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Knowledge management in the monitoring and evaluation of projects

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The construction industry, according to Carillo and Anumba (2002), has been described as a knowledge-intensive sector. Likewise, knowledge has been defined to mean the use of information by persons involved in a project, utilizing their skills, technical competencies, understandings, opinions, commitment and motivations (Mugula, 2015). The theory on knowledge management (KM) suggests there is a common ground for understanding what KM entails. Whereas Davenport and Prusak (1998) aver that KM involves the process of capturing, distributing and effectively utilizing knowledge, Robinson et al. (2005) indicate that KM is the process of creating, acquiring, capturing, sharing and using knowledge. Similarly, KM has been described as the process of developing, preserving, using and sharing knowledge to enhance organizational learning and performance (Mugula, 2015).

KM has been studied extensively in many economic sectors for its benefit and influence in achieving organizational performance and to establish a competitive advantage over other organizations (Omotayo, 2015). In the construction industry, however, knowledge management practice has been sporadic and low owing to the fragmented nature, scattered knowledge over different processes and a wide number of trades involved in the industry (Hashim, Talib & Alamen, 2014). In the M&E of projects in the construction industry, stakeholders with different interest and knowledge are drawn together to deliver a project to achieve organizational and project objectives such as enhancing project performance, creating a competitive advantage, innovations, sharing of lessons learned, integration and continuous improvement (Mugula, 2015). Individual stakeholders’ knowledge on M&E implementation is therefore brought to bear on the projects which, in most cases, are not aligned to each other and can possibly cause delays due to differences in understanding by stakeholders on how M&E should be done. It is therefore imperative to consciously and constantly manage knowledge of all kinds during the M&E of the project.

Summary

This chapter presented an overview of the Ghanaian construction industry and the practice of M&E of construction project delivery. Specifically, an appreciation of the geographical positioning, structure and characteristics of Ghana werepresented. Also discussed were the characteristics of the Ghanaian construction industry, its significance and relevance in national development and the challenges of the industry. It was evident from the review that the Ghanaian construction sector appreciates the importance of M&E in project implementation. Ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) linked with project implementation have established units in charge of M&E. At the local government level, the Planning Unit and the Works Department complement each other to ensure the effective implementation of projects initiated. However, challenges such as lack of technical capacity of M&E staff, low utility of M&E findings, inadequate budget allocation and limitation of project stakeholders in M&E implementation were clear since projects consistently failed. The review of key stakeholders involved in the M&E of construction project revealed contractors, consultants and clients as key actors in the M&E while others such as material suppliers and local authority service providers were not critical participants in M&E but may affect the project while the beneficiary community largely provided the labor for the delivery of the project, indicating their benefit in the project. Effective M&E knowledge management is therefore imperative. The next chapter using the Ghanaian construction industry as a case study adopted the Delphi methodology to establish the need for and relevance of M&E in the construction industry, the main and sub-attributes that bring about effective M&E and whether the attributes are comparable to other country settings, identify the critical challenging factors that influence M&E and finally to determine the impact of effective M&E on construction project delivery.

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