Critical resource loading for small projects within the petro-chemical industry.
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The efficient management of the resources pool required in the successful completion of small projects within the petro-chemical industry is critical for organisation within the particular industry. The skills required to manage this efficiency specifically in projects has been viewed as a skill that does not necessarily require one to have a specific qualification in project management. The scope of the research project was to define a hypothesis, review relevant literature on previous research and review the hypothesis based on historical data and feedback from the industry received via questionnaires and observations. The key objective of the research project was the development of a model that would provide details of the level of effort for the critical resource types at different phases of the project life cycle. The quantitative research methodology focused firstly on the review and utilisation of academic literature conducted previously on this topic, secondly on the evaluation of feedback from questionnaires distributed to project managers and engineers within and external to Sasol and lastly on participant observations based on previous projects where the researcher had been part of the project team. The initial hypothesis that was adopted prior to commencement of the research process entailed graphical level of effort models for the project management, technical, sponsor and business resources required to successfully move through the different project phases. The hypothesis was analysed against the research results and updated accordingly to provide the proposed level of effort model. The model was then presented and explained in detail in the dissertation to ensure a clear understanding and alignment in terms of the complexity of the project, type of the project, total budget of the project and the planned duration of the project in months. The dissertation has therefore contributed to industry and academia a level of effort model that can assist project managers and engineers to define the phase deliverables and the level of effort required per resources for a particular phase of the four phased project life cycle model. The model presented is dynamic in that it clearly indicates the maximum percentage of effort required per resource; the model, however, does not provide a ramp up or ramp down rate within a particular phase. The details of the ramp up or ramp down rate among other ideas are provided in the dissertation as potential recommendations for future studies.