Influence Of Critical Success Factors On Project Performance: A Case Of The National Transport And Safety Authority Of Kenya
In this study the influence of Critical Success Factors on Project Performance has been investigated, taking the case of the National Transport and Safety Authority of Kenya. In this pursuit, four specific research objectives were advanced to guide the inquiry. They included: to examine in what ways Leadership Sponsorship influence project performance; to assess how Human Relation Orientation influence project performance; establish in what ways Communication Orientation influence project performance and to determine how Goal Orientation influence project performance. The study applied a cross-sectional survey research design owing to its ability to allow quantitative and qualitative data from a large population. The study had all employees of the National Transport and Safety Authority who are the project participants in five key management projects at the Authority as the target population. This study used two instruments; a questionnaire and an interview schedule. Questionnaires were administered by the researcher. The study had both quantitative and qualitative data. Using descriptive and inferential statistics, quantitative data was analyzed while content analysis was used to analyze qualitative data. Inferential statistics such as Pearson correlation coefficient and chi-square test was used to analyze quantitative data. Results of quantitative data analysis are presented in tables. The Findings revealed that project performance is determined by Leadership Sponsorship, Goal Orientation and Communication Orientation. When leadership changed by 1 unit, then there was in the same direction a corresponding change by 1.29 units of project performance in the same direction. Similarly, a change in Communication Orientation and Goal Orientation by 1 unit in each case, had a corresponding change of project performance by 1.11 and 1.16 respectively. The researcher however failed to establish any correlation between Human Orientation and project performance and concluded that there was no direct impact of this attribute to the projects at the Authority. There was however limited evidence on its application across all the five management projects at the Authority, explaining in part the negative results. The results depict that at 95% confidence level, Leadership Sponsorship, Communication Orientation and Goal Orientation are significant explanatory variables for any change in project performance. The coefficient of determination (R)2 of the univariate Chi-square Analysis of the results, explaining the magnitude. Interpreting the results Leadership Sponsorship explains 97% of any change in Project Performance, while Communication Orientation explains 89% of any change in Project Performance and Goal Orientation explaining 89% of any change in Project Performance. The remaining 3 % - 11 % of change in the dependent variable (Project performance) respectively, is explained by other factors not measured by this study. The study concluded that the most successful projects within the Authority, where those with a senior member of management, with sufficient authority on people, systems and funds who acted as a Sponsor. The sponsor communicated the vision of the project, motivated the team, resolved conflicts within the project and within the organization, while reinforcing change, and building the necessary coalitions to make this possible. Projects that were Goal Oriented had clearly defined the scope of the project, set a clear path project in terms of what needs to be achieved, and set project milestones. They had also a good focus on the smaller daily xii goals and had ensured congruence amongst team members. Furthermore, the team members were action oriented in the sense that success was defined based on realization of very specific objectives, that were time bound. Finally Saddled between the two aspects as a critical success factor was Communication Orientation. It was evident from the study that the intent of leadership and the work plans of the project managers required an effective cascade to all project team members for realization of any tangible project results. Furthermore, Communication Orientation proved essential in addressing the group dynamics within a project and the management of all project stakeholders. This study therefore recommends the adoption of the principle of Project Leadership Sponsorship and training of senior management members on this aspect. Furthermore, Goal Orientation and Communication Best Practices should be well documented and adopted in projects as means of improving performance. As a matter of fact, the development of a project management manual applying the principles in this study would be a great way to standardize these practices across all management projects.
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