Determining the influence of Information Communication Technology in the South African construction project management environment
Geldenhuys, Gideon Theodorus
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At the heart of Project Management are time, cost and performance by utilizing the available resources. When analysing the Global Competitiveness index for 2012-2013 it becomes clear that in South Africa labour efficiency is far below what it should be, ranked 113th out of 144. In the same report Business Sophistication is ranked 38th out of 144. It becomes clear that performance, time and cost at the heart of Project Management are hampered by the low labour efficiency. The adoption of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the Construction Project Management Environment will raise productivity and will increase the quality and speed of work, financial controls, communication, and access to common data. The effect will be improved communication, an increase in the speed of data transmission, cost savings and fewer occurrences in miscommunication. The study has been done to set a framework of how ITC can be managed and implemented in the South African Construction Project Management Environment. These enablers and disablers of ICT in Construction Project Management should be determined. The current rate of ICT adoption is verified and the future trends in ICT are researched, characteristics common to quality information should also be verified. The study determined that the future developments in ITC will be profound and if applied correctly, Project Management through the means of communication will be affected positively. In the empirical study the characteristics of quality information, the disablers and also the enablers were investigated taking into account the current rate of ICT adoption in the South African Construction Management Environment. The framework used in the study proposed and confirmed how ITC can be managed and implemented in the South African Construction Project Management Environment. It is set out in the following steps: Firstly: By determining the common characteristics of quality information, namely accuracy, completeness, consistency, uniqueness, and timeliness. The implementation of ITC in the Construction Project Management Environment can be controlled. Secondly: Disablers of ICT adoption in project management exist, namely economic factors (reduction in employment, rising cost, and limited trade), social factors (digital divide, security and lack of education), and other factors (legal, environmental and cognitive). These factors should be managed. Thirdly: Enablers of ICT adoption in project management exist, namely relative advantage, complexity, compatibility, trial ability and observe ability. These enablers must be focused on and exploited where possible. Fourthly: Determine the current rate of ICT adoption in Construction Project Management. This was done and it is clear that the digital divide has been crossed by South African Project Managers and that they will embrace future developments in ICT in general. Finally: Future trends in ICT for the next five to ten years pertaining to Project Management should be analysed and new trends with possible advantages for Project Management must be investigated on a constant basis to see what will be advantageous.