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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2021

Bart A. Lameijer, Jiju Antony, Hans P. Borgman and Kevin Linderman

Although scholars have considered the success factors of process improvement (PI) projects, limited research has considered the factors that influence failure. The purpose…

Abstract

Purpose

Although scholars have considered the success factors of process improvement (PI) projects, limited research has considered the factors that influence failure. The purpose of this paper is to extend the understanding of PI project failure by systematically reviewing the research on generic project failure, and developing research propositions and future research directions specifically for PI projects.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review protocol resulted in a total of 97 research papers that are reviewed for contributions on project failure.

Findings

An inductive category formation process resulted in three categories of findings. The first category are the causes for project failure, the second category is about relatedness between failure factors and the third category is on failure mitigation strategies. For each category, propositions for future research on PI projects specifically are developed. Additional future research directions proposed lay in better understanding PI project failure as it unfolds (i.e. process studies vs cross-sectional), understanding PI project failure from a theoretical perspective and better understanding of PI project failure antecedents.

Originality/value

This paper takes a multi-disciplinary and project type approach, synthesizes the existing knowledge and reflects upon the developments in the field of research. Propositions and a framework for future research on PI project failure are presented.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2020

Emmanuel Oluwatobi Adebisi, Oluwaseyi Olalekan Alao and Stephen Okunlola Ojo

The continuous failure of construction projects notwithstanding appreciable increase in project management knowledge has necessitated a proactive approach of assessing…

Abstract

Purpose

The continuous failure of construction projects notwithstanding appreciable increase in project management knowledge has necessitated a proactive approach of assessing early warning signs (EWS) of building projects failure. Building projects are expected to show warning signs before experiencing crises, comparable to a patient displaying symptoms of a disease. Thus, this study aims to examine the EWS that predisposed building projects to failure in Nigeria to provide empirical data for enhancing projects delivery.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary data were used for the study. Structured questionnaire was administered to consultants and contractors’ personnel within Lagos State, Nigeria. A total of 180 copies of questionnaire were administered and 134 copies (combined response rate of 74.44 per cent) were retrieved. Frequency distribution, percentages, mean item score and Mann–Whitney test were used to analyse the data.

Findings

Most construction professionals applied the EWS approach from project planning and early construction phase. The most significant EWS predisposing building projects to failure were “Management inability and incompetence to proactively detect and manage problems at early project stages”, “Actual expenditure is constantly shooting beyond cost estimates” and “Incurred costs already getting higher than the anticipated benefits”. Project/construction management-related symptoms are most significant to predisposing building projects to failure.

Practical implications

The study provided implications for effective project management of building projects through proactive approach which is very paramount to improving the delivery of building projects in Nigeria.

Originality/value

The study provides implications for proactive management of building projects, thereby enhancing the delivery of building projects.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. 18 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

D. Laurie Hughes, Nripendra P. Rana and Antonis C. Simintiras

Information systems (IS) project failure has been a recurring problem for decades. The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to examine the key factors that influence…

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3264

Abstract

Purpose

Information systems (IS) project failure has been a recurring problem for decades. The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to examine the key factors that influence project failure and an analysis of the major areas that can have a significant impact on success; and second, to explore some of the key aspects that have an impact on project management performance from the practitioner perspective and discusses the problems faced by organizations in the closer integration of change and project management.

Design/methodology/approach

This study critically reviews the IS failure literature developing a synthesized view of the key issues and common reasons for projects to fail. The approach taken in this study is one that focuses on a number of key questions that pull together the relevant themes in this genre of research whilst highlighting many of the implications for practitioners and organizations alike.

Findings

Key questions remain on the underlying causes of instances of poor project management as an IS failure factor. The literature has omitted to develop a deeper analysis of the associations between failure factors and the potential causal relationships between these factors. The realization of project benefits relies on the success of both change and project management yet the formal integration of these two disciplines is constrained by separate standards bodies and an immature body of research.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited by its theoretical nature lacking an empirical element to provide a deeper analysis of IS failure factors and their interrelationships. This specific area is a recommendation for future research, where causal relationships between failure factors could be developed via a mathematic-based method such as interpretive structural modeling.

Practical implications

With failure rates of IS projects still unacceptably high after decades of attempts to significantly change outcomes, a deeper analysis of this topic is required. The research gaps and recommendations for practitioners highlighted in this study have the potential to provide valuable contributions to this topic of research.

Originality/value

The intent of this study is to present a new perspective of this genre of IS research that develops the main arguments and gaps in the literature from the practitioner viewpoint.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Alton Chua and Wing Lam

This paper attempts to understand the reasons for knowledge management (KM) project failure.

