Importance of Programme Management in Infrastructure Development and Implementation

Infrastructure projects can play a significant role in catalysing economic growth, especially in Africa where 20% of the world’s landmass holds 16% of its population, but only makes up 2.5% of its gross domestic product (GDP). Cresco’s Programme Management Office) services guide organisations to the successful completion of infrastructure projects across the continent.

Public infrastructure projects such as power plants, roads, airports, bridges, buildings, dams, pipeline wastewater treatment and the delivery of essential services are vital to improving the quality of life for Africa’s citizens. As much as public infrastructure projects can positively impact society, the failure of large infrastructure projects can be felt across a country.

Cresco Senior Associate Jaco Swart explains: “As much as infrastructure projects create a positive impact on society and lives, when they fail the negative impact is far-reaching, such as wasted taxpayer funds, lack of service delivery and reduced economic activity. Infrastructure project implementation, both private and public, presents challenges due to its complexity. These challenges are exacerbated by exaggerated promises, weak governance structures, lack of control and accountability. By partnering with an experienced project management team, project owners can overcome these challenges to ensure the best outcome of their project.”

Other than the financial losses involving wasted taxpayer investment for project overruns that are often budget, quality and time related, other ‘softer’ issues can be just as impactful. These softer issues such as the negative impact on the environment, lack of service delivery, and reduced economic activity.

In order to overcome all these challenges, it is important to ensure best practice PMO principles are applied from conception, through feasibility, procurement, to the design and implementation of a project. This should be done in a manner that includes the fundamental steps below:

  • Risk mitigation and financial control to manage the budget
  • Operational efficiencies – to ensure activities and milestones are achieved and on track
  • Innovation – software, systems, and processes to assist with early risk identification, critical path optimisation, reporting and managing overall stakeholder expectations
  • Skills collaboration – bringing together expert teams to undertake large infrastructure projects including technical, finance, legal, economic, market demand, tax, accounting, and insurance.

Project management should support and capacitate Project Owners to foster these principles to ensure the best outcome for the project. This will also act as a positive signal to the market and stakeholders, that a project is well-resourced and will be delivered effectively. With 17 years of relevant experience in infrastructure advisory, Cresco is able to support Project Owners with programme management to ensure their project development and implementation goals and objectives are achieved. Reach out to our experienced team today on info@crescogroup.africa.