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The Role of Project Management Training in Determining Project Success

STUDENT PAPER

A Case Study of River Nzoia Basin Project in Kenya 

By Milcah G. Muriuki

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Mombasa, Kenya
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ABSTRACT 

A project is defined by various dimensions as a result of its various characteristics and its dynamic nature. To achieve project success, management must as much as possible adopt the project management approach, by clearly stating their desired goals and outcomes. There is therefore need to create clear objectives and enhance the conditions for the attainment of good results. Many scholars have highlighted the importance of knowledge in project management as a key that provides an organization with clear mechanisms that improves the organizations ability to plan, organize, communicate, coordinate, deploy and control important functions and centre its activities and the ways it uses its entire resources to improve the project success. This serves to underscore the importance of having the project team with the right skills so as to be able to undertake these key functions.

The general objective of this research was to establish the role of project management training in determining the project’s success in Kenya. The study sought to answer the following questions; to what extent does training in project planning influence project success in Kenya?; What are the effects of training in risk management in relation to  project success in Kenya? And does training in monitoring and control determine project success in Kenya? The case study for this research was the River Nzoia Basin project.

The study adopted a descriptive design to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. The target population was drawn from a population frame provided by the River Nzoia Basin Project and UNEP which was the project sponsoring organization and consisted of coordinators, project managers and staff. The sampling procedure employed was census and the entire population of 35 respondents was studied from the River Nzoia Basin project. Data was collected using questionnaires. A pilot study was conducted to establish the accuracy and reliability of the research instrument. Data was analyzed with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 21.0) Quantitative data was  presented inform of tables, pie-charts and bar graphs while qualitative data was given inform of explanatory notes.

The research had a high response rate. Out of the total 35 questionnaires issued to the respondents, 32 were returned dully completed representing 91.4% of the total study population. In determination of project success, 62.5% of the total respondents who participated in the study acknowledged that so far the project has achieved its set objectives, while 37.5% of the respondents indicated that the project has not achieved its set objectives. Most respondents stated that project success can be measured by how well project inputs are transformed into outcomes, achievement of project objectives, levels of stakeholder satisfaction and evaluation in terms of quality, time and cost.

From the findings of the research, planning was a major determinant of the success of the River Nzoia Basin project according to 84.4% of the respondents. This was done through ensuring proper usage of resources and minimizing wastage. Further Majority (38.9%), (83.3%), (50.0%), (77.8%) of the respondents strongly agreed and agreed respectively that various aspects of risk management are essential in successful project implementation and management. On monitoring and control majority of respondents representing 62.5% of the total study population indicated that the level of influence of monitoring and control was high, while 28.1% and 9.4% stated that the level was moderate and low respectively.

The variables under study expressed a positive correlation coefficient of r = 0.748 indicating that there is a significant relationship between these variables. Therefore 74.8% probability of project success is influenced by project planning, risk management and monitoring and control. From the findings of the study, it can be concluded that it is paramount that every organization undertaking projects ensures that its project staff are adequately trained in professional and technical skills to maximize the project outcomes. Therefore further research should be conducted to determine the effects of training in project planning, risk management and monitoring and control in sector specific projects so as to increase the available knowledge on determinants of project success.

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Editor’s note: This paper was the result of a research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Science Degree in Project Management, CBD-Mombasa Campus, Department of Entrepreneurship and Procurement, School of Human Resource Development, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya.

About the author

flag-kenyapmwj17-dec2013-Muriuki-AUTHOR IMAGEMilcah G. Muriuki

Kenya 

Milcah Muriuki was born in Kiambu County in the outskirts of Nairobi-Kenya. She grew up around the slopes of Ngong Hills where she attained both her primary and secondary education. Upon completion of secondary education she travelled to Uganda where she studied and obtained her bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. She then worked for various organizations before she developed an urge to further her education.

Most community and faith-based projects in Kenya lacked professional knowledge on how to run their projects successfully, this realization is what led the author to pursue a Master of Science Degree in Project Management from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). Upon completion the author wants to apply the knowledge acquired from the university to train project managers in robust project management practices and undertaking project management consultancies in the areas of project implementation, monitoring and control. She can be contacted on [email protected].

About Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) is a public institution in Kenya established as a University through an Act of parliament (the JKUAT Act, 1994) and inaugurated on 7th December 1994. The university’s mission is to offer accessible quality training, research and innovation in order to produce leaders in the fields of Agriculture, Engineering, Technology, Enterprise Development, Built Environment, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and other Applied Sciences to suit the needs of a dynamic world. Its vision is to be a University of global excellence in Training, Research and Innovation for development. Further information about the university can be obtained from www.jkuat.ac.ke