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City Boasts Top Project Management Office in South Africa

13 May 2021

Operations keep the lights on, strategy provides the light at the end of the tunnel, but project management is the engine that moves the organisation forward. So says international project management specialist, Joy Gumz.

The City of Cape Town’s project management capabilities have not only moved the administration and Cape Town forward, but have catapulted the city onto the winner’s podium.

The City’s Corporate Project, Programme and Portfolio Management Department (C3PM) was recently named South Africa’s project management office (PMO) of the Year, recognising its excellence in project, programme and portfolio management.

The awards, managed by the Global PMO Alliance, is open to both private and public-sector organisations, and the City is the first public-sector entity to win.

Established in 2011, C3PM comprises 60 project, engineering and contract management employees, who support line departments through the various directorates’ PMOs.

cape town project management
The City’s Corporate Project, Programme and Portfolio Management Department (C3PM) was recently named South Africa’s project management office (PMO) of 2020. From left are Ben Peters (director of C3PM), Mark Cawood (manager of the Project Management Unit), Ian Thomson (manager of the Project Management Office), Gerhard Vivier (manager of the Engineering Services Unit), Azher Shaboodien (manager of the Project Portfolio Management Unit) and Maureen Whare (manager of the Contract Management Unit, Organisational Performance Management).

Measuring ourselves against the best

“In addition, there are over 500 project managers in these directorates working on a range of projects across numerous disciplines,” says Ben Peters, C3PM director.

“After ten years of developing our skills, we wanted to measure ourselves against the best in the country. We were up against the likes of Old Mutual, FNB and Standard Bank, and I’m proud to say we beat them all,” he adds.

Entrants were assessed against six criteria – their journey, client services, best practices, innovation, value generation, and community – to find the best PMO in the country.

All organisations were interviewed by a panel of judges, vying for one of four spots on the shortlist. Having made the shortlist, C3PM had to produce a video that showcased their performance in respect of each of the criteria. The video was evaluated by international judges.

In crowning C3PM as the country’s top PMO, judges congratulated the City on its “complex and robust project, programme and portfolio management practices” and its “evolution to a very advanced project organisation”. Executive director Craig Kesson and Ben Peters received the award on the City’s behalf at a virtual ceremony on 10 March.

Now gunning for global

And now it’s time to see where C3PM stands globally as it goes on to represent South Africa in the international competition.

“Although South African organisations have won the African section before, none has won the overall global award,” says Peters. “We’re very excited at standing a chance of becoming the first South Africans to win the top prize.”

C3PM will be competing with over 300 PMOs from 110 countries, and the winners should be announced by November 2021.

C3PM previously received recognition for its strategic project management response to both the drought crisis in 2018 and the Covid19 pandemic in 2020.