Performance of building projects is affected by several factors. The focus here is on the relationship between Project Management Practices carried out by Project Management Organizations and project performance in Enugu, Enugu State. Three organizations involved in the management of projects were thus selected as project management organizations for the study. These are ‘GETFund’ organization, ‘Common Fund’ organization and ‘SIF’ organization.

Three criteria for measuring project performance were identified for their widespread application in project management definition and general understanding amongst practitioners. These include: time, cost and quality criteria.

Semi-structured personal interviews have been carried out within the selected organizations for identification of practices undertaken in the management of building projects. Other significant project management practices were also captured in relevant literature. A structured questionnaire was developed to gather information for measurement of the project performance and determination of project management practices significantly relating to project performance. Performance indices were developed for measurement of the time, cost and quality performance. To test for significant differences between the performance of the categories of projects, each belonging to one organization, a pair-wise analysis, using independent t-tests, was used. Multiple Regression Analysis has been used to determine the relationship between the significant project management practices and project performance.

Considerably, significant difference between the time performance of the categories of projects was observed. There was significant cost performance difference of the categories of projects across all the organizations whilst there was no significant difference in quality performance across all the three pairs of categories of projects analyzed. It was realized that as significant difference exists between the performance of a given pair of categories of projects from organization to organization the corresponding significant project management practices also vary from organization to organization and vice versa.



1.1    Background

Execution of building projects is undertaken through management practices carried out by various project managers daily. Specific project objectives are set to be achieved at the end of the project. The objectives may vary from one project to the other. Time, cost and quality objectives are however basic and common to almost all projects; they are discussed in the success subject matter of most projects. [Belassi and Tukel, 1996; Walker, 1995,1996].

In order to achieve set project objectives, specific Project Management (PM) practices  are carried out daily by project managers. It has been argued that the PM practices may vary from organization to organization. Other project managers however argue that since professional practice within the construction industry is required to follow set down guidelines and ethics, PM practices may not necessarily vary from organization to organization; the purpose of adopting a particular practice may therefore be due to peculiar environmental and social demands of the project at hand. Highly satisfactory performance cannot be compromised on and so is the need for optimum practices. As asserted by [Ramabadronet al., 1997], the high performance achieved by a project is what makes a practice adopted optimum.

The factors that affect the individual set project objectives are the ones that confront or promote the project success, outcome or performance. Although project performance is

influenced by several factors [Blismaset al., 2004], this study focuses on the relationship that exists between PM practices and project performance. Performance of a project therefore needs to be measured to pave way for knowing the optimum practices among the lot.

Three organizations in Nigeria have therefore been selected for the study. They are regarded as PM organizations in the direction of their having a set of personnel involved in the management of construction projects. Each organization is distinguished from each other by the kind of funding sourced for their development programmes and certain peculiar organizational goals. However, the mission of executing building projects is common amongst them. They specifically include:

  1. Nigeria Education Trust Fund (‘GETFund’)organization
  1. District Assemblies’ Common Fund (‘Common Fund’) organization:and
  1. Social Investment Fund (‘SIF’)organization.

There are certain main organizational goals that are peculiar; Whilst the ‘GETfund’ organization has the sole objective of supplementing the provision of education at all levels in Nigeria, the ‘common fund’ organization, is set to improve housing schemes, sanitation management and primary health care in addition to improving Nigeria’s educational facilities. The ‘SIF’ organization also has the main object of reducing rural and urban poverty. Annually, building projects are undertaken to facilitate achievement of these and otherobjectives.

In-spite of slight disparity in the specific organizational goals, supplementing and improving educational facilities is common amongst the organizations. This common feature is capitalized upon to pursue the research objectives. The focus is therefore not in the distinguishing features.