Table of Contents

NON-STANDARDISATION OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROCESSES: A CASE STUDY OF ERICSSON SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA - Part 9

493

CHAPTER 4: DATA ANALYSIS

4.1 INTRODUCTION

In this chapter the researcher will examine the reality. In chapter 2 the literature review represented information pertaining to a utopia, a ‘perfect world’ scenario, in which all processes as described by the market unit are followed to the letter. In this chapter the results of data gathered will be presented as a comparison against the ‘as-is’ position. Primary data form part of the questionnaire created by the researcher in support of the research (Watkins, 2006:120). Secondary data is made available as part of ongoing audits performed by the central functions team (Watkins, 2006:120). Results will be used in order to create a gap analysis applying to the South African and Nigerian Project Offices. Thereafter, recommendations will be made on how the gaps can be breached. Concurrently, the researcher will identify ‘best practice’ as an output from audit results. In the end a complete process map will be shown with recommendations and conclusions in support of the research question.

Sometimes it can be quite hard to come up with good hooks for persuasive essays. So if you gave up this writing, delegate the whole work to a Pro-Papers essay writing service.

4.2 PRIMARY DATA − THE RESEARCH QUESTIONNAIRE

The nature and purpose of this questionnaire is to establish the following: “What is required to standardise project management processes within disjointed Project Offices in sub-Saharan Africa?” Participants are informed that there are twenty one questions to be answered in this questionnaire, which will take approximately twenty minutes of their time. A brief explanation on the layout of the questionnaire is given in order to aid the participant in its interpretation. The means of submission, as well as the due date, is specified in communication that accompanies the questionnaire. Participants are made aware that feedback received from this questionnaire will be treated as anonymous submissions and will be used as part of this dissertation. The communication is concluded by thanking the participants in advance for their co-operation and valuable contribution to the project management community.

4.3 DATA GATHERED

“Data gleaned from the research questionnaires can manifest as either quantitative or qualitative data” (Watkins, 2006:120). The following bar charts represent the results from the questionnaires received. Discrete (quantitative) data is represented in the number of participants who responded to the researcher’s request for feedback by submitting their questionnaires (Watkins, 2006:120). A Likert scale (Likert, 1932:1-55) is utilised in order for participants to indicate their level of agreement, which is presented in the form of a checklist containing each question and/or statement (Watkins, 2006:115).

4.3.1 Section 1 − Project Office

The South African Project Office data will be discussed in detail; this will pertain to the first ten questions, thereafter, the same will be shown for the Nigerian Project Office. Responses received from participants representing the South African Project Office are reflected in the bar chart below. Each of the ten questions is shown by the corresponding number of the question only. This visual representation is selected by the researcher, as it does not clutter the graph with excessive text.

In the first section the participant’s view of the Project Office(s) is solicited. Participants are requested to select the option that best describes their opinion regarding the ten statements and/or questions posed; only one selection is allowed per statement and/or question. The following statements form part of the Project Office section in this questionnaire:

  1. The processes and procedures used in the Project Office in my service hub are clear to me.
  2. The process requirements from the MUSA Project Office are clear to me.
  3. The four Project Offices should align with the MUSA Project Office. What is your opinion?
  4. The four Project Offices are currently aligned with the MUSA Project Office.
  5. Project Offices in MUSA must all follow the same processes and procedures.
  6. The Project Office in my service hub or the MUSA Project Office allows me to make contributions towards new processes and procedures.
  7. The Project Office ways of working are aligned with the company’s corporate strategy.
  8. Resource management could benefit from aligned ways of working.
  9. Communication will improve when alignment of the Project Offices occurs.
  10. The customer will perceive Ericsson as being more professional if our ways of working are standardised.

Table 4.1 and Figure 4.1 below reflect the summated results gleaned from the questionnaires submitted by participants residing in the South African Project Office. They indicate that the top three statements with which they ‘Strongly Agree’ are the following:

  • 79% state that all four Project Offices should align with the MUSA Project Office, as per statement number 3.
  • 75% show that Project Offices in MUSA must all follow the same processes and procedures, referred to in statement number 5.
  • 71% strongly agree that the customer will perceive Ericsson as being more professional if our ways of work are standardised, as extracted from statement number 10.

The results depicted in Table 4.1 indicate the frequency of responses, as per the following Likert scale:

  • Strongly Agree.
  • Agree.
  • Disagree.
  • Strongly Disagree.

The researcher assigns a numerical value to each level of response in the questionnaire in order to aid with the calculation of percentages, as well as graphing of the data. The four options are represented as follows:

1 = Strongly Agree.

2 = Agree.

3 = Disagree.

4 = Strongly Disagree.

Table 4.1: Section 1 – Project Office responses for the South African Project Office (Source: own source, 2011).

The percentages calculated in Figure 4.1 are a conversion of data from Table 4.1.

