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South African Journal of Industrial Engineering

On-line version ISSN 2224-7890
Print version ISSN 1012-277X

S. Afr. J. Ind. Eng. vol.19 n.2 Pretoria  2008


Decision-making and management of pre-investment in a programme of projects



R.P. BothaI; H. SteynII

IGraduate School of Technology Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa
IIGraduate School of Technology Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa




Owing to ever-increasing business pressures and the resulting requirements of organisations, individual projects rarely fulfil all expectations; so it is quite often necessary to implement a programme of interdependent projects. In such programmes the matter of pre-investment (investing effort or money before the project results are required) is a recurring theme amongst programme managers. However, very few decision-making techniques or management guidelines on the topic of pre-investment are available. In this paper a framework is proposed to assist a programme or project manager in the decision-making and management of pre-investment in a programme. The framework is based on pre-investment propositions with high levels of support from a Delphi panel, in the context of a multi-billion Rand petrochemical programme. The results of the research are three matrices that provide guidance on the timing of pre-investment, tools and information required, and benefits of pre-investment. These guidelines all relate to four aspects of pre-investment: context, systems and procedures, timing, and scope. Even though the work was done in the context of a specific case, the pre-investment guidelines should be applicable in various industries.


Die steeds toenemende druk op besighede en die gevolglike vereistes wat ondernemings aan hulself stel, lei daartoe dat individuele projekte selde aan al die verwagtings voldoen. Dit is dus dikwels nodig om 'n program van interafhanklike projekte te implementeer. In sulke programme is voorafinvestering (investering van fondse of werk voordat projekresultate vereis word) 'n saak wat by herhaling deur programbestuurders opgehaal word. Daar bestaan egter tans geen besluitnemings-tegnieke of riglyne vir die bestuur van voorafinvestering nie. Hierdie artikel behandel 'n raamwerk om programbestuurders en projekbestuurders behulpsaam te wees met besluitneming oor en die bestuur van vooraf-investering. Die raamwerk is gebaseer op proposisies ten opsigte van vooraf-investering met 'n hoë vlak van aanvaarding van 'n Delphipaneel, in die konteks van 'n multi-biljoen Rand petrochemiese program. Die navorsing het drie matrikse opgelewer wat riglyne verskaf vir die tydsberekening vir vooraf-investering, hulpmiddels en inligting wat vereis word, en die voordele van vooraf-investering. Al hierdie riglyne hou verband met vier aspekte van vooraf-investering: konteks, stelsels en prosedures, tydsberekening, en bestek. Alhoewel die werk gedoen is in die konteks van 'n spesifieke geval, behoort die riglyne toepassing te vind in verskeie bedrywe.



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1 The author was enrolled for an M Eng (Project Management) in the Department of Engineering and Technology Management, University of Pretoria.

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