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10907

Abstract

Purpose

This paper attempts to understand the reasons for knowledge management (KM) project failure.

Design/methodology/approach

Five well‐documented cases of KM project failure in the current literature are reviewed. For each case, the authors examine the circumstantial elements of the failure, including the rationale and intended objectives of the KM project, the outcomes of the project and the reasons that led to project failure.

Findings

From the review, two observations are made. First, KM failure factors fall into four distinct categories, namely, technology, culture, content, and project management. Second, KM projects can be traced along a three‐stage lifecycle, comprising initiation, implementation, and integration.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are discussed and finally synthesized into a model of KM project failure. The model serves as a starting‐point for future research in KM project implementation.

Practical implications

Practitioners may use the model as a risk identification tool for KM project implementation.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the fact that KM project failure is a reality with which both practitioners and researchers have to reckon. Additionally, it leverages on the experiences of five KM failure cases and develops a model that allows KM failure factors to be pre‐empted.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 28 May 2020

Gonzalo Ruiz Díaz

The purpose of this paper is to assess the determinants of the early termination of infrastructure projects implemented under public–private partnerships (PPP)…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the determinants of the early termination of infrastructure projects implemented under public–private partnerships (PPP), concessions or privately managed divested assets.

Design/methodology/approach

Cross-section and duration model estimations were applied to a sample of 2,655 infrastructure projects implemented in Latin America and the Caribbean for the period 1993–2017. Estimation techniques consist of a logistic model and cox proportional hazards model (CPHM) applied to alternative specifications, including diverse causal factors.

Findings

Evidence is found that early termination of infrastructure projects is determined by intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Among the intrinsic factors, the main characteristics of projects that increase the likelihood of failure are the size or scale of the project, the sector in which the project is developed (transport and water and sanitation) and being investments in divested assets. Extrinsic factors that showed a negative impact on the risk of early termination are good regulatory quality and domestic macroeconomic stability. Likewise, external real and financial shocks also contribute importantly to explain the likelihood of early termination of infrastructure projects.

Practical implications

The results reveal that particular care must be put in design and supervision of large-scale projects, either in transport or water and sanitation. As well, risks associated with external shocks must be explicitly acknowledged in project design, with appropriate remedies and safeguards. The prevalence of relatively high rates of early termination in projects in divested assets in contrast with PPP suggests the importance of introducing simpler way out mechanisms for concessionaires. Finally, the results show the key importance of institutional factors like regulatory quality in determining project failure on economic performance of infrastructure projects.

Originality/value

In contrast to the previous literature, the analysis shows the decisive role played by financial external factors and institutional factors of Latin American and Caribbean countries in early termination of private participation in infrastructure projects. As well, the finding of a higher likelihood of failure in projects that involve investments in divested assets versus concession or PPP suggests the need of investigate further the tradeoffs regarding the balance that must exist among guarantees offered to investors in infrastructure projects and the need to keep contractual decisions in line with market signals.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 19 April 2018

Emmanuel Oluwatobi Adebisi, Stephen Okunola Ojo and Oluwaseyi Olalekan Alao

The failure and abandonment of construction projects have proven to be insurmountable problems incessantly militating against the efficient performance of the construction…

Abstract

Purpose

The failure and abandonment of construction projects have proven to be insurmountable problems incessantly militating against the efficient performance of the construction industry in Nigeria. The complexity, technicality and a host of other project execution issues unique to multi-storey building projects do increase their susceptibility to failure and abandonment. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to examine the factors influencing failure and abandonment of multi-storey building projects in Nigeria. This is with a view to provide inferential empirical data that could enhance successful delivery of multi-storey building projects in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary data were used for the study. A structured questionnaire was administered on consultants and contractors’ personnel within Lagos State, Nigeria. A total of 180 copies of the questionnaire were administered ,and 134 copies which represent a combined response rate of 74.4 per cent were retrieved. The data were analysed using frequency distribution and percentages, Mean item score and factor analysis.

Findings

The factors most significant to the failure and abandonment of multi-storey building projects are inadequate funding by the client, improper planning at the pre-construction phase, structural failure in multi-storey building during construction, bankruptcy/business failure of the contractor, improper scheduling of the building project activities and failure to engage qualified professionals with technical expertise and experience. The rated factors clustered under human resources capability, planning and structural quality, contractor selection and variation, insecurity and variation, and force majeure and political risk.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to multi-storey building projects in Lagos State, Nigeria. Further studies could focus on specific resuscitation strategies for abandoned multi-storey building projects.

