Exploring the Value of Project Management: Linking Project Management Performance and Project Success

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Many studies in the field of Project Management (PM) show that, in spite of advancement of PM processes, tools and systems, project success has not significantly improved over the years. This observation generates doubts about the value of PM and raises questions about the effectiveness of an organisation’s PM system on the outcomes of its projects. This research focuses on the relationship between project success and PM performance with the aim to understand these concepts and identify the key PM processes contributing to project success within UAE organisations. To research the problem, a survey based approach was used to collect data from PM professionals working in the UAE Project based organisations. The Project Management Performance Assessment (PMPA) framework (Bryde, 2003a) was used as the model for assessing PM performance and the multi-dimensional project success model proposed by Shenhar et al. (2001) was adapted to measure project success. A total of 154 completed questionnaires were analysed. Bi-variate correlation and regression tests were employed to test the hypothesised relationships, which were confirmed showing empirical evidence of the positive influence of PM performance and its contributing variables on project success. Additionally, new relationships between the individual PM performance variables were found with individual project success variables. These findings are a new contribution to the PM literature and are helpful for PM practitioners enabling them to concentrate on areas that need improvement to enhance project success. The validity of the PM performance and project success constructs was also confirmed through Principal Component Factor Analysis and it was found that the six PM performance variables loaded onto four factors with two distinct groups of employee-relatable and non-relatable aspects. The five variables of project success loaded onto four factors proving that the original project success construct was very close to the factors originating from the actual data. This study culminates in concluding that PM performance is highly correlated to project success within UAE organisations with individual PM performance variables also having statistically positive influence on project success and its variables. It was seen that PM performance explains at least 45% variance in project success and hence is the single most important factor which can be controlled and managed by organisations. Nevertheless, further research is recommended to explore other factors that could explain the remaining variance in project success. Furthermore, this study focused on the UAE organisations and further work is required to see if the findings are applicable to other countries.
project management performance, project success, PMPA framework, performance assessment, UAE organisations, United Arab Emirates (UAE)