The role of governance in the success of Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) projects

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Project governance sets the guidelines and operational framework that dictates how decisions should be made during the project process to increase the prospects of successful project delivery. Understanding a project governance mechanism and its complexities and resolving challenges in the application of project governance practices are steps in the right direction to effectively entrenching a project governance mechanism in the organization's projects. This research probes the role of governance in the management of projects. The research followed a qualitative approach using case study method. Questionnaires and document reviews were used as data collection tools. Case data was collected from 6 interviewees and 6 completed projects. Thematic analysis was used to analyse data. The research revealed that PRASA entrenches a governance framework for its projects at different levels of the organization. PRASA follows a standardized structure and work methods that are based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) framework of standards and best practices. The format of the project governance framework to a high degree adheres to the recommendations made by the project governance literature, with various roles and responsibilities such as the sponsor, steering committee, project management office, and a project manager. The application of the governance framework on the projects was found to be similarly applied in the projects reviewed. While certain processes and mechanisms to facilitate the application of a governance mechanism exist, various factors were found to hamper the practical application of the governance framework. Large project steering committee with limited decision making powers, substantial dependence on contractors for project management know-how, long procurement process cycle were some of the factors found to hamper effective application of the governance framework. The research concludes that the limitations in the existing framework as well as the challenges to effective application of the framework are thought to contribute to projects that are late and over budget.