible is provided with the relevant tools to facilitate the execution of projects. Therefore, it is important to capacitate project leaders with the necessary skills required to successfully execute a project. An important element was also highlighted in these discussions, which was the need for project managers to be competent in their field of work, especially in the computation of the duration of the project as it forms a crucial step in the process. To support this argument, delegates shared their personal experiences and the various situations they have witnessed surrounding quality service delivery and infrastructure, and its effects on the community.

The consensus amongst delegates was that they enjoyed the first block session as it was presented graphically and linked practical case studies thus making the learning journey easier for all. Ms Sarah Blewett (Instructional Designer, University of KwaZulu-Natal) stated:

“I liked how engaging this session was. Sometimes, sessions that are conducted virtually with a group of individuals can be mundane. Often, when a facilitator asks a question, everyone goes dead silent. However, everyone was speaking and answering questions and that is how we learn the best.”

Having a good project manager is crucial because deviating or failing to adapt to the business requirements can lead to a waste of resources. When dealing with projects a balance between time, budget and quality are components of project management that cannot be compromised on. Project managers must have the discernment to maintain the integrity of the project within its financial constraints. The importance of project management lies in ensuring what is being delivered is correct and will deliver real value to the business. By equipping project managers to facilitate projects competently, organisations need to ensure that they are maintaining close alignment with their strategic objectives. Business operations are significantly improved with effective project management. Therefore, any organisation that wants to improve its output and increase profits should invest in its project management to ensure business success.

To find out more information about our Advanced Project Management programme, please click here.

You can also contact us directly for more information on the programme:

Nokwanda Mokoena

T: +27 31 260 1234