Amalgamation of Project and Business Models

to Improve Power Plants Life Cycle Management



By Dr Lalamani Budeli

South Africa




The continuous rise in carbon emissions over the last 30 years and growing global demand for stable electricity for cooling, heating, and transportation represent a major challenge worldwide. The emergence of renewable technology such as wind, solar, gas and photovoltaic cells has lead to the development of mini-grids which is threatening utilities existence globally. For large power utilities to secure a competitive advantage in the energy sector, improving the efficiency of life cycle management programs must be achieved by the successful execution of projects throughout the power plant existence.

There are different life cycle models considered by utility owners which include project life cycle model (PLCM), asset life cycle model (ALCM), and business life cycle models (BLCM) which all aim to integrate organizational effort to improve or maintain performance. Project and portfolio managers must select projects that provide an adequate return on investment (ROE) and drop those that will not for a firm to maintain a sustainable advantage over its competitors. The need for tools and processes for determining the right projects to pursue and which to terminate increases as project and portfolio management becomes more strategically focused.

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how using an integrated business model to make decisions regarding individual projects can improve portfolios of projects and project management by coupling projects to the strategic management of the firm and position it to make decisions in the best interest of the company’s shareholders.

Keywords: Business model, plant life cycle management, Project management


To ensure that selected projects meet the goal of a firm, project and portfolio tools and processes must take a holistic view of projects which can be achieved by using business models to evaluate the viability of individual projects. Due to changing business models, traditional business models driven by specific plans to ensure adherence to routines that worked in the past are no longer sufficient for future survival mostly as a consequence of technology innovation, and its effect on the business. Today’s unpredictable business environment coupled with globalization is characterized by an increasing pace of radical and unforeseen changes in the business environment which demands that the same routines and decision-making processes must redefine themselves to become inherently pro-active and adaptive. Traditionally utility models require that a life of plant plan is developed summarizing all activities to be performed until the asset is retired. Fossil power plant can live up to 60 years, the rate of innovation and environmental regulations that happens in five years gives a lot of opportunities to consider which normally change priorities of project portfolios as a result of changing business objectives.

In traditional utilities, the objective of the power plant life of plant plan (LOPP) is to ensure the sustainability of future energy supply. Every life of the plant plan project (LOPP) starts with a set of user’s requirements which are translated into unique technical specifications for a specific environment for implementation purpose. As a result, the execution of a LOPP project is subject to numerous constraints that limit the commencement or progression of field operations, which invariably have a significant negative impact on overall project performance.

Background of the study

According to the International energy agency (2010-48), the essential challenge of most power utility is to improve the performance of the existing generating plant specifically considering how to evaluate performance in the context of multiple objectives including reliability, availability, efficiency, environmental performance, and flexibility. Ramage and Armstrong (2005-14) understood that project failure or project delays are a global phenomenon and South Africa is not an exception. Baccarin (1999-63) argues that it is significant to differentiate between project success criteria and project success factors because criteria are used to measure success although factors facilitate the achievement of success.



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How to cite this paper: Budeli, L. (2020). Amalgamation of Project and Business Models to Improve Power Plants life Cycle Management; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VI, June.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/pmwj94-Jun2020-Budeli-Amalgamation-of-Project-and-Business-Models4.pdf



About the Author


Dr Lalamani Budeli

South Africa



Dr Lalamani Budeli obtained his degree as an Engineer in Electrical Engineering at the Vaal University (VUT), BSc honors in Engineering Technology Management at University of Pretoria (UP), Master in engineering development and Management at North West University (NWU), Master of business administration at Regent Business School (RBS) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Development and Management at North West University (NWU), Potchefstroom, South Africa. Currently, he is a managing director of BLIT, an engineering, research, and project management company based in South Africa.

His research interests include project portfolio management, agile project management, plant life cycle management, advanced systems analytics, project early warning system, and the use of artificial intelligence in project management. Currently, he is spending most of the time on research that is looking at the development of system and application that uses the latest technology like block chain, internet of things (IoT) , Big data, and artificial intelligence. Lalamani Budeli can be contacted at budelil@blit.co.za.