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The effect of using multi-skilled workforce on the flexibility of project resource scheduling and project costs: Eskom PTM central group project execution department.

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ABSTRACT The introduction of multi-skilling within organisations is normally conducted with the aim of improving efficiency, quality, production and cost effectiveness. The study addressed the effect of using multi-skilled workforce in the execution of project activities by studying the changes in project execution resource scheduling flexibility and project costs in response to workforce multi-skilling strategy. A quantitative research design was used, to test the concept of workforce multiskilling to predict its influence on project resource scheduling, project cost saving, project duration, effect on optimal utilization of project technicians and members if adopted at Eskom PTM Central Group department. An electronic questionnaire was distributed to collect data and statistical analysis of data was conducted. The hypothesis testing performed concluded as follows; there is evidence that the use of multi-skilled workforce provides for flexible project resource scheduling as much as 3.3 times. However, there is probably no positive relationship between multiskilled workforce and project costs. Further results indicated that using multiskilling has 3.3 times negative significant impact on project duration. On the other hand, the use of multi-skilling could have as much as 3.8 times positive significant impact on job redesign. And lastly, the use of multi-skilling could have up to 3.5 times positive significant impact on multi skills adoption rate. It is recommended that for Eskom PTM Central Group to realize full benefits of multi-skilling strategy in project execution there must be an action to fast-track cross-skilling initiatives with the aim of reducing time taken to complete a task and ultimately improve the influence of multi-skilling on project duration and costs. This research contributes to knowledge of engineering project management staffing of teams and effective management of operations. The arrangement of research objectives was a carefully thought out exercise to allow for research results to be quantified and generalized to the research site, to enhance business decision making. Key words: Multi-skilling, flexible project scheduling, project costs, project duration, job redesign, multi skills adoption.


Master’s Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.