Document management system in owner companies during project execution
Owner companies should consider all elements of Document Management during a project’s life cycle, identify shortcomings and address them successfully to ensure successful completion of projects and ultimately to also ensure legal compliance as stipulated by contractual agreements. Proper governance during the execution of projects involves, amongst others, the establishment of structures and processes, with appropriate checks and balances built into these structures and processes, to enable all stakeholders to be in a position to have access to relevant documentation. Executing projects makes a huge demand on the flow and management of project related documentation through the different phases of these projects. The research, as documented in this dissertation, investigates and evaluates whether Sasol Technology, as the project execution agent for the Sasol Business Units, has efficient governing Document Management processes and procedures in place to support the successful execution of capital projects. Sasol Technology uses a stage gate model, associated with project life cycles, as a systematic approach for the execution of capital projects. Document Management is a new business function that was established in 2008. Not all the functions involved in the life cycle of project execution are fully aligned with the central function managing documentation. There is thus a need for a fully integrated Document Management System, involving all the functions of Sasol which are involved during the different phases of project execution. The literature study analyses existing world best document management and records management practices and procedures and points out that meticulous and strict document and records management practices form the backbone of organisational authentic evidence compliance. The research design method that was chosen to authenticate the research question is an Exploratory Qualitative Approach, combined with a Descriptive Approach. Results are obtained from a combination of three methods. Published and available existing data of how documents are managed in Sasol was gathered and secondary findings are established. Focused and structured interviews were then conducted with experienced team members from the different functions involved in project execution and lastly, e-mail administrated questionnaires were developed and distributed to relevant project team members within Sasol Technology to assess the current system and to determine additional requirements for an enhanced Document Management System, specifically applicable to owner companies in the project execution environment. Whereas the scrutiny of the secondary sources provides a background and the progress iii made with regard to setting requirements for a standardised Document Management System for the execution of projects in the Sasol Technology and some of the other Sasol Business Units, the primary data findings indicate how the project team members perceive the existing Sasol Technology Document Management System to be. Key findings include, that documentation life cycle management is not fully developed and needs to be addressed in the Sasol Technology project execution environment. Furthermore, integration of the documentation management of the various departments, functions and structures in Sasol will enable better and improved management of project documentation. The specific output of this dissertation is the recommendation of an improved Document Management System to allow the different functions within Sasol Technology and some other Sasol Business Units to have access to an integrated system, included in it all relevant documentation requirements during the life cycle of projects. An added deliverable is a framework of requirements to be included in a document management philosophy, not only for Sasol, but also for other owner companies during project execution.
- ETD@PUK 
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