Determinants of project schedule control during project implementation in Kenya. A case of nongovermental organisations' projects in Mbeere North district, Embu county
Nthiga, Josphat Njeru
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Schedule control is a project management tool that enables project managers to verify the project schedule status, influence proposed changes to the schedule and manage changes to the schedule. Schedule control during project implementation enables project managers to handle schedule slippage so that the project is executed within the planned timeframe. It has been observed that approximately 80% of all projects overrun baseline schedule during implementation. The purpose of conducting this research is therefore to study the factors determining project schedule control during project implementation. Various factors namely; project manager's expertise, donor policies, project complexity and risks arising during project implementation determine the level of schedule control during project implementation. In conducting this research descriptive research design was applied. The target population comprised all the sixty NGOs projects carried out in Mbeere North District, in Embu County within the time frame 2008-2012.Sample selection was done through stratified random sampling. The strata were set to represent various categories of project stakeholders namely; project management, donors, project implementers and beneficiaries. To ease data collection the district was divided into four clusters. These clusters were the four administrative divisions in Mbeere North District.Data was collected using questionnaires, focus group discussions and document review schedules from twenty (20) projects which were sampled across the study area. The response rate was 66.7%, 75% and 50% respectively for the above data collection instruments. Data was then analyzed through descriptive statistics for quantitative data and content analysis for qualitative data. From these data analysis, it was observed that project managers' expertise during project implementation was not a main cause of schedule slippage. It was also established that donor policies, project complexity and project related risks affected projected schedule control during project implementation. Donor policies, project complexity and risks were identified as the main determinants of project schedule control during project implementation. It is recommended that project plans and designs should factor in these determinants at project formulation phase. The inclusion of these determinants in the initial project plan should be a participatory process for all project stakeholders. Further research is recommended to enable quantification of project loss when projects are over schedule.