An Evolutionary ICT Project Manager Competence Model for the South African Financial Services Industry



Deo van Zyl, PhD

Cranefield College of Project and Programme Management

South Africa



The rapid rate of change in business, technology and the marketplace has exponentially increased pressure on the Financial Service Industry to comply with paradigmatic external and internal forces, to which it is subjected to on a sustained basis. Project managers are at the forefront of such external and internal environmental pressures and are responsible to bring the required level of change in response to dynamic change initiatives; however it has increasingly been observed that project manager skills are critically falling short of both expectations and requirements called for by the various project management tasks.

In mitigation of this challenge faced by the Financial Service Industry, an evolutionary ‘ICT Project Manager Competency Model’ was designed that focussed on the skills that a project manager requires in the South African Financial Services Industry to amicable serve as the designated change agent against the background of evolutionary change dynamics. The primary aim of the designed ‘ICT Project Manager Competency Model’ is to support project management activities in the South African Financial Services Industry to head on meet the demands of ever increasing environmental change. The designed ‘ICT Project Manager Competency Model’ focuses on the Technical, Interpersonal, Contextual, and Conceptual skills underpinned by sufficient tacit and implicit project management experience, all of which are considered absolute requirements for project manager success in the Financial Service Industry.

This designed ‘ICT Project Manager Competency Model’ has furthermore the potential to provide organisations with information that will assess and develop project manager competence, assist with recruiting staff that have the appropriate project management skill sets, form a foundation for coaching and mentorship, as well as assist in creating development interventions such as training roadmap plans for the Information Communications Technology (ICT) Financial Services project manager community. The designed ‘ICT Project Manager Competency Model’ in addition has the potential to aid Financial Service Organisations to serve as ‘reference mechanism’ to determine, which areas their project managers could improve on in order to develop their skill sets and so enhance success rates of projects in highly sophisticated and complex environments.

The Financial Services Industry in South Africa

South Africa’s Financial Services industry comprises over R6 trillion in assets, contributing 10.5 per cent to the GDP of the economy annually, employing 3.9 per cent of the employed and contributing at least 15 per cent to corporate income tax (National Treasury, 2011: Online). It is supported by sound regulatory and legal frameworks and provides a comprehensive list of services including commercial, retail and merchant banking, mortgage lending, insurance and investments. These services are enabled (operationalised) by ICT.

Information and Communications Technology serves as a key business process enabler for the Financial Services Industry, that provides many opportunities due to its positive impact on cost, performance, ability to capture, display, process, store and communicate information (Bjorkdahl 2011:335). Information and Communications Technology affects social interaction, knowledge distribution, economic and business practices, media, political engagement, education, health, leisure and entertainment (Nayak, Thorat & Kalyankar, 2010:220).


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About the Author

pmwj41-Dec2015-van-Zyl-PHOTODeo van Zyl, PhD

Cranefield College of Project and Programme Management

South Africa



Deo van Zyl
holds a PhD from Cranefield College. He is an experienced Technology and Programme Manager for complex IT environments and programmes. Deo has experience in Aviation, Manufacturing, Government and the Financial Services Industries. He has demonstrated experience in systems enhancements, support, consulting and project and programme management, and has a wide range of IT experience, delivering solutions within the constraints of scope, time, and cost along with risk, quality, and customer satisfaction and in line with business strategy.

Deo can be contacted on [email protected]