Influence of project management leadership on performance of information technology projects: a case of fin-tech Kenya
Many projects continue to fail despite the huge investment and use of established project methods and techniques, as the leadership competency required for successful project performance have been found lacking. Previous research has stopped short of identifying leadership as a factor that influences project performance. A project‟s success or failure is in part, contingent on effectively managing the constraints of scope, time, costs, and quality expectations. In order to achieve this, it is essential that the project manager possess and display appropriate project management leadership. Empirical literature indicates no evidence of research on leadership aspects that have established it as a factor influencing the performance of Information Technology projects. The aim of this study was to add to the existing body of project management leadership research by examining the influence of leadership aspects on performance of Information Technology projects. The study identified four aspects of leadership which included, skills, experience, control and style and investigated their influence on performance of IT projects at Fintech Kenya. The study employed a descriptive survey design and adopted a combination of both quantitative and qualitative methods. The targeted population comprised 100 full time employees of Fintech Kenya that included senior managers, project managers, project team members and consultants. The sample size was 80 drawn from the targeted population and this was in accordance with the Krejcie and Morgan formula. Data was collected by use of questionnaires, and a pilot study was conducted prior to the main research to pre-test and try out research protocols, data collection instruments, sample strategies, and other research techniques. Both content and construct validation were used to tests the validity of the instrument while Cronbach‟s coefficient was used to assess the reliability of the instruments. Data was collected and analyzed through descriptive analysis and content analysis. The collected data was coded, categorized and presented in form of tables and frequencies. From the findings, 68.11% of the respondents indicated that leadership skills influenced performance of IT projects to a very great extent; 57.97% of the respondents indicated that leadership experience influenced performance of IT projects to a very great extent; 66.66% of the respondents recommended changes to the leadership control (processes and procedures) to positively influence performance of IT projects. While 75% of the respondents indicated that leadership style influenced performance of IT projects at a very great extent. The study concluded that there was a significant relationship between project management leadership aspects and performance of IT projects; project management leadership style had the greatest influence on performance of IT projects. The study recommended that: effective leadership skills to be acquired by all project staff; emphasis be given to the experience of project staff to ensure projects are effectively executed in order to fully meet set objectives; introduction of effective controls including processes and procedures and finally, the study recommended that performance of IT projects should be evaluated from the perspective of leaders and team members using their style to demonstrate concern, care and respect to other employees, in order to increase the employees‟ interest in their work, thereby affecting their job satisfaction positively, enabling them put up better performance.