Factors influencing performance of mega engineering projects: a case of Kengen’ s Olkaria Geothermal projects, Kenya
Mega engineering projects are critical to success of any developed or developing economy. Unfortunately, and despite their criticality, megaprojects are associated with extremely poor design and delivery performance. Studies conducted with a view to explore performance based issues in this regard are largely concentrated internationally while Kenyan literature on the same remains scanty. Against this backdrop, the present study set out to investigate the factors influencing the performance of mega engineering projects with the reference to KenGen’s Olkaria geothermal projects. The study adopted descriptive research design to collect research data. This study targeted various stakeholders in the infrastructure development sector and more specifically to the energy sector including; geoscientists, the drilling engineers, project managers, project funders, environmentalists, the energy ministry, the local governments and the citizens in the affected areas. Samples were identified based on existing differences by use of a stratified probability sampling procedures as well as purposive non-probability sampling procedure. Data was collected from subjects and phenomena by use of self-administered questionnaires. Data was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential techniques from which generalizations were drawn about the behavior of various variables. The findings of the study are presented in accordance with the variables and themes of the study. Findings reveal that most mega engineering projects by the organization perform best in resource utilization, followed by schedule performance, then societal and commercial viability. It was also noted that a considerable number of projects are not completed within budget. Finally, the study concludes that the most critical factors determining mega engineering project performance according to the respondents include technology, personnel training, physical infrastructure and procurement policy respectively. The study recommends the adoption of infrastructure assessment systems to measure the sustainability of available physical infrastructure in the event of mega project developments; technology integration through the adoption of Project Management Information Systems (PMIS); adoption of Web Service-based Procurement services; and adequate training and development is thus crucial on matters relating to pertinent mega project development concepts.