Figure 4.1: Section 1 – Project Office responses for the South African Project Office (Source: own source, 2011).

Top 3 results in support of statements with which participants ‘Agree’ are:

  • 67% believe that the processes and procedures used in the Project Office in their service hub are clear to them, as depicted in statement number 1.
  • 67% indicated that the Project Office in their service hub or the MUSA Project Office allows them to make contributions towards new processes and procedures, referring to statement number 6.
  • 58% selected that the process requirements from the MUSA Project Office are clear to them, as per statement number 2.

Writing presentations is not a problem anymore, and we’ll gladly make out your customer service presentation. Our writers will write it for you from scratch following all requirements you have.

Some of the more negative responses reflected by participants from the South African Project Office are captured below.

  • 8% strongly disagree that the four Project Offices are currently aligned with the MUSA Project Office, as can be seen in the results for statement number 4.
  • 4% of participants strongly disagree with statements number 1 and 6. The processes and procedures used in the Project Office in their service hub are not clear to them. The Project Office in their service hub or the MUSA Project Office doesn’t allow them to make contributions towards new processes and procedures.

Last but not least, participants registered some statements, with which they ‘Disagree’ as:

  • 29% disagree that four Project Offices are currently aligned with the MUSA Project Office.
  • Some statements are tied with an 8% response on disagreement related to statements number 2, 6 and 7. The process requirements from the MUSA Project Office are not clear to them. The Project Office in their service hub or the MUSA Project Office doesn’t allow them to make contributions towards new processes and procedures. The Project Office ways of working are not aligned with the company’s corporate strategy.

It could be said that participants in the South African Project Office are mostly positive about standardization, when asked to comment on their current processes and procedures. They seem to agree that alignment has multiple benefits for the organisation as a whole. An average number of participants indicate that the processes that they are expected to follow are clear to them. This number, however, should be considerably enlarged, as participants should ideally reflect at least an 85% score when referring to clarity and expectations. A minority responded that the processes to be followed are not clear to them and that they feel they are not allowed to contribute to new processes. Some of these responses could possibly be contributed to new Project personnel being present in this Project Office, who might find all the processes a bit overwhelming and as stated, perhaps somewhat unclear. Nevertheless, the researcher shall make note of such responses in order to improve internal customer satisfaction.

Responses received from participants representing the Nigerian Project Office are reflected in the bar chart below. Each of ten questions is shown by the corresponding number of the question only. This visual representation is selected by the researcher, as it does not clutter the graph with excessive text.

Table 4.2 and Figure 4.2 reflect data gleaned from the Nigerian Project Office. The same format shall be used in analysis of the responses received from participants in this office as was utilised in the South African Project Office data representation above.

Table 4.2: Section 1 – Project Office responses for the Nigerian Project Office (Source: own source, 2011).

Top three responses received from participants who ‘Strongly Agree’ with the following statements are represented by the following figures:

  • 75% respond in favour of statement number 10; the customer will perceive Ericsson as being more professional if our ways of work are standardised.
  • 60% strongly agree that Project Offices in MUSA must all follow the same processes and procedures.

55% voiced their opinion that four Project Offices should align with the MUSA Project Office. Equally important, participants indicated that statement 9 alludes to the improvement of communication when alignment of the Project Offices occurs. When asked what some of the biggest challenges are that Project Managers face in team-building, Haywood (2005:48) confirms that: “Aligning process and getting agreement on it – those who can get agreement definitely have a lot less conflict”.

Figure 4.2: Section 1 – Project Office responses for the Nigerian Project Office (Source: own source, 2011).

Referring to the next level on the Likert scale, data gathered from Nigerian participants pertaining to statements with which they ‘Agree’ are:

  • 70% agree that the process requirements from the MUSA Project Office are clear to them.
  • 70% feel that the Project Office in their service hub or the MUSA Project Office allows them to make contributions towards new processes and procedures.
  • 65% experience that the processes and procedures used in the Project Office in their service hub are clear to them.
  • Only one statement is registered with a 5% ‘Strongly Disagree’ response, which states that four Project Offices that are currently aligned with the MUSA Project Office.
  • A fairly high number of participants indicated that they disagree with statement number 4 with a score of 50% − four Project Offices are currently aligned with the MUSA Project Office.
  • 20% feel that they do not agree with statement number 1; the processes and procedures used in the Project Office in their service hub are not clear to them.
  • With a 15% disagreement related to statement number 2; the process requirements from the MUSA Project Office are not clear to these participants.

