A Dawn of a “New Project Sponsor and Leader” in the Ghanaian Economy
By Dr. Donald Cog Senanu Agumenu
Effective project management and governance are very crucial and imperative, to the successful execution of government policies and strategic development agenda of every economy. It is important to note that, “No country can succeed without creating a strategic project management oriented philosophy that governs its operations holistically”
The high incidence of project failure and poor execution in Africa is not due to lack of resources but, the dearth of people with requisite project handling capacity.
Achieving project and programme efficiency and effectiveness transcends just a task-related deliverables and work-break down structures within departments, agencies and ministries. Although the project leaders and managers must be able to effectively manage goals related to time, scope and cost, or what we refer to as achieving quality, quantity, cost and time (QQTC), they equally have a complex responsibility of managing other complexities within the external and internal stakeholder expectations to achieve success.
It is very evidential that, as the project sponsors identity, conceptualize and develop simple and complex socio-economic interventions in political leadership, it is vital to develop the governance framework, core leadership and managerial skills necessary and crucial to lead, monitor, evaluate, motivate, control and relate to the larger stakeholder community, ranging from the team members, the project scope, to the beneficiaries, the sector and particularly to the good of the project environment and the nation at large. This is a positive indicator of achieving success through every stage of the project with the ‘Governance Structure’. This helps to put the project on a good health and energizes the project stakeholder community for an improved job satisfaction and value for money.
A growing economy with complex projects and programmes and projections, need not only a broad-based leadership structure for good governance but a niche driven approach for successful project delivery. Because of the uniqueness of a project, government as the biggest project initiator, sponsor, and administrator with huge expectations from within and without, has a core responsibility of creating the structural framework that would drive the strategic implementation and success of the projects.
What are Projects and Programmes?
According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), a Project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. A project is temporary in that, it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources. And programmes are groups of projects across various sectors. These sectors include but not limited to corporate, social and political administration. And a project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal.
Notable projects and programmes introduced, executed and formulated by previous and current governments in Ghana to mention but a few, are, Affordable Homes, E-Governance, Water and Sanitation, One Village, One Dam, One District, One Factory, One million US Dollar per district, E-Blocks ,GcNET, Rural Electrification, Power and Energy, National Health Insurance , Eradication of Polio, Girl Child Education, Mitigating the HIV/AIDS Menace, Fighting the Spread of Ebola Virus, Institutionalizing Democratic Governance, Youth Enterprise Support (YES), West African Gas Pipe line Project, Ghana Gas, Constitutional and Policy Reforms, E-Switch, Decentralization, and many more — some are policy related and others in infrastructure.
The case of Sustainable Development Goals otherwise known as Global Goals, of which Ghana is committed to, is a strategic building block for global development. And these encompass sets of 17 sustainable development goals to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030. The UNDP Administrator Helen Clark noted: “This agreement marks an important milestone in putting our world on an inclusive and sustainable course. If we all work together, we have a chance of meetings’ aspirations for peace, prosperity and wellbeing and to preserve our planet”. And this has multiple projects and programmes.
Ghana has a pivotal role to play as a beacon of democracy in Africa to making a conscious effort and investment in championing the goals from within to the global arena which calls for a pragmatic and calculated leap-step approach in policy formation and project delivery across every sector of the economy. And all these must be efficiently and professionally managed to deliver on-schedule with key attention to prudent financial decision making and management, effective contract management, excellent negotiations, ensuring on value for money, adhering to procurement laws to fighting corruption, effective supply chain and logistics management, project sustainability, monitoring and evaluation, risk mitigation, effective planning, global standards and best practices, cost effectiveness, and more importantly within scope and many more.
Project management, then, is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.
About the Author
Dr. Donald Cog Senanu Agumenu is Secretary General, African Project and Programme Management Association (APPMA), Global Advisor and a Member of Global and Presidential Board and Advisory Council of International Board of Standards for the American Academy of Project Management (AAPM). He is also President of the International Association for People and Performance Development in charge of Africa.
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org