Not a member of ICCPM?  Join Now!

Issue 4: December 2011

CEO Welcome Message

Welcome to the last newsletter of 2011.

2011 has been a ground breaking year for us and has seen ICCPM go from strength to strength. With the ICPM Knowledge Development and Dissemination Centre (KD2) and the Associate Partner Network (APN), ICCPM is now fully operational and actively supporting government and industry to more successfully deliver complex projects.

The highlights for the last three months include the international launch events of the Complex Project Management Task Force Report: Global Perspectives and the Strategic Agenda to 2025.

  • On 13 October, the Hon. Jason Clare, Australian Minister for Defence Materiel, launched the Report at Parliament House, Canberra.
  • On 3 November, the Report was launched in Washington DC, USA with Australian Ambassador the Hon. Kim Beazley officiating with the President of Defense Acquisition University, Ms Katrina McFarland.
  • On 25 November, the Deputy Premier of NSW, the Hon. Andrew Stoner launched the Report in Sydney with the Director General of NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services.
  • On 1 December, the Right Honourable Francis Maude, MP, UK Minister for the Cabinet Office and Amyas Morse, Comptroller and Auditor General, National Audit Office, launched the Report in London.

We are delighted that government, industry and academia were strongly represented at all the launches. The launch of the report has certainly seen a huge groundswell of interest and support for ICCPM.

We continue to grow the partner base which is an important ingredient to enable future research. We are therefore delighted to welcome Booz Allen Hamilton and Boeing Defence Australia on board as International and National Partners of ICCPM.

ICCPM's global APN has already been deployed for a range of exciting education and support activities. The APN is proving to be an effective way of boosting ICCPM's capacity to provide services to its partners and customers.

I hope you will enjoy the newsletter. On behalf of the ICCPM team, I would like to thank you for your support over the past year. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season and a wonderful year in 2012.

Behaviour Engineering and the Behaviour Engineering Support Environment (BESE)


Regardless of the scale and complexity of a project or program and the development model chosen for its realization, success is dependent on the ability for all parties to communicate the requirements for the project or program accurately and with shared understanding. When projects and programs are defined by thousands of requirements, many containing incompleteness, ambiguity, and technical terminology, the limitations of human short term memory and the variances in subject matter expertise almost ensures that share understanding and communication is impossible. Current methods of analysis and modelling help little in this regard. New engineering methods and supporting tools are needed to foster a deep, accurate and shared understanding of a project or program's requirements. This in turn enables clear and unambiguous communication between all parties; customers, users, contractors and suppliers, technicians, engineers and managers.

Behaviour Engineering enables a project to manage complexity by producing a useful and usable, integrated model directly from the requirements, maintaining both the intent and vocabulary of the requirements. The Behaviour Engineering model and representation provide a means to manage scale and complexity of large systems of systems. The resulting integrated behaviour model facilitates clear and unambiguous communication, and hence, specification validation. This in turn helps to ensure that costly requirements defects are detected early. When a Behaviour Engineering model is integrated, many emergent properties of the system become apparent, enabling project staff to communicate and reason about these properties. All parts of a Behaviour Engineering model are directly traceable to the original requirements from which those parts were translated. This also captures the history of issues facing decision makers and the driving logic behind decisions made in resolving those issues for future managers.


Behaviour Engineering can be used on complex projects and programs to:

  • Model, evaluate and analyse specifications from operational concept through to detailed design specification
  • Validate very large specifications with end users through scenario-based walk through of the model
  • Facilitate understanding between engineers and other non-technical stakeholders
  • Allow for requirements issue correction and re-engineering.
  • Undertake concept exploration and requirements discovery
  • Develop detailed requirements specifications.

Additionally, Behaviour Engineering models can be used in end-to-end model driven development, by:

  • Simulation
  • Model Checking
  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
  • Model-Based Testing
  • Code generation and execution

Impact of Use

Use of Behaviour Engineering models has resulted in significant developments including:

  • Consistent detection of significant numbers of confirmed major defects in requirements after traditional reviews and inspections have been completed
  • Decrease in the effort required to develop a deep understanding of requirements
  • Significant increase in the quality of a specification when Behaviour Engineering is used in defect detection, correction and requirements discovery
  • Reduction in requirements related risk for all parties
  • Defect detection rates approximately 3 times that of traditional methods of review and inspection.


