Critical Success Factors
for International Projects
MASTER COURSE – “International business development“
International Project Management
Faculty of economics, Nis, Serbia
ESC, Clermont-Ferrand, France
International Development Project environment is far more complex than domestic projects in industrialized countries. The World Bank Group's data and other evidence suggest high incidents of challenged international development projects. There are many internal and external, visible and invisible factors that influence the environment and create a high amount of risk in accomplishing the project objectives. This essay elaborates a conceptual framework for international development project management and the characteristics of international development projects, which should be taken into consideration during the project initiation and project planning phases in order to enhance project success. The international development project environment poses special problems for the project managers due to inherent characteristics. The World Bank Group's data (World Bank, 1999) and other evidence suggest high incidents of challenged international development projects. Here, we identify the factors that cause completed or in progress international development projects to be challenged. The factors have been classified into ten categories based on their nature. These cover issues of: •
1. Political Factor
Political factors refer to issues at the national level and regional level including inconsistency in policies, laws and regulations and political instability. From development project's perspective, these factors contribute to an environment of uncertainty on return of capital investment. In most of the instances, the probability of occurrence of political factor is small but its impact is relatively large. Political instability coupled with underdeveloped institutions and lack of awareness in the people may result in frequent change of governments or stimulate abrupt change of policies adversely affecting the successful achievement of development project objectives. Several associated factors that may prompt political challenge to the project are: •
Political takeover or military coup
War or revolution
Allegations of corruption causing government resignation and •
Nationalization of assets with or without adequate compensation. 2. Legal Factor
Legal factors refer to unexpected changes in government policies pertinent to laws and regulations and currency conversion, absence of appropriate regulatory systems, rates and methods of taxation including customs, royalties, convertibility of currency, role of local courts in arbitration and so on. 3. Cultural Factor
In the context of international development projects, cultural issue is the least known but the most hazardous. In international development projects, many of the financial institutions require recipient countries to engage foreign consultants to assist with project preparation and implementation due to lack of the needed technical or management skills available in the recipient countries. The international consultants have different socio-cultural background than the beneficiaries, may not be familiar with local resources and are accustomed to different approaches to engineering and project management practices. This causes conflict of interests, extra pressure on executives and frustration, which restrains or obstructs project progress and often leads to lost opportunities, directing of development efforts at wrong groups, project cost overrun and schedule delays. Cultural misfit of the project objectives and a lack of local knowledge and understanding can result into rejection of the project by the intended beneficiaries. In order for these projects...
References: 1.The Project Management Institute Inc., A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Third edition, 2004.
2. Kwak Y.H., Critical Succes Factors in International Development Project Management, CIB 10th International Symposium Construction Innovation and Global Competitiveness, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2002.
3. World Bank, 1999. Annual Review of Development effectiveness, 2000.
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