Project management application in academic and research institutions in Zambia

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Mandona, Innocent
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University of Zambia
Research and development needs effective and efficient management as it is the vehicle by which organizations and economies create opportunity, innovation and secure a stream of future products and services. However, research projects face various challenges which may lead to unsatisfactory performance. Various studies have shown that traditional project management methods can be adapted for research projects to make work more efficient and productive. For Zambia, it was not clear to what extent the research institutions in the country implemented project management techniques in managing research projects. Therefore, this study sought to determine whether academic and research institutions in Zambia were using project management techniques in managing research projects. The study adopted a descriptive research design and used a mix of both qualitative and quantitative techniques. The results obtained showed that the majority of academic and research institutions in Zambia applied project management techniques in managing research. Additionally, the study revealed that the majority of the respondents had identified weaknesses in the research management frameworks in their respective institutions. Therefore, in order to improve performance of research projects, this study recommended the need to develop a national research agenda for Zambia, to further enhance the respective institutional research management guidelines or policies, to enhance project management skills of researchers in academic and research institutions, to improve the monitoring and evaluation frameworks in these institutions as well as to offer consistent and adequate funding to support research. Keywords: Research project, research organisation, innovation, project management, monitoring and evaluation
Project Management , Project Management---Academic and research institution--Zambia