Supply Chain Blog

Supply Chain Project Management in Africa:is Africa really different?

Posted by Dianna Vorpagel on Thu, Aug 05, 2010

Once you have arrived at the office to start your new project, with a new management team and a new project team, many things about successful project management are the same all over the world.

  • Top management support is essential
  • Communication, communication, communication
  • Willingness and ability of the involved teams
  • Client ownership of project
  • Effective change management
  • Sound Project Management methodology, including
    • Clearly defined and well understood project deliverables
    • Identification of risks/issues with mitigating actions & resolutions
    • Involvement all stakeholders as much as necessary to ensure complete buy-in at all levels of the company throughout the project
    • A well developed, realistic plan, built with the team
    • Measurement of progress
    • Report on progress at agreed intervals and deal with issues immediately

Where local experience becomes valuable is in dealing with some of the testing situations like intermittent electricity, slow internet, limited telecoms, transportation difficulties (go-slow traffic can take hours!!!), various forms of corruption and so on; and it’s always a surprise which combination you will encounter on any given day!  

A successful Project Manager in Africa needs to be flexible, creative and innovative to overcome the various barriers to success that may come their way. 

Before you reach the office, the daily challenges in African countries can present their own variety of “interesting” events that make for great story telling... later!!

Project Management in Africa

Dianna Vorpagel is a Supply Chain Consultant & Project Manager with broad supply chain, IT, operations, finance and accounting experience. Her international experience has been with a large number of multinational companies. She has worked as Project Manager for various international IT implementations and supply chain improvement projects including in Africa, CEE, West Europe, Australasia, North America and the UK.

Image credit: stck.xchng

ü  Clearly defined and well understood project deliverables

ü  Identification of risks/issues with mitigating actions & resolutions

ü  Involvement all stakeholders as much as necessary to ensure complete buy-in at all levels of the company throughout the project

ü  A well developed, realistic plan, built with the team

ü  Measurement of progress

ü  Report on progress at agreed intervals and deal with issues immediately

Tags: Doing Business in Africa, Dianna Vorpagel