The Australian Federal government has continually made strong commitments towards supporting state and territory project commitments and plans for future investment programs. The 2018/2019 Australian budget announced last night reaffirms this commitment with the “Federal Government investing more than $75 billion in transport infrastructure projects over the next decade, including $24 billion allocated in the 2018/2019 Federal Budget for Australia’s infrastructure, including major road and rail investments.” (Infrastructure Magazine, May 9 2018)

This commitment will undoubtedly bring together the need for strengthening private and public partnerships to build the capability and shared resources required across industries to deliver on project initiatives. So, what does this mean for you, the project/program managers and leaders expected to bring these projects to life? How can you ensure your organisation, business or team is equipped to deal with the challenges that arise from these projects? How can you lead necessary change to recognise, identify and appropriately manage the challenges that will arise throughout your projects lifecycle?

When we talk about complex projects, often we find we know broadly what we are expected to deliver but it is the how surrounding the approach that has levels of high ambiguity, uncertainty, unpredictability and disorder (to name a few) that affect the ultimate outcome of what we are trying to achieve. This then makes the case for understanding project complexity.

Using the example of the Federal government’s major infrastructure project commitments, we can anticipate that the project teams and leaders in these programs would encounter at least some the following issues that present during a project life-cycle regardless of its size:

  • Changing project deadlines and budgets
  • Working within or across multiple teams involved in the initiative
  • Unrealistic stakeholder expectations
  • Poor or incomplete requirements definition
  • Various stakeholder perceptions
  • Unsophisticated supply chain management by the customer or prime
  • Politics, national/international issues

This is the turbulent environment we work in and is continually recognised by CEO’s and organisational leaders as a top challenge they are being faced with (IBM 15th Global CEO Survey, 2012). In learning about the characteristics of complexity and recognising elements of the system, we can see and navigate the patterns that are present in complexity and attune our senses to it.

ICCPM’s Certificate IV in Responding to Organisational Complexity, is set in the context of project delivery and is designed to expand on your Project or Program Manager proficiency in methodologies, philosophies, and frameworks such as PRINCE II, PMBOK, AGILE, LEAN Six Sigma, MSP, P3M3 etc. not replace it. Our course is designed as a specialised qualification that builds on this existing knowledge to give you the tools necessary to recognise and deal with complexity in projects and is the only nationally accredited course of its kind in the Vocational Education and Training Sector in Australia and is exclusive to ICCPM. Research on managing complexity shows that there are significant organisational benefits for organisations that can manage the complexity in their environments better, including higher returns, lower costs, and improved employee satisfaction. This course is targeted at project and program managers /directors, risk managers, change managers, contract and procurement managers and anyone else involved in the project delivery environment.

Find out more about our accredited training offerings here.

By Collin Smith, ICCPM CEO