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Managing the performance of major public infrastructure projects: the case of roads in Senegal

Mohamed Laye

Head of the major road works division, AGEROUTE

Doctor DBA, Business Science Institute

(DBA thesis supervised by Pr. Baidari)



Public infrastructure is an essential asset for socio-economic development in emerging countries. How can the performance of these projects be managed within the framework of a broad stakeholder vision? Here are some answers based on research on major road projects in Senegal.

Impact(s) of the research

While the majority (60%) of major road projects implemented from 2007 to 2016 failed to meet the performance criteria set at the outset (time, cost), we propose an analysis grid aimed at :

  • broaden the stakeholders in the projects, often restricted to the contracting authority and the financial backer (it is appropriate to include the design office, the project manager, the contractor, the users and the local residents)

  • identify the roles of these different stakeholders and relate them to the stages of the road project (identification, preparation, implementation and evaluation)

  • Linking the roles with various performance criteria (time, cost, quality, user and resident satisfaction, and environmental protection) from the perspective of effectiveness, efficiency and relevance.

Managing the performance of infrastructure projects requires a broad view of stakeholders in order to understand how and when they interfere with the project. In addition, we propose to go beyond the "iron triangle" performance measurement (quality, delay, cost) to integrate criteria related to users, residents and sustainable development.

Foundations of the research

This doctoral work is part of the literature on project management and performance criteria. It continues the reflections of the researcher Roger Atkinson who, in 1999, emphasized the need to go beyond the classic vision of project performance to integrate more diversity in the criteria.


The methodology of our research is based on the following two steps: (i) a quantitative analysis of the results (time, cost, quality) of 41 major road projects carried out by the Agency for Road Works and Management from 2007 to 2016; (ii) a qualitative approach based on 34 semi-structured interviews with representatives of the road project stakeholders These data were processed using Textual Data Analysis (TDA) techniques via Sphinx™ software and visualization with DataViv ™ software.

Faculty Opinion

Mr. Mohamed Laye is very professionally involved with a subject that is close to his heart. He demonstrates this in the first part of the document where he introduces his research question in all its complexity by enlightening it with intelligence by the literature to which he refers (Pr. Moscarola, member of the jury).

Prof. Mourey considers that this doctoral work is of high quality and shows the appropriation of the scientific approach by the candidate. He was very interested in the large-scale empirical work carried out at the AGEROUTE company, which underlines the great contextualization of the research approach. (Pr. Mourey, member of the jury)

To go further ...

Atkinson, R. (1999). Project management: cost, time and quality, two best guesses and a phenomenon, it's time to accept other success criteria. International Journal of Project Management, 17(6), 337-342.

Barney, J. (1991). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 17(1), 99-120.

Freeman, R. E. (2010). Strategic management: A stakeholder approach. Cambridge University Press.

Miller, R., Castonguay, J., & Chebil, F. (2006). The governance of large public infrastructure projects-The quality review process (No. 2006rp-23). CIRANO. 29p.

Perret, F. L., & Louafa, T. (2008). Creativity and innovation: collective intelligence for project management. Presses Polytechniques et Universitaires Romandes, Lausanne, 351 p.


Article translated from French with


See also

The presentation of Mohamed Laye's book, in video


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