Chrisjan van Wyk

CR-van-WykPaper (28): Facilitative leader and leadership development of a project team during implementation phase – a case study.

Abstract: Organisations are turning to project managers to deliver one-of-a-kind or complex initiatives required to remain competitive. Despite the formalisation of the project management profession up to 65% of industrial capital projects fail to meet business objectives. Research literature suggests that project managers require leader and leadership skills to contribute to the successful completion of projects, meeting business objectives and ensuring customer satisfaction throughout the project life cycle. Fortunately leader and leadership skills can be developed, but due to the uniqueness and temporary nature of projects different methodologies are required to develop these skills.

This study utilised a case study research approach and evaluated the benefits of facilitative leader and leadership development of the project management team on a mega project over a two year period. Facilitative development combined the benefits of on-the-job training linked to a strategic business goal, action learning, coaching and the development of the emotional intelligence of the project management team.

This research shows that the development of the emotional intelligence of the project management team during the project contributed to both the personal development of each team member and enhanced the efficacy of the management team. The two year development process entrenched the learning and development of the leader and leadership skills of the project team members. This development contributed to the successful completion and ramp up of the project.

The model developed from this research can contribute to the continuous development of project managers and project teams to enhance the success rate of especially capital projects.

Biography: Chrisjan van Wyk has a mechanical engineering background and has been involved in projects in the metals and minerals industry since 1992. He started his career in project management in 2001. He has managed various projects as a client project manager as well as project manager for the EPCM’s or EPC contractors.

His project experience includes executing projects in steel plants, platinum smelters, base metal refineries, sulphuric acid plants, diamond processing plants, uranium processing plants, open pit iron ore mining and processing. Infrastructure projects included railway lines, water pumping systems, roads, municipal services and housing developments.

His strengths are strategic thinking, project execution strategy, leadership and team development. He believes that successful projects are delivered by successful teams and therefore places a huge focus on leadership, team development and team integration.
He completed his M.Eng in project management (Cum Laude) in 2015. He also founded a consulting company in 2015 which focuses on the leadership development of project managers and project teams to contribute to project success.