Practical implications

The study provided implications for effective project and contract management of multi-storey building projects which is very paramount to improve the delivery of complex, technical- and capital-intensive building projects in Nigeria.

Originality/value

The study provides specific implications for the management of multi-storey building projects, thereby enhancing the delivery of building projects.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1997

Hamzah Abdul‐Rahman

Looks at how the construction industry’s demand for better management of quality in construction projects is becoming increasingly important for every project participant…

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3601

Abstract

Looks at how the construction industry’s demand for better management of quality in construction projects is becoming increasingly important for every project participant. Says that one important aspect of a quality improvement programme is the cost of quality which is relatively new to participants of construction projects. Describes the results of a survey among professionals in the construction industry on the issues relating to the management of quality and especially its cost. Shows that results of the investigation indicate, among others, the importance of client role in determining the quality of the end product; the usefulness of information on non‐conformances in preventing failures and improving a process; problems with ground conditions; how most failure costs can be eliminated; how the contractor’s role should include anticipating of problems; and how information on the cost of failures can be an indicator of weaknesses and assist in preventing the same failure in the future.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1992

Om P. Kharbanda and Ernest A. Stallworthy

In the continuing endeavour to work towards ever better management,experience plays a crucial role. We learn from success, but we can learnmuch more from failure. Further…

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1905

Abstract

In the continuing endeavour to work towards ever better management, experience plays a crucial role. We learn from success, but we can learn much more from failure. Further, it is far better and cheaper when we learn from other people′s failures rather than our own. This monograph assesses the requirements of project management in relation to industrial projects, illustrating the factors that can result in failure by means of a series of case studies of completed and abandoned projects worldwide that have failed in one way or another. The key roles played by project planning and project cost control in meeting and overcoming the practical problems in the management of industrial projects are examined in detail. In conclusion the lessons that can be learned are evaluated and presented, so that we may listen and learn – if only we will.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 92 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2014

Surangkana Trangkanont and Chotchai Charoenngam

Numerous studies to date have demonstrated the public-private partnership (PPP) project procurement method's failure to deliver low-cost housing (LCH) to low-income groups…

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1438

Abstract

Purpose

Numerous studies to date have demonstrated the public-private partnership (PPP) project procurement method's failure to deliver low-cost housing (LCH) to low-income groups (LIGs) in developing countries. The purpose of this paper is to investigate critical failure factors (CFFs), and how they cause the failure of PPP-LCH program.

Design/methodology/approach

Grounded Theory methodology was used to gather and analyze the data in order to identify, categorize, and develop the logically causal relationships among CFFs that cause PPP-LCH program failure.

Findings

Ten CFFs in various phases of PPP-LCH project life cycle caused PPP-LCH program failure. Some CFFs resulted from ineffective PPP policy and strategy, while some were beyond the control of the project/program management team. These CFFs were inter-/intra-related to one another in a particular way.

Originality/value

Despite the increase in PPP-LCH projects/programs for LIGs in practice and the prevalence of failure, the studies of PPP-LCH project/program failure still suffer from insufficient conceptual clarity about the causes of these failures. The lessons learned, to some extent, help decision makers in both public and private sectors to reduce the probability of the PPP-LCH project/program failure by clearly explaining the nature of each CFF.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2017

Isaac Sakyi Damoah and Cynthia Akwei

The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent of failure within Ghanaian Government projects using multiple failure criteria.

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1543

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent of failure within Ghanaian Government projects using multiple failure criteria.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a sequential data collection approach by employing an in-depth semi-structured interview and questionnaire, respectively. Based on insight from the literature review, interviews were held with participants to solicit their perceptions about the failure of Ghanaian Government projects. A questionnaire was developed based on the results from the interviews in order to determine the relative importance of the various failure criteria used as the evaluation tool.

Findings

Six main criteria were identified and used as the assessment framework for Ghanaian Government project failure. The findings indicated that Ghanaian Government projects fail on all the six failure criteria; however, the extent of failure differs from criterion to criterion. The worst failure criterion is meeting the projected timescale. This is followed by cost, requirement, stakeholder satisfaction, national development and contribution to the sector where projects are implemented, respectively.

Practical implications

From this study, government project practitioners and policy makers will be able identify the failure areas (criteria) on which to focus during government project implementation.

Originality/value

Though extant literature has been devoted to the success/failure criteria, attention has not been paid to comparison of the extent of failure within these criteria in government projects. Therefore, this study extends the literature in this regard as well as government project failure literature in general.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

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