Examining the challenges

associated with the implementation of project scope management in telecommunication projects in Somaliland



By Adebayo Adeboye Fashina1*, Sakariye Mahamed Abdilahi2, and Funke Folasade Fakunle3

1Engineering Management Program and Project Management Program, School of Graduate Studies and Research, Gollis University, Hargeisa, Somaliland.
2Project Management Program, School of Graduate Studies and Research, Gollis University, Hargeisa, Somaliland.</span
3Compliance and Auditing Department, AdeFolasade Management Systems Consults, Lagos Nigeria.
*Corresponding author: Adebayo Adeboye Fashina. adebayofashina@gmail.com




This paper presents the results of an investigation that provides insights on the challenges encountered when implementing project scope management in telecommunication projects in Somaliland. Prior to the questionnaire design, a detailed literature review was carried out to identify 11 possible factors that affecting the adoption of project scope management practices in telecommunication projects. A total of 75 structured questionnaires were administered to obtain the opinions of the stakeholders in the Somaliland telecommunication industry, regarding the identified challenges. SPSS Statistics Software and Microsoft Excel Packages was then used to analyze the collected data. This was achieved by computing the Cronbach’s Alpha, mean values and Relative Importance Index (RII), respectively, for reliability check and ranking purposes. The results from the analysis indicate that poor communication/miscommunication (RII = 0.694), scope creep (RII = 0.651), unrealistic timeline (RII = 0.643) and unsettled technical uncertainties (RII = 0.605) are the four most ranked challenges associated with the implementation of project scope management in the telecommunication industry, respectively. The implications of the results obtained from this study are also discussed before providing recommendations on the appropriate scope management procedures required to manage the identified key challenges when executing future telecommunication projects.

Keywords:    Application of Scope Management, Project Management, Challenges hindering Project Scope Management Practices, Telecommunication Projects, Somaliland


In recent years, successful project managers are aware that a careful scope control is vital to time and cost delivery of projects (Charvat, 2003). Consequently, they now pay adequate attention to project scope management (Dexter, 2010; Frame, 2003). This is because, it has been established in prior work that the failure to appropriately define or productively manage the scope of a project would lead to total project breakdown, late delivery or over budget (Chua, Kog, & Loh, 1999; Keivanpour, Kadi, & Mascle, 2015; Khan, 2006; Nath & Momin, 2014). Furthermore, with a vast competitiveness in the telecommunication industry, project managers are now faced with the task of successfully executing assigned projects based on a well-defined project scope that can help accomplish the overall projects goals and objectives (Khan, 2006). This implies that the success or failure of projects, particularly in the telecommunication industry, is dependent on how productive the scope management is. In addition, scope management ensures that a project’s scope is accurately defined and mapped, and enables project managers to allocate the proper labor and costs necessary to complete the project.

Project scope management is about planning and controlling (Dumont, Gibson, & Fish, 1997). Managing the expectations of clients and stakeholders can be one of the most difficult tasks a project manager can be faced with. Basically, a distinct scope helps all parties involved in a project to stay on the same page throughout the lifecycle of the project. Thus, effective scope management can ensure that some of these issues are avoided by clearly defining and communicating the scope to all parties involved in the project. Project scope can help differentiate between what is and what is not involved in a project and controls what is allowed or removed as it is implemented (Bingham & Gibson, 2017; Cho & Gibson, 2001; Dumont et al., 1997). Scope management also creates control factors, that can be utilized when addressing elements that are the consequences of changes during the lifecycle of the project. Project scope is therefore critical, and without it, project managers would have no clue of what time, cost or labor involved in a project. Moreover, scope management serves as the basis for every decision a project manager will make on a job and when it is required to be changed (Bingham & Gibson, 2017; Cho & Gibson, 2001; Dumont et al., 1997).

However, managing project scope is largely concerned with defining and controlling what is and is not included in the project. According to Dekkers and Forselius (2007), scope management plays a central role in an information technology project like in the telecommunication industry. They further established that scope management has strong relations to several of the project management knowledge areas, of which they identify time, cost, quality, and risk management (Atkinson, 1999; Dekkers & Forselius, 2007). The authors believe that scope management is more important than any other of the individual knowledge areas and processes in projects. In an effort to support this argument, the authors present information that explained why 60-99 percent of all defects latent in production software could be attributed back to the requirements phase (Atkinson, 1999; Dekkers & Forselius, 2007).

Taking a closer look, the problem with project scope in telecommunication projects may arise from a number of factors (Gutierrez & Berg, 2000; Ogunberu et al., 2018). First, ambiguity in scope mostly leads to misunderstanding and redundant work in telecommunication projects. This is sometimes experienced during the installation or expansion of fiber optic technology. Another problem associated with scope management in telecommunication projects is the incompleteness and inaccuracy of project scope (Ogunberu et al., 2016). This often causes unnecessary schedule mistakes and cost overrun in telecommunication projects. The third challenge that can be related to scope management is having a transient project scope. This is the root cause of lateness in project deliveries and sometime an unending project (Young, 2007). Lastly, when a project scope is not collaborated, it is seen as a great issue in telecommunication projects because it often leads to misinterpretation of the project requirements and design.

