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Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation eTheses
Title: IDENTIFYING SUCCESS FACTORS IN A PUBLIC SECTOR PROJECT: An Empirical Study of the Malaysian School Computer Laboratory Project
Author(s): Johari, Mohamad Farazi
Supervisor(s): Bowers, John A.
Keywords: project formulation
success factors
project management success
product success
project success
public sector projects
project life cycle
project supervision
managing large programme
project resources
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: The public sector project is particularly a demanding undertaking, with the requirement to meet diverse demands. Despite huge investment, public sector projects tend to complete behind schedule, indicating shortfall in various project factors. This research was grounded on an empirical study of the Malaysian School Computer Laboratory Programme (SCLP) to examine the project success factors throughout the project life span. The extensive SCLP was divided into six zones, spanning urban and remote environment throughout Malaysia. Its implementation was staggered into several phases, two of which covered in this study, namely phase-1 and phase-2. This research aimed to fulfil three research objectives: i) to discover the project management’s success factors; ii) to determine the product’s success factors that encompass various stakeholders; and iii) to identify project characteristics that influenced the project success. A comprehensive review of literature suggested 20 relevant project success factors to be investigated. Those factors were examined using a newly constructed framework, whereby the project life span was clustered into two segments – project process and project product. The study adopted a qualitative paradigm; nevertheless it utilised both qualitative and quantitative approaches of data collection, which were triangulated to provide a wider scope of interpretation. The quantitative data for a total sample of 357 projects were sourced from Likert-type questionnaire and secondary resources, while qualitative data were sourced from combination of semi-structured interviews with 38 respondents representing 10 groups of project stakeholders and secondary data from various documents. The results demonstrated that the project management of the SCLP was improperly administered. Out of five success factors investigated to verify the project conceptualization, only two namely project goal and project scope, were reasonably defined. One factor, stakeholder participation, was inadequately defined, while the other two factors, resources assessment and risk management, were not even taken into consideration by the project decision-making committee. There were also some deficiencies in the project planning. From six success factors tested, two were acceptably planned, i.e. project design and project costing. The other four, namely distribution of authority and responsibility, contractor selection, project scheduling, and project documentation, were insufficiently planned. The inadequacies in the project definition and project planning were reflected in the project execution as only two out of six factors, i.e. administrator effectiveness and communication, contributed to the project success. The other four, known as supervising team efficiency, contractor competence, integrity and external influences were negatively affected the project. Despite some deficiencies in the project management, the outcome or product of the project was found to be successful particularly in the judgement of the target group, the users; they were satisfied with the SCLP deliverables. They also appreciated the benefit from the utilisation of the products, which greatly changed the approaches of teaching and learning. However, the SCLP completion time was not as successful as planned, believed to be a result of unrealistic scheduling during the planning stage. Nonetheless, there were cases of genuine delays due to various factors in the earlier stages. The results also suggested that some of the project success factors were particularly influenced by project characteristics explored in this studied. The influences of these two characteristics, geographical zone and the project award method, could be seen in both the project management process and the project’s product. Overall, this thesis contributed to extant body of knowledge in various ways. A newly constructed research framework, with the concept of duality of project process and product, added depth to the longstanding idea of project success and expanded premises of the existing theory. This framework offered a better platform to identify when particular factors take place and affect the project along the project life span. This study also added a new insight to the Malaysian public sector projects management strategies in particular and to the other countries with the similar situations in general. A new paradigm in project decision-making by adopting a bottom-up concept rather than traditionally top-down alone during the project conceptualisation and a more realistic resource-based approach during the project planning, is suggested. In addition, this research proposed an ideal way to deal with various critical success factors in a huge programme.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: Stirling Management School
Management Education Centre

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