For further information about this tool, please contact Brett Ackroyd, COO of ICCPM.

Education Update: Systems Thinking Foundation Course - Collins Class Submarine
Steve Pirie

Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC) has been ICCPM's partner since 2010. ASC's inaugural Systems Thinking course kicked off in September 2011 with a selection of leaders across ASC, RAN and DMO. This course was specifically designed as a Submarine enterprise event aimed at strengthening relationships, developing common understandings of issues and strengthening the positive culture within the team.

The course was an opportunity for participants to gain knowledge in tools and techniques, such as Rich Pictures and Viable Systems Models, which help with understanding how to deal with complexity in projects. It was conducted over two periods and facilitated by QUT. The first phase in September 2011 was to gain an understanding of the theory associated with systems thinking. The second phase, conducted in November 2011, united three teams as one and utilized this theory in a presentation to senior leaders RADM Mick Uzzell, AVM Chris Deeble and Steve Ludlam.

The senior leadership stated they were extremely impressed by not only the standard of the presentations but also the issues highlighted.

The continuation of the program was endorsed with future events planned to collaboratively develop enterprise common aims, values, mandates and behaviours, in addition to an education program on Systems Thinking.These events will both promote Systems Thinking techniques within ASC and engage a wider group of stakeholders on the journey.

"The Systems Thinking Foundation course challenged the minds of the participants to think about complex projects from a different perspective. The techniques practiced in the course were powerful tools to aid in the navigation of complex situations and problems, and will feature in future capability development programs within ASC" said Steve Pirie, Corporate Manager - Project Management, ASC.

Complex Project Management Course for I2P2M New Delhi

On the 15 and 16th of October 2011, ICCPM's Chief Operating Officer, Mr Brett Ackroyd, presented a two day introduction to Complex Project Management Courses as module 4 of the International Executive Diploma in Project Management (IEDPM), delivered by the International Institute of Project and Program Management (I2P2M), in New Delhi. With 34 participants the module was well subscribed and formed the final teaching component of the IEDPM. Participants from various industry and governments fields based in India and the subcontinent were exposed to the concepts of Systems Thinking and complex project management. Further they were given an opportunity to explore the utility of those concepts and related tools in assisting project managers and their organisations in understanding and managing complex projects.

The module was universally well received, with positive feedback from both participants and the I2P2M staff. I2P2M management have confirmed a requirement for a follow on course to the 2012 cohort of the IEDPM.

ICCPM Partner Update: Booz Allen Hamilton and Boeing Defence Australia on board

We are delighted to announce that Booz Allen Hamilton and Boeing Defence Australia have joined us as International and National Partners!

ICCPM provides many benefits to its partners, of which two are of most significance. The first is the opportunity to join an international network of leading government, corporate and academic practitioners. Complex project management is recognised as a burgeoning area, but to date has operated without the benefit of an entity to facilitate interaction and communication between its global members. ICCPM has filled this void, and provides a central and coordinating role between leading operators in the complex project management environment.

The second key benefit is the ICCPM research agenda which will help progress knowledge and practice in the difficult area of complex project management. This agenda is under development and will be revised in consultation with our Partners around the globe. Our Partners are invited to guide our work towards areas which they believe are of most interest or benefit to them and the global community.

Booz Allen Hamilton and Boeing Defence Australia, and our existing Partners, will derive great value in participating in our extensive global CPM network, particularly in the exclusive roundtable events, and in the development of our research agenda over the coming years. We look forward to working with them to provide leadership to advance knowledge and practice and encourage excellence in the management of complex projects.

Focus Group Update: Social and Cultural Complexity
Michaela Thoma

The Focus Group is chaired by Louis Klein, CEO of Systems Excellence. The idea behind this Focus Group (FG) is the exploration of the corporate relevance of the various topics concerning social and cultural complexity in Project Management (PM).
Findings and reflections of this FG, as well as others to follow, will serve as a guide to the ICCPM research agenda, and from this "work-in-progress", applied research will be undertaken. The ICCPM research agenda concerns the actual problems and challenges industries all over the world are facing in delivering research in a complete applicable and practical way.