In spite of the increasing implementation and development of information and communication technology projects across Africa (including Somaliland) particularly, in the telecommunication sector (Ogunberu et al., 2018), quite a number of these projects have recorded high failure rates, perhaps, as a result of poor project scope, design and management (Gutierrez & Berg, 2000). This is why the telecommunication industry and their project managers/teams are exploring ways, processes and methods involved in managing projects in order to improve the success rates (Gutierrez & Berg, 2000). Within this context, the telecommunication companies in least developing countries need to pay additional attention to project scope management practice in order to sustain market share and safeguard return on investment, profitability and client demands. There is therefore a need to explore the challenges encountered in the course of implementing project scope management in telecommunication projects in Somaliland.

To fill in the identified gaps and contribute to knowledge in this regard, this study investigates the challenges hindering project scope management practices in the telecommunication industry. This study also attempts to provide noteworthy information that can guide the future project managers on the identified challenges encountered when executing telecommunication projects and how to successfully overcome them. Moreover, the current paper further provides new insights that could guide telecommunication stakeholders, decision-makers and policy-makers in the development and formulation of future strategies and measures on the application of project scope management in telecommunication projects.


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How to cite this paper: Fashina, A.A.; Abdilahi, S. M.; Fakunle, F.F. (2020). Examining the challenges associated with the implementation of project scope management in telecommunication projects in Somaliland; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue III, March.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/pmwj91-Mar2020-Fashina-Abdilahi-Fakunle-scope-management.pdf



About the Authors


Dr. Adebayo Adeboye Fashina

Hargeisa, Somaliland




Dr. Adebayo Adeboye Fashina is a young certified management consultant (CMC), professional researcher, educator and education management consultant with over eight years of significant international experience working on STEM education, EOMS/Project management research and teaching, science research and teaching, and capacity building at various levels of education across Africa.

Dr. Adebayo hold a Bachelor’s degree in Physics/Electronics, MSc. in Theoretical Physics and Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Physics. He currently works with Gollis University, Hargeisa as an Associate Professor of Physics and Engineering Management. Prior to his present job, he worked as a Researcher/GTA/Lecturer-B at AUST before joining Kampala International University, Uganda as a Senior Lecturer and later worked as an Associate Professor at William V. S. Tubman University, Liberia. He was nominated for the 2016 Sustainable Energy Africa Awards and shortlisted as one of the three finalists in the ”Emerging Leaders” award category at the 2016 Nigeria Energy Forum.

Dr. Adebayo has conducted training workshops, seminars and given speeches/talks/presentations at local and international conferences. He has published more than 20 articles in reputed journals and is an active reviewer of many international journals. He is a motivated, energetic and focused individual with strengths in innovative teaching approaches, interdisciplinary research, data analysis, teacher training and team management. His research interest includes sustainable living, project management, RE policy and management, education organization management system (EOMS), educational planning, photonic nanostructures of materials etc. He is a fellow of African Scientific Institute, USA and the Institute of Management Consultants, Nigeria.

Dr. Adebayo can be contacted on adebayofashina@gmail.com or afashina@gollisuniversity.org



Sakariye Mahamed Abdilahi

Hargeisa, Somaliland




 Sakariye Mahamed Abdillahi is a member of Dr. Adebayo’s research group at Gollis University and an Assistant Lecturer in the department of telecommunication engineering at same University. Sakariye hold a B.Sc. degree in Telecommunication Engineering and Master of Arts in Project Management from Gollis University, Hargeisa, Somaliland. He is proficient in communication, training, organization, the use of social media outlets, and the use of Microsoft Office packages such as MS Word, MS Excel, and MS Power point.

His research interests evolve around the application of project management knowledge areas to telecommunication projects, project and engineering management, application of project management knowledge areas to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) etc.

Sakariye can be contacted on zakariemoe@gmail.com



Funke Folasade Fakunle

Lagos Nigeria




Funke Folasade Fakunle is a young female NEBOSH international diploma qualified professional with 10 years of significant QHSE experience in QHSE management, training and consultancy. Being passionate about Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) and management system in the workplace, she has acquired certifications in Process Safety: Hazard Operability study (HAZOP), Lean six sigma (Green Belt Holder), ISO 9001 Lead Auditor, OHSAS 18001 Lead Auditor, AOFAQ Level 3 Award in Education & Training, NEBOSH International Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health, NEBOSH International General Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health, Project Management, Rigging Safety and Inspection etc.

Funke received a B.Sc. degree in Mathematics from the University of Uyo, Akwa-Ibom, Nigeria in 2008. Over the past 10 years, she has gained significant QHSE experience in various industries.  These include construction, oil & gas, logistics and transportation, telecommunication, manufacturing, banking and security sectors. She is a register Professional/Associated Member of the International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA), International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM), and Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

As an QHSE Consultant/Trainer at present, she conducts QHSE training, consulting and auditing/evaluation exercises that help improve the QHSE Management Systems of various organizations. This allows her to adequately provide her clients with the necessary advisory services that include but not limited to HSE employee orientation training, development, planning and implementation of QHSE Management Systems, QHSE auditing, Environmental Management System, process improvement and so on.

Funke can be contacted on funkefolasade7@gmail.com