Exploring the extent to which SMEs

can realize better organizational performance when various project management practices are linked together



By Adebayo Adeboye Fashina1,2*, Sakariye Mahamed Abdilahi1, Funke Folasade Fakunle3, and Mohamed Hassan Ahmed1

1Project Management Program, School of Graduate Studies and Research, Gollis University, Hargeisa, Somaliland
2Engineering Management Program, School of Graduate Studies and Research, Gollis University, Hargeisa, Somaliland.
3Compliance and Auditing Department, AdeFolasade Management Systems Consults, Lagos-Nigeria.

*Corresponding author: Adebayo Adeboye Fashina. adebayofashina@gmail.com




Over the years, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been perceived as one of the key drivers of economic growth and job creation, particularly, in low- and medium-income countries. However, despite the support from international agencies and most governments, SMEs activities in these countries are still limited with resources essential to fortify their organizational performance. There is therefore a need to find ways of managing these limited resources via moderate project management practices that can help bolster the SMEs projects in these countries in terms of the time, cost and quality performances. This study thus attempts to bridge the identified knowledge gap by examining the extent to which SMEs can realize a better organizational performance when various project management practices are linked together in Somaliland. Using a questionnaire survey design that explored the links between six project management practices that mostly have significant impact on the organizational performance of SMEs, data were obtained from 46 SME stakeholders selected based on simple random sampling. SPSS Statistics Software and Microsoft Excel Packages was utilized to compute the Cronbach’s Alpha, mean values and Relative Importance Index (RII), respectively, for reliability check and ranking purposes. The results show that linking project cost management and project procurement management (RII = 0.687), linking project scope management and project risk management (RII = 0.683) and, linking project communication management, project procurement management and project schedule management (RII = 0.665) are the three most preferred PM knowledge area links/combinations, respectively, in terms of their level of contribution to the organizational performance of SMEs in Hargeisa. The implications of the results obtained are quite essential to the SMEs industry, as they offer creative insights that could guide the development of strategies required for future implementation of project management in the industry. Consequently, the Government of Somaliland are recommended to develop strategies that can support SMEs in terms of project management capacity building.

Keywords:    Project Management, Project Management Knowledge Areas, SMEs, Low- and Medium Income Countries, Organizational Performance, Hargeisa-Somaliland


Over the past decade, there have been consensus among economic planners on the significance of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in realizing economic development (Mensah, Domfeh, Justice, & Bawole, 2013; Stimson, Stough, & Roberts, 2006; Zafar & Mustafa, 2017). This has led many governments and development establishments to focus on finding ways to promote SMEs in an effort to encourage an all-inclusive participation in the private sector (Battaglia, Bianchi, Frey, & Iraldo, 2010; Muhammad, Char, Yasoa’, & Hassan, 2009). Consequently, SMEs are perceived as one of the vital sources of entrepreneurial skills, innovation, reduction in poverty level and job creation (Stewart & Gapp, 2014; Zafar & Mustafa, 2017). So, as organizations continue to hunt for novel and improved ways of attaining competitive advantage, it is important for businesses to examine the size of each of their functional areas in order to advance their organizational performance.

Project management (PM) scheme is a keen system that can allow organizations to reach their goals in a timely manner (Badiru, 1999; Kimmons & Loweree, 2017). Meaning that project management involves the application of knowledge, skills, processes and procedures in project settings to effectively, efficiently, and properly attain the project objectives (A. Munns & Bjeirmi, 1996). Project management thus, plays a central role in the variance competitive benefit of organizations and project management knowledge areas helps these organizations to manage the changes that may occur in the business environment (Fashina, Abdilahi, & Fakunle, 2020). Moreover, in recent times, modern approaches to management have continually advanced the influence of project management on the successful execution of projects (Iyer & Banerjee, 2016). This is why more organizations and SMEs are now applying different project management knowledge areas in their projects in an effort to improve their organizational performance which can in turn safeguard a lasting capability in the current technology driven business environment, globally (Abdilahi, Fakunle, & Fashina, 2020; Fashina et al., 2020).

Today, quite a number of successful organizations including SMEs have indicated that managing several projects more tactically via project management processes increases the effectiveness and efficiency of such SMEs and organizations, and in turn improve their organizational performances (Brooks, 2008; Makanyeza & Dzvuke, 2015). In spite of this, public and private organizations and individuals in many low- and medium-income countries have invested enormous financial resources in enterprises in the last decade without yielding the desired outcomes (Ahmad, Ramayah, Halim, & Rahman, 2017; Iftikhar Hussain, 2012; Maarof & Mahmud, 2016). However, observations from practice and findings from prior research studies indicate the need to further explore the connection between organizational performance and PM, particularly when the PM knowledge areas are linked together (Supyuenyong & Swierczek, 2011).


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How to cite this paper: Fashina, A. A.; Abdilahi, S. M.; Fakunle, F. F.; Ahmed M. H. (2020). Exploring the extent to which SMEs can realize a better organizational performance when various project management practices are linked together; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VII, July.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/pmwj95-Jul2020-Fashina-Abdilahi-Fakunle-Ahmed-SMEs-can-realize-better-performance.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 


Mohamed Hassan Ahmed

Hargeisa, Somaliland




 Mohamed Hassan Ahmed is a member of Dr. Adebayo’s research group at Gollis University. Mohamed hold a B.Sc. degree in Environmental Science and Master of Arts in Project Management from University of Hargeisa and Gollis University, Hargeisa, respectively. His research interests evolve around application of project management knowledge areas to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Mohamed can be contacted on nuuradiin444@gmail.com