CPD Courses Accredited by SAIChE

SAIChE-388: Reliable Project Completion Course


CPD credits 2.  Provider: Onovo (Teamworks) (SAIChE-SPV-008)

A six Week Online Course for Professionals. Deal with techniques that can enhance the successful execution of our projects.

The course runs as an online set of 6 Modules, about one hour each, followed by a Q&A session two days after each module, to help us flesh out the techniques covered in the course.

Aims of Course:

To equip leaders and members of project teams to develop the skills to complete complex projects on time and within budget. This course is for professional engineers, technicians, technologists, project managers, team members of project teams, team leaders and students preparing for professional practice in the fields of engineering (all disciplines) as well as other fields where work is performed in the form of projects.


Many new ideas are translated into actual, real facilities for the benefit of society. The set of activities that lead to this outcome we call a project. A lot of money and planning go into turning the idea into the final product. The planning involves making a list of all the activities that are undertaken, the resources required, the length of time required for the activities, the co-ordination of all interrelated tasks, as well as the specialised skills needed. Once these plans have been drawn up the final costing of the project is finalised, and a team is chosen to carry out the project.

Because of the large sums of money that have to be raised for big projects, it is very important to complete projects within time, as well as budget. When this does not happen, significant damage can be done. Firstly, additional money has to be raised. The client, who is responsible for providing the financial resources for the project is starting to doubt the competence of the team that is executing the project, and there are negative impacts on the beneficiaries of the project, which may include loss of revenue.
Any effort to make the completion of large projects more reliable is worth it.

Despite many project teams having highly skilled professionals working for them, and sophisticated project management tools being available, it is a fairly common occurrence that the completion of projects is often plagued by lengthy delays and financial overruns. Dr Wolfgang Bernhardt, who has been leading some big industrial projects spanning several years as well as being involved for more than 20 years’ teaching project management to senior engineering students, has made a critical analysis of the common reasons for this.

His passion for effective project execution has motivated him to devise a short, affordable online course to effectively address the causes of projects not being completed on time. In this course he teaches a number of skills that makes project execution more reliable. Application of the techniques and principles of this course can save companies that apply these techniques huge sums of money.

Course Overview

The modules of the course are given in the form of lectures. The topics are shown below:

Module 1:  The challenge of Managing BIG PROJECTS
In this module Dr Bernhardt explores the reasons why the standard project management tools such as the Critical Path Method, a detailed Work Breakdown Schedule, and sophisticated Budget control systems are insufficient to provide the mechanism that lead to reliable project completion within the stipulated time and budget. The missing part is the development, amongst the team, of an effective communication process. This is far more comprehensive than following a prescribed set of rules, like drawing up a budget, or creating a detailed mechanical plan. It relies on the active participation of ALL MEMBERS of the team and culminates in forming, within the team, a communication mindset. In this lesson Dr Bernhardt elaborates on the principles underlying a communication mindset.

Module 2:  What is effective communication?
In this module, Dr Bernhardt focuses on what, in the context of project execution, effective communication is, and how it can be achieved. He also highlights examples of BAD communication, which are to be avoided. The emphasis in this module is not that everyone knows what effective communication is, but that EVERYONE on the team PRACTICES it. Becoming an effective communicator involves developing a valuable skill. EVERY member of the team needs to be competent in it.

Module 3:  Using emails and meetings efficiently (including ZOOM).
Emails are powerful communication tools. Using emails in such a way as to benefit the execution of a project requires planning, forethought and organization skills. Similarly, meetings are very useful ways of ensuring that the team is meeting the required deadlines. They are very efficient means whereby unexpected crises can be resolved.  However, it is important to use meetings (as well as emails) carefully so that they achieve the desired outcomes. In the module we concentrate on using emails and meetings purposefully to serve our goal of completing the project within the target date. 

Module 4Managing the Human Element.
For the team leader this is probably the most challenging aspect of managing a project, simply because every person on the team is a unique individual with his/her own personality, strengths, as well as weaknesses.  In the module we cover what is necessary to keep members motivated, to effectively deal with sub-standard performance, as well as making allowance for extra-ordinary circumstances. Part of the leader’s task is to take ownership of developing a communication mindset – because EVERY member needs to play their part to ensure that there is timeous and accurate flow of information relating to completion of tasks to every team member that needs this information.

Module 5Monitoring Progress.
In order to be confident about completing the project on time, it is essential to monitor progress carefully. The monitoring process starts before project execution commences and is complete only when satisfactory handover has taken place, together with a thorough close-out session at which a report is compiled of lessons learnt. It includes thorough training of the client staff ensuring that they are competent in executing any new techniques that may be required to operate new technology installed as part of the project. The principles underlying the communication mindset are operational throughout the monitoring process. These dictate that EVERYONE in the team is involved in monitoring and transmitting all necessary information to all relevant people in the project team, so that each member of the team, as well as the leader, knows exactly what the progress is, as the project execution proceeds. In other words, while the leader takes the overall responsibility for the project, and how it is executed, each member plays a vital part in the monitoring process.

Module 6The Role of the Team Leader.
The leader plays a much more encompassing role than overall co-ordinator of all the activities executed by team members, as well as being the main liaison person between the client and the executing team. A big part of his role involves motivating the team members. He also plays a crucial part in managing unforeseen problems. He needs to build trust between himself and the team. A challenging part of his role involves dealing with members of the team that are not performing according to expectation. This needs to be done without causing major disruption of an otherwise well-functioning team.

For Further Enquiries/More Information:

Go to www.Team-Works.co.za or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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