Customer service and project performance


at state-owned enterprises: 

Towards a sustainable mechanism



By Ashley Majika

South Africa


In the many years I have been involved in project management, I have witnessed many projects fail to register success mainly as a result of lack of knowledge regarding project success factors. Some organisations which start off very well, sometimes collapse because of failure to address customer service issues and project performance.

Research purpose

The purpose of this scoping review is to (i) discover, describe and understand the correct state of customer service at state-owned enterprises in South Africa, and (ii) draw relationships between customer service and project performance.

Motivation for the study

The study’s findings may assist private and public organisations in broadening customer service approaches in order to improve project performance. Moreover, the research will alert management of the business risk. The importance of this research study is that it will enhance business value to companies. Its PMO and centralised Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) are hampered by the regular reviews of the company’s organisational structure and the lack of integrated project management toolsets.

Research approach/design and method

The study employed a scoping review method to explore the existing challenges affecting project performance at South African state-owned enterprises.

Main findings

The study revealed that clients are dissatisfied with government enterprises’ service to the extent of pointing out that they might take their business elsewhere. The research problem presented in the study is how state-owned enterprises can improve service and project delivery by introducing service performance benchmarking and the best practice project methodology within its IT operational environment.

Practical/managerial implications

The imperatives for service delivery and project delivery perspectives were highlighted in the literature review. The project performance measurement example: European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) excellence model; and balanced scorecard approach to project performance management, were also highlighted in the literature review. The organisational project management maturity and implication of capacity on service and project delivery was also highlighted. The issue of resources and competence within the organisation was found to be critical for the organisation to succeed and the issues pertaining to resources and competence need to be urgently addressed at government enterprises.


The potential significance of this research study is that it will add business value to state-owned enterprises. Business ethical values vary by company, and are defined largely by the behaviours and values that govern a business environment. In general, the business ethical values are a set of guiding principles that encourage individuals in an organisation to make decisions. The primary purpose of undertaking this research is to assist management at government enterprises in decision making and to solve organisational problems. The benefit that the organisations will achieve through this research study is an increase in revenue; minimising of risk; a decrease in expenses; acquiring new customers; improving significant knowledge; and adding financial value.

Key words: Customer service, project management, strategy


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How to cite this paper: Majika, A. (2021). Customer service and project performance at state-owned enterprises:  Towards a sustainable mechanism; PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue XI, November. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/pmwj111-Nov2021-Majika-customer-service-project-performance-at-state-owned-enterprises-2.pdf

About the Author

Ashley Majika

South Africa


Ashley Majika holds MCOM PM (Master of Commerce in Programme Management) degree from Cranefield College in South Africa, Effective Directorship from Stellenbosch Graduate Institution, and Biomatrix- A Systems Approach to Organisation and Societal Change / Post-MBA Programme from Stellenbosch Graduate Institution.

Ashley Majika can be contacted at ashleymaj@webmail.co.za