Closely linked with the Cross-Cultural Complex Project Management (CCCPM) doctoral programme, the ICCPM FG "Social and Cultural Complexity in Project Management" decidedly fosters and accelerates applied research to explore social and cultural dynamics as a source of complexity in project management. In this context and after a first successful meeting in June 2011, the second CCCPM meeting now was recently held on 28/29 November 2011 in Berlin.

The event was dedicated to workshops and peer group learning sessions and included presentations of seven doctoral candidates on the following PhD research projects:

  • Fahri Akdemir: Choreographing Complexity. A cross-cultural study on leadership as a tool to deal with complexity.
  • Joana Bertholo: The shadow in project management – disowned and unacknowledged facets in the theory and practice of project management.
  • Violetta Pleshakova: Communities of practice in the digital age. Managing communities with the use of social networking tools.
  • Steve Raue: Talking complexity in project management. Towards a workable understanding of complexity in project management.
  • Natalia Irina Roman: Contextualising project management, illustrated by selected art spaces in Berlin – a cultural economics comparative analysis.
  • Luisa Santos: Multi-disciplinary approaches in projects for social change. Project Morrinh: a case study.
  • Michaela Thoma: New models, methods and instruments for complex project management - An action research approach.

Happy with the outcome of this event, Dr Louis Klein summarised the main result : "Based on the deeper considerations of the three factors resilience, culture and change it again became very clear, that we need to look at project management from three perspectives - a technical-commercial one, a political one and a cultural perspective. And if we think this through we may be scared that we look at an approach that supports to triple the efforts. The good news is if we do it systemically we will realise systemic benefits which can reduce costs substantially. Sounds revolutionary, and we need to keep going at it."

The third meeting will be held beginning of April, 2012, likely to take place in Berlin once again. Interested practitioners and researchers are cordially invited to attend.

Research Update

With the Launch of The ICPM Knowledge Development and Dissemination Centre (KD2) ICCPM has operationalized its existing research activities and prepared a structure to administer future global research in CPM.
ICCPM has embarked on the process for developing a bid for Australian government research funding through a Collaborative Research Centre grant. ICCPM and its collaborating parties will begin developing the industry engagement structure and identifying the research agenda priorities for industry in early 2012. As a first phase leading into the CRC bid ICCPM is sponsoring a specific research project to identify and consolidate the current global CPM knowledge and practice base. It is envisaged that several universities from around the world will contribute to the Project with a proposed finish date of early 2013. A prospectus setting out the details of the research proposal is currently under development and will be disseminated early 2012.

For further information about ICCPM Research, please contact Brett Ackroyd, COO of ICCPM.

Event Update

Stephen Hayes visited Canada at the beginning of November to speak to a number of Federal Government of Canada audiences. He spoke to some 250 Project Management personnel conducting weapon systems acquisition by presenting international perspectives on the business of complex procurement. Steve and Tim Cummins, President and CEO of the International Association of Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM), also spoke to officials across departments involved in the business at a separate session, and subsequently engaged the Defence Industry Advisory Council on the same subject. The discussions were rich and thought-provoking.

Photo: Receiving the Project Management Competency Development (PMCD) coin at the Material Group Project Management Professional Development Seminar (left to right) Ms. Sue Romano, Director, Program Management Development & Learning for Raytheon Integrated Defence Systems; Mr. Tim Cummins, President & Chief Executive of IACCM; Steve; and Ian Mack, Director General Major Project Delivery (Land and Sea), with the Department of National Defence in Canada.

New Books

Leading Complex Projects by Kaye Remington

Leadership in projects has been under-represented in many of the most influential project methodologies, where the focus has been on management and process. The importance to project success of key roles such as project board member, executive sponsor, project manager, client representative or team leader, increases exponentially with the scale and complexity of the project.

Kaye Remington's Leading Complex Projects draws on original, empirical research into successful leadership of complex projects, including 70 in-depth interviews with people, across a broad range of industries, selected for their roles in guiding complex projects towards successful outcomes. The book, structured around the major themes from the interviews, explains and applies emerging best-practice in a coherent and focused way. A potent combination of wisdom from leaders in practice and the latest knowledge from many fields of research will engage experienced practitioners, as well as those who are teaching and researching projects, complexity and leadership.

