Gauteng Business News

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PROJECT MANAGEMENT: Mining and Engineering Industries Need to Realign


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The establishment of an Integrated Project Management Control Office (IPMCO) is the fastest growing concept in project management today and is extremely important when implementing project quality systems that effectively integrate with business quality systems in the mining and engineering sectors. To keep pace with increased competition and tougher economic conditions in a fast-paced global economy, mines must do more using fewer resources. This is according SA’s largest Project, Program and Portfolio management solutions provider, UMT Consulting SA.

The Company’s CEO Pieter Meyer says quality within mining and engineering projects has become an absolute necessity. “The majority of mines do not even attempt a project if conformity to ISO 9001 is not assured. It has become essential that the project’s Quality Management System aligns and integrates with the mining and engineering organisations’ existing Quality Management System.”

Meyer and two of his mining IPMCO subject matter experts, Chris Barnard and Johan Simons, say the true measurement of quality is based on ‘exceeding the expectations’ of the customer. “This applies to internal and external customers and each staff member with whom we deal during the course of our work.”

In order to achieve this, UMT Consulting SA needs to accept responsibility for the quality and control of its processes, products and services; actively exceed the quality and controls requirements of its clients; continuously strive to improve its knowledge and quality and controls processes; and actively participate in the maintenance and controls of a Quality Management System.

It believes that an IPMCO in the mining and engineering, with an integrated project Quality Management System, is the only answer to ensuring project delivery success. UMT Consulting SA uses a unique approach in the implementation of project Quality Management Systems to align it with the business Quality Management systems.

“During this approach, we make use of business analysis, process mapping and procedures with supporting templates and registers for the project Quality Management System. These processes are simulated to confirm effectiveness on large mining and engineering projects. This integrated project and business Quality Management System produces trusted dashboard reports for any organisation to make pro-active decisions,”
says Meyer.

Advantages of a project Quality Management System in a project include:
• Being pro-active in the elimination of potential non-conformities • The project is under control from the pre-feasibility stage • Pre-manufacturing is under control and vendors are properly and sufficiently guided • Construction happens within a controlled environment • Smooth hand-over of the project to the client • Solid operational footprint for future projects

“From our experience the disadvantages of not having a project Quality Management System within a Project are uncontrolled project, financial losses due to non-conformities and re-manufacturing or constructing, high liabilities during and after the project, jeopardising legal compliance, and poor market reputation for contracting companies which can put future business at risk,” he adds.

Meyer, Chris Barnard and Johan Simons stress that mining and engineering companies need to ensure solid control by integrating their project and business Quality Management Systems.

“The problem most companies face is that they control projects using two separate systems which leads to rework, wasting of manpower, miss-alignment and unexpected spend on external audits due to none conformances. They need to be more proactive than reactive to combat the current economy pressures,” they conclude.

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