STRIVING TOWARDS PROJECT MANAGEMENT EXCELLENCE

Service speaks to Mashudu Rulu and Hilton Roos, Directors of C-Squared Project Management

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C2 was established in 2007, at the time their primary objective was to support Eskom Koeberg Nuclear Power Station with the planning and management of high priority, complex and challenging engineering and construction projects within the nuclear energy industry.

In 2016, the ownership structure was transformed when Mashudu, a prominent leader within the business became a majority shareholder. Today, C² is an ISO 9001 certified, 51% Black, Youth, Woman-owned (BYWO) company with a credible track record and with the aspiration to grow the business and expand. Both directors are highly qualified and professionally registered project managers (Engineers, MBA and Project Management Professional-PMI registered).

The purpose of C² is to enhance their customer’s business by achieving better project outcomes.

They achieve this by utilising their specialised skills to:

  • Objectively access project feasibility
  • Develop and plan all aspects of the project including costing; and
  • Effectively and efficiently integrate, manage, monitor and control all projects, programs and contracts.

“We have gained the majority of our experience from managing EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) projects within the nuclear energy industry – which is a highly regulated and strictly governed industry with a strong focus on quality, safety and configuration management. The problems we solve for our customers relate to limiting subjectivity, reducing uncertainty; and establishing effective and efficient project management capability,” Mashudu explains.

The majority of C²’s work is performed within the public sector and the organisation is therefore well skilled and experienced to plan and manage projects within highly governed and regulated environments.

“Typically, the public sector also owns a significant portfolio of large, complex projects and programmes that can make meaningful positive impacts on our economy and society if effectively and efficiently planned and executed, but does not always have the capabilities to internally manage all these projects/programmes.

Our work in the private sector relates to supporting companies that do not have the capability or need for a full-time internal project management office (PMO) service. In these cases, we take ownership of the planning and management of their projects, whilst they remain focused on their core business activities. Specifically, private companies doing direct business with the public sector finds value in engaging our services to support them in assessing the risks associated with the project and ensuring that all stated requirements are taken into account during the planning stages,” Hilton says.

The main focus for C² is to expand its core skills into other areas besides nuclear. In their endeavor to expand their service offering, they have recently completed a project for a private sector client in the aquaculture industry (high electricity consumer) to review and objectively assess the feasibility of alternative energy solutions to support their business.

“Our service offerings are customised in accordance with the specific needs of each customer and can range from project management consulting/resources to a comprehensive project management service at any stage of the project. C² takes ownership and accountability for the successful planning and management of a project.

“Our staff also bring knowledge and experience from other industries such as petrochemical, infrastructure and construction, training simulation and electricity distribution lines, to name a few. With our in-house core skills and resources-wide range of experience, C² can successfully manage engineering and construction related projects in any industry. I would say, we specialize in the management of complex multidisciplinary engineering and construction projects of any size,” explains Mashudu.

The most challenging aspect is the perception that a project manager or project management team must be internal to the organisation and that it cannot be successfully outsourced. “There are arguments for both cases, however, professional project management reduces risks, cut costs and improve project delivery success rates. The sustainability of our business depends on us delivering successful project outcomes for our customers and hence, our drive for, and commitment to achieving success is substantial,” Hilton says.

“We have managed couple of strategic complex programmes at Koeberg Nuclear Power Station (KNPS) which consisted of implementing several multi-disciplinary plant modifications/projects.”

Such as the programmes listed below:

  • Replacement and upgrade of the complete turbine control and protection systems of both KNPS units 1 and 2 to urgently address some of the plant reliability issues experienced at the time,
  • Long-term operation Koeberg life extension program,
  • Some of the post-Fukushima projects (to ensure that the nuclear accident that happened at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011 doesn’t happen at Koeberg).

“These modifications required dedicated regulatory and governance processes and the capital investment being the most significant.

To ensure success, high levels of planning and integration management is required, due to various stakeholders and technical interfaces between different suppliers. Our projects are completed within the parameters of the originally approved business cases,” says Hilton.

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