In summary, the responses from participants representing the Nigerian Project Office, as indicated in Figure 4.2, are positive in relation to the ideal that standardisation and alignment is the best way of work. This would yield the greatest results for the organisation, as well as its customers. In close comparison, most of the respondents indicated that they have clarity on the processes and procedures that they are required to follow. Participants in the South African Project Office seemed to have a clearer indication on what is expected from them, than their counterparts in Nigeria. It could be contributed to the fact that the South African Project Office adheres to PEMA, as well as the SI Maturity model, whereas the Nigerian Project Office has only made an introduction to these programs. What is interesting to note, negative responses from the participants in the Nigerian Project Office are far greater than the negative responses received from the South African Project Office. Half of all participants in Nigeria stated that there is misalignment among the Project Offices. Non-standardisation of processes also was ranked higher on negative opinions in Nigeria than in South Africa.

Table 4.3 and Figure 4.3 reflect the results for the market unit as a whole based on the first ten questions that pertain to the Project Office processes and procedures, as well as the alignment or lack of it. Results are calculated by adding the South African Project Office scores to the Nigerian Project Office scores and then dividing the sum by two.

Table 4.3: Section 1 – Project Office responses for the market unit as a whole (Source: own source, 2011).

Levelling the playing field, it is shown that opinions across the market unit are in support of the following top three statements as ‘best practice’ in an ideal world:

  • 73% of participants are in strong agreement that the customer will perceive Ericsson as being more professional if the ways of work are standardised in Project Offices.
  • 68% agree that Project Offices in MUSA must all follow the same processes and procedures.
  • 67% are of the opinion that four Project Offices should align with the MUSA Project Office.

Figure 4.3: Section 1 – Project Office responses for the market unit as a whole (Source: own source, 2011).

From an improvement perspective, the market unit results reflect that the following items deserve more attention than others, seeing that the current condition is reflected in such negative observations:

  • 47% of all market unit participants indicated that four Project Offices are currently not aligned with the MUSA Project Office. This is evident in their selection that 7% strongly disagree that alignment is currently achieved, while 40% disagree with the current alignment.
  • 24% feel that the processes and procedures used in the Project Office in their service hub, as well as process requirements from the MUSA Project Office, are not clear to them. 2% strongly disagree that they have clarity on what is expected of them, while 22% disagree with it.

Overall, it is evident that all participants agree that it is necessary to standardise and align project management processes and procedures across the market unit in order to achieve greater success in project execution. At the same time, it is noted that this is currently not the case and deserves a lot of attention in remediation.

A handful of participants supplied written comments in addition to completing the checklist. This gives some insight into impacts experienced by them. Direct quotes are listed as comments; however, the participants’ names are not published due to the nature of the questionnaire responses being anonymous. Only statements and/or questions with feedback are listed, hence, the break in numbering.

Statement 1. The processes and procedures used in the Project Office in my service hub are clear to me.

Comments to this statement:

  • “They are not updated” (Anonymous, 2007).
  • “Could also be improved” (Anonymous, 2007).
  • “With training” (Anonymous, 2007).

Statement 2. The process requirements from the MUSA Project Office are clear to me.

Comment to this statement:

  • “I know the requirement but I am not sure that this is all processes” (Anonymous, 2007).

Question 3. The four Project Offices should align with the MUSA Project Office. What is your opinion?

Answer to this question:

  • “Then we don’t have any problem when we move around recourses” (Anonymous, 2007).

Statement 5. Project Offices in MUSA must all follow the same processes and procedures.

Comments to this statement:

  • “This is a must” (Anonymous, 2007).
  • “In order to answer the strategy” (Anonymous, 2007).

Statement 6. The Project Office in my service hub or the MUSA Project Office allows me to make contributions towards new processes and procedures.

Comments to this statement:

  • “This I think it’s up to individuals to push for changes, not all people will come up with own ideas” (Anonymous, 2007).
  • “It is not clear at all to whom we should report and why” (Anonymous, 2007).
  • “Because we don’t have access to the useful tool like SAP” (Anonymous, 2007).

Statement 7. The Project Office ways of working are aligned with the company’s corporate strategy.

Comments to this statement:

  • “Partly, but as stated earlier I am not 100% aware of the corporate strategy” (Anonymous, 2007).
  • “They are not treated as live documents” (Anonymous, 2007).
  • “Do employees know the company strategy?” (Anonymous, 2007).

Statement 8. Resource management could benefit from aligned ways of working.

Comment to this statement:

  • “If everything is aligned, less resources are needed and double work will be less” (Anonymous, 2007).

Is essay writing just not for you? Want some more free time? Then consider buying essays online at Pro-Papers writing service, where you’ll get real results for little amount of money.

Statement 9. Communication will improve when alignment of the Project Offices occurs.

Comment to this statement:

  • “This will only be achieved if a communication plan is established” (Anonymous, 2007).

Statement 10. The customer will perceive Ericsson as being more professional if our ways of working are standardised.

Comments to this statement:

  • “Not only MUSA, should be the same around the globe” (Anonymous, 2007).
  • “Standardisation doesn’t mean, less creativity and decision making for PM” (Anonymous, 2007).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published / Required fields are marked *