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Spotlight on project management

by Lesotho Times
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Acting Head of Project Management Itumeleng Letśolo

Bereng Mpaki

THE failure by many organisations and businesses to complete projects on time and within budget is one of the reasons they fail to attract new customers.

This was said by the Central Bank of Lesotho’s (CBL) Head of Project Management Itumeleng Letšolo during a Project Management Conference the apex bank convened last Thursday.

Among the objectives of the two-day event was to build capacity for project managers through sharing knowledge and experiences. The conference was attended by representatives of commercial banks, mobile network operators, institutions of higher learning and government departments among others.

According to Ms Letšolo, the conference which was in its second year, was convened following the realisation that many organisations struggled to manage their projects efficiently and effectively.

As a result, she said, many organisations incurred unnecessary costs by having to engage project management consultants.

“Without sound management skills, projects can take longer than planned or ultimately fail to materialise altogether,” Ms Letšolo said.

“For example, on a national level, donors may withdraw their funding support due to the failure of the recipient agencies to manage previous projects. It, therefore, results in the country losing out on money mean for developmental projects.

“So it important is to equip all people involved in project management, in one way or another, with the latest skills that will make the task more manageable.”

Asked about the impact of last year’s conference, Ms Letsolo said she had noted many project managers were sharing knowledge and experiences among themselves.

“The response has been very encouraging, with competing companies even putting aside their rivalry to share knowledge on project management. We are quite happy with the impact so far.”

During this year’s conference, the focus was on the Agile project management system which focuses on continuous improvement, scope flexibility, team input, and delivering essential quality products.

The conference’s keynote speaker, Innocent Shumba from Zimbabwe-based KIM Consulting, said the Agile project management system simplified the process of delivering and managing projects.

“It emphasizes on delivering projects faster and on budget as compared to the traditional ways of delivering projects,” he told the Lesotho Times on the side-lines of the conference.

Other advantages of the modern approach to project management over conventional methods was its ability to adapt to changing environment,” said Mr Shumba.

“Most of the traditional methods are not friendly to change and are therefore rigid, but Agile embraces change as customer requirements can change in the execution of the project,” he said.

“Agile has that edge where it ensures that the project management team can quickly respond to change and deliver in the shortest possible time so that the products can serve their intended purpose.”

Mr Shumba also indicated that the Agile model also involved consumers of the products in the design processes to ensure it is what they need through quality control mechanisms.

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