AbstractThe aim of this research is to (1) to assess the effectiveness of project management practices; (2) to investigate best practices in project management; (3) to set down the main rationale for improving project management; (4) to identify the strengths and weaknesses of current project management practice, the major challenges faced by project managers, and the main causes of project management failure; (5) to identify effective strategies for improving project management practice; and (6) to discuss the success rate of project management in the GCC states. The principal objectives are (1) to provide an understanding of the issues affecting project management within the GCC region; (2) to provide an understanding of the ways the GCC’s private and public sectors differ in their approaches to project management and (3) formulate a set of recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of project management and practices in the GCC. Following a broadly pragmatic approach, the researcher will use Mixed Methods techniques to: (1) collect quantitative data from a sample of 200 project managers from Europe and the Middle East working in the GCC on private and public sector projects; and (2) collect qualitative data through semi-structured interviews with 12 project managers based in the GCC states. The quantitative data will be analysed using IBM SPSS and the qualitative data will be analysed using NVIVO software. Our results indicated that each of these played a role in project failure in the GCC. The evidence from questionnaire, face to face interviews with project managers and our quantitative results supported the evidence. Some results were mixed but the bulk confirmed our expectations. Comparing our results with those for other areas the GCC results were no different. Our results confirm the importance of client/project management relations and the efficient operation of the project management group. These two factors are in turn highly influenced by the behaviour and experience of the senior manager in charge of delivering the project. That in turn is also linked to the project management companies’ culture and organisational ability. To summarise our results, testing the standard variables found in the literature and applying them to the GCC we find that they are broadly similar to those found in other countries or groups of countries. Our results benefit from being disaggregated by occupational role, age, experience and gender which adds another dimension missing from the bulk of the extant literature which do not take these factors into account. Our results also highlighted best practice amongst project management companies operating in the GCC. Again, these results coincided with studies carried out in other areas but with some local characteristics. Organisational culture, good client/ project manager relationships, competent managers, well balanced, trained and incentivised teams respected and treated well by managers and the company were considered to lead to success. The face-to-face interviews certainly picked up these factors as constituting best practice amongst GCC companies). From the point of view of project management companies our results indicated that organisational culture and outlook were critical to the success of a project. Organisations that
were focussed on the project, had a clear understanding of their role and the needs of the project would be successful in meeting targets and deadline. Furthermore, organisations that had a good relationship with their clients and kept them informed of their projects progress and appointed good managers to handle those relationships were more likely to be successful that those that did not. We recommend that these are adopted by project management companies. Organisations that supported their teams with good leadership, training, incentives and encouraged diversity and good communications as well as enhance the use of technology were considered to be successful. It is recommended that companies adopt this approach. Also considered important was the delegation of authority to the team and team leader so that opportunities and challenges could be met and acted upon. A cumbersome and slow-moving hierarchy was considered to be detrimental to the efficient management of projects and in particular with regard to the allocation of funds. As a result, a lean decision-making system was recommended if project management companies were to positively contribute to projects meeting their targets.
|Date of Award||2023|
|Supervisor||Maria Plotnikova (Supervisor) & Nicholas Perdikis (Supervisor)|