What is Complexity?
WHAT IS COMPLEX PROJECT MANAGEMENT?
Whilst there is no universally accepted definition for Complex Project Management, at the point of ICCPM’s establishment it was agreed between its founding organisations that complex projects are those that:
Are characterised by uncertainty, ambiguity, dynamic interfaces, and significant political or external influences; and/or
Usually run over a period which exceeds the technology cycle time of the technologies involved; and/or
Can be defined by effect, but not by solution.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A COMPLEX PROJECT?
Across the globe, awareness is emerging of the urgent need for improved delivery of projects that are complex. Research indicates that traditional, linear project management tools and techniques, while still necessary, are often insufficient to manage the complexities of 21st century projects. But what are the elements deemed to be causing this disruption?
Details – number of variables and interfaces
Ambiguity – lack of awareness of events and causality
Uncertainty – inability to pre-evaluate actions
Unpredictability – the inability to know what will happen
Dynamics – rapid rate of change
Social structure – numbers and types of interactions
Interrelationships – many interdependencies and interconnections exist
Whilst not all projects are complex, all projects have a life-cycle and most projects will experience a period of complexity during their lifetime.
Below you will find a select list of publications that attempt to define Complexity and Complex Project Management.