Project Management Practice: Lessons Learned From Project Failures in Nigeria

Oluwasoye P. Mafimisebi


There are opportunities to prevent future project failures when organisations and project managers learn from past cases of project failures. Therefore, several project case studies in Nigeria were presented and these cases offer crucial lessons for effective project risk management. Notably, this research specifically considered how employing a project management approach could yield tangible benefits to organisations in Nigeria and what lessons can be learned from project failures. The results have wider implication on both theory and practice of project management. In particular, amidst the perceived benefits of project management is the question; does project management approach prevent project and organisations from failing? If not, are project management concepts, practices and standards doomed? Arguments of this analysis were revealed and a research debate to outspread project management is drawn. The research further examined key strategic considerations likely to be encountered when planning and undertaking projects with special reference to Nigeria. In this context, we argued that over reliance on project management approach is destructive and consequently lead to project disasters or failures. Furthermore, the work drawn on relevant practical examples of projects in Nigeria to test the effectiveness of project management approaches in Nigerian organisations. Though evidences consistent with literature were found but these were not enough to prevent project failures in some organisations in Nigeria. Finally, in view of international best practice; practical recommendations for organisations wishing to operate successfully in Nigeria were made and the research limitations were carefully addressed.

Keywords: Project management practice; project management; project failures; risk management; lessons learned; organisations; Nigeria


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