World Bank projects' critical success factors and their interactions

an empirical investigation

Projects are still relevant despite the shift from a project to program approach in international development. However, the abundant project management literature on the critical success factors (CSFs) falls short in paying adequate attention to these specific projects. Although seminal research analyzes the perceptions of National Project Coordinators (NPCs), the perspective of the World Bank Task Managers or Task Team Leaders (TTLs), who are the project supervisors, has not been examined thus far. This paper highlights self-perceptions of TTLs about CSFs and their influences on project success dimensions. Based on a sample of 178 World Bank projects, the interactions between CSFs (monitoring, coordination, design, and training) and project success dimensions (project management success and “deliverable success”) are analyzed. First, results of structural equations modeling show the interactions between the CSFs and their respective influences on project management success and deliverable success, with TTLs ranking the project design, monitoring, and coordination as the most prominent CSF. Second, while project management–related CSFs are positively correlated with one another and have a positive effect on project management success, they fail to show a significant influence on deliverable success. Third, project management success itself does not influence deliverable success. Finally, non–project management but project-related variables such as project duration, budget, and TTL experience do not significantly affect the CSFs.
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