Mr. Keneth Ashigbey, MD, Graphic Communication Group

ken ash How long have you been practicing project management?

Initially, I had the intention of working as an electrical engineer since school days, and was doing internship with Construction Company which had graduates as project managers. I got to understand projects but not the PMI way of managing projects. As at 1992 I was working on projects, handling schedules, cost and resources but did not know that I was implementing projects. 

In 1996, I was working with Fanel ltd which was doing a project for Taysec. That is where I got involved with proper Project management. I got certified as PMP in the early 2000. I tried to break management of everything I do into projects. I have found out that every project I spend about 72 percent of time on planning turns up successful.

What are some of the projects you have managed?

OMP

OMP Soccer Academy both local and international, my crew and I did the management plan for the project and supervised it through to the end.

Africa Cup of nation (AFCON 08); my team and I were responsible to syndicate sponsorship for the AFCON 08 within a short period of time and we were able to raise millions of Ghana cedis. It was a management task which was converted to Project because it had a beginning and an end.

The coverage of the 2008 Ghana presidential and parliamentary elections which was also a project, varied stakeholder, how important it is and sensibility of the stakeholders are different. The success of every project is not the outcome of the event but the impact it has on the stakeholders.

MultiTV

The objective of the project was increasing the penetration of the digibox in homes. I managed it as a program and broke it down into phases. We had to plan, assign resources execute and monitor the whole program. The stakeholder analysis was very interesting, we had to deal with the importers, retailers and installers as well but I think that was a very successful project.  The positive impact and result can be seen in how multitv has penetrated homes with their satellite TV in Ghana.

Graphic
The redesigning of Graphic was a successful project with a lot stakeholders, a lot of interest and very expensive.  The outcome was great newspaper. The positive impact was seen in a lot of print media that copied what we did.

The change of a new ERP at graphic is an ongoing project and it is a very expensive one. The challenge is that a lot of IT projects fail, so to do this we needed to do a lot of planning which involved the use of the templates in project management to ensure successful project.

What are some of the challenges u face?

It takes a lot of discipline to use the guidelines. You may think: why should I do all these report bit. Wait until you have a major problem on the project then you will realize the importance of what you did. Documentation and processes can be a challenge.

Working with people of the various cultures is very interesting but the PMI guidelines provide the guide.

What can the Chapter do to achieve its vision of managing 100 Government projects

We need to start taking projects and making our voices heard on projects which are mismanaged in the country. We need to point out the practices that are not acceptable in project management. It going to be difficult since everything in Ghana is partisan. However as a Chapter we need to take a particular position by taking a particular project and analyzing it. We should also give free and open consultancy and advice on such projects.

Members should be encouraged to be good examples so that we can take their projects and open it up for scrutiny. This would show the difference in results of projects which are managed by members and that of Non-professional members.

Do you have anything to tell the members of PMP and the public?

PMP is a scarce resource that Africa needs and the change that should happen in Africa.

Members must live the ethics of the PMI global and the local Chapter, the integrity is so important. The taking of bribes or paying money to be awarded contracts should end. We should be able to take projects and drive for impact not just output and  reject projects that have no impact on stakeholders.

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