South African Journal of Industrial Engineering
On-line version ISSN 1012-277X
DU RANDT, F.J.; VAN WAVEREN, C.C. and CHAN, K.-Y.. An empirical study on the critical success factors of small- to medium-sized projects in a South African mining company. S. Afr. J. Ind. Eng. [online]. 2014, vol.25, n.2, pp. 13-28. ISSN 1012-277X.
Projects that fail, for whatever reason, can impact negatively on society, organisations, and other stakeholders. A number of researchers have identified various critical success factors (CSFs) that can influence the outcome and success of a project. This research therefore aims to determine the CSFs that influence various success measures of small- to medium-sized projects at a South African mining company, Exxaro Resources' Grootegeluk Coal Mine. Other objectives of this research include determining the extent of the impacts of these CSFs on the different success measures of a project. The investigation suggests that there are correlations among CSFs, and that certain factors impact the outcome of projects far more than others. This research finds that the single most important CSF for small- to medium-sized projects is the selection of a competent project manager. The competent project manager is characterised by a group of interrelated CSF factors: good leadership, commitment, and learning from past experiences. Based on the research results, other CSFs are discussed and explored in order for recommendations to be made on how this mining company, and possibly other organisations, can achieve greater project success.