Preface; Introduction: leadership for complex projects; Section 1 What Good Leadership Does When Projects Are Complex: Comprehend complexity; Communicate, communicate, communicate; Cultivate effective teams from project teams to executive board; Employ portfolio-programme thinking; Challenge through innovation; Think about thinking; Consider culture; Exercise political skill; Pilot projects through crises. Section 2 What Good Leadership Needs When Projects Are Complex: Governance that matches the complexity; Authority over key roles; Partners for peace. Section 3 How Good Leadership Behaves When Projects Are Complex: As humble iconoclasts; With charisma, resilience, determination and courage; Index.

About the Author
Kaye Remington has extensive experience in extending project management concepts into many fields in practice, education and research, integrating material from fields not traditionally associated with project management. Kaye Remington has 25 years' project management and senior management experience and until very recently was Course Director of the Master of Project Management program at the University of Technology Sydney. She is author of the highly acclaimed Tools for Complex Projects, also published by Gower.

The Decision Loom: A Design for Interactive Decision-Making in Organizations by Vincent Barabba

Decision-making has been one of the principal victims of 'modern' thinking. The 'analytical' approach has, of course, brought us vaccines, electricity and the internal combustion engine. But, in seeking to break things down into their component parts and improve the parts, governments and businesses continue to make some astonishingly bad decisions. What's more, many enterprises still pay close attention to 'decisions' whilst overlooking the bigger picture: the organizational system within which those decisions get made. The book sets out to change our 'analytical' habit and invites enterprises to consider the bigger picture. Author Vince Barabba explains an elegantly simple approach to making better decisions. He calls this approach 'The Decision Loom' and bases it on Systems Thinking, Design Thinking and Complexity Theory. Drawing on a lifetime of experience, Vince Barabba sets out, in The Decision Loom, the four core capabilities that any organization needs to put in place to make his proposed approach to decision-making work. They cover 1) having an 'Enterprise Mindset that is open to change', 2) thinking and acting holistically, 3) having an adaptable business design and 4) using the right combination of problem-solving and decision-making methods. The four capabilities are illustrated by brief case studies from: LEGO, Xynteo, Patagonia Clothing, Nintendo, Cisco, and McDonald's. If you choose to create a Decision Loom yourself in your own organization, the outcome will be: Greater interaction across the enterprise leading to an enterprise that is greater than the sum of its parts.

About the Author
In an extraordinary career as political campaign survey researcher, business market researcher, intelligence gatherer, and knowledge developer, Vince Barabba has helped Governors, Congressmen and US Presidents - as well as the Boards of several of America's leading corporations - take some critically important decisions. In each role, he has taken plenty of those decisions himself. Co-founder and chairman of Market Insight Corporation, Vince serves as a Commissioner of the California Citizen Redistricting Commission, and he is chairman of The State of the USA, a nonprofit corporation providing quality information to the American public on key changing societal, economic, and environmental conditions. He was, until 2003, General Manager of Corporate Strategy and Knowledge Development at General Motors, where he conceived and devised OnStar and MyProductAdvisor. He is a Past President of the American Statistical Association. Mr. Barabba twice served as director of the Census Bureau and is the only person to have been appointed to that position by presidents of different political parties. Between his government service and GM assignments, he served as manager of market research for Xerox and director of market intelligence for Eastman Kodak.

"With a deep understanding of both theory and practice, Barabba draws on a broad range of management concepts, ideas and experiences to advocate rules of thumb and decision models and processes to help managers cope with the dynamic complexity of the 21st Century. Barabba's insights and conclusions are strongly influenced by systems thinking and explicitly inspired by the works of Ackoff, Churchman, Drucker and the other great management thinkers of our time." - Ray Stata, Co-founder and Chairman, Analog Devices

Subject to copyright. ICCPM has taken reasonable care to ensure that all content is correct and up-to-date at the time of publication. This document remains the property of the International Centre for Complex Project Management. No part of it may be reproduced by any means without the prior written permission of the International Centre for Complex Project Management. For further information and requests for distribution please contact Thu Tran via email at

Key Partners