Forums Managing Risk in Complexity SIG
(MRC SIG)
Working Group B: What principles are important in dealing with complexity?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 280 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • Stephen Grey
    Participant
    @stephen-grey
    Post count: 86
    Up
    1
    ::

    I am still extremely interested in this working group

    Just can’t fit much into a current upsurge of work and domestic issues that demand a lot of my time

    This article illustrates how ‘white lies’ can add to the confusion on really big projects

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/29/turnbull-government-knew-submarines-would-cost-80bn-but-told-public-at-least-50bn-audit-finds?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    Ian Mack
    Participant
    @ian-mack
    Post count: 68
    Up
    1
    ::

    Team – Regret I missed the last meeting (yes again over time changes in zones). Having read Davin’s transcript, I realize that we are still brainstorming. However, the following stood out to me as options (without prejudice, and I may have missed a couple) that we might add to the previously raised three subjects of power dynamics, multiple narratives, and the ability of a single PM to deal with the scale of the knowledge needed to navigate complex projects:

    – “We have less and less [capable?] resources, for bigger and bigger complex projects [the Hinton lecture highlights the growth in scale of projects which relates to one of the three subjects raised in the previous meeting perhaps?], and in more and more sensitive environments [e.g. polarized politics, multiple agent/principal alignment, and climate change

    – “We need a horizontal view – what other thinkers are doing in their problem space and then looking for commonalities and that sort of thing”

    – Benefits Realization: Addressing carbon footprint in acquisition and in-service

    – The applicability/fit of Monte Carlo & related scheduling tools

    – Data digitization to accepted international standards leading to the effective generation of useful information (e.g. identifying signals with a high correlation to failed/terminated projects) through AI with complex projects

    – Addressing the shortfall of Enough People with ‘Lived Experience’ (rather than ‘Learned Experience’) in complex projects [e.g. more coop programs and/or apprenticeship programs as part of skills development at universities and certifying bodies, addressing mentor availability (too busy) and ‘lessons lost’, improved practitioner networking]

    – How to address the failure (unrecoverable losses) of the Iron Triangle (scope, schedule & cost) in complex projects – what other attributes need to be added to an ‘Elastic Star’?

    – Addressing Principal and Agent misalignment as a special case in stakeholder management

    – How governance can better address ‘Assurance’ via prudent audit and oversight that a complex project is best set up to succeed (or to do minimal harm to the target outcomes – such things as resources and processes) to enable ‘Ensuring’ that the execution teams of complex projects can deliver the defined measures of successful project outcomes

    I hope this is useful in staring a list of questions or themes that new Working Group might choose to pursue after further brainstorming and then assessment – we now have at least 12 – yes, TWELVE). as before, the trick will be choosing a useful project that is within our capacity and could be of strategic value.

    And just maybe I will even get to the next meeting on time – Ian

    Anthony Graham
    Participant
    @tony-graham
    Post count: 10
    Up
    1
    ::

    Hear from Mark Wild, former CEO of Crossrail, at the Royal Academy of Engineering 2022 Hinton Lecture: ‘Owning the whole, leading in complexity’.

    https://raeng.org.uk/2022-hinton-lecture

    Davin Shellshear
    SIG Chair
    @davin-shellshear
    Post count: 103
    Up
    1
    ::

    Hi Group B,

    Attached are the notes from our meeting on 17th November. There are a lot of interesting comments arising from the meeting.

    Our current strategy is to keep talking around the subject and se if a new topic emerges.

    Andrew, you have referred to NAO’s definition of project failure as irrecoverable loss of benefit. Do you have the source for that? I have attached a piece from the Department of Finance on benefits, but could not find the bit from NAO.

    Cheers

    Davin

    Attachments:
    You must be logged in to view attached files.
    Anthony Graham
    Participant
    @tony-graham
    Post count: 10
    Up
    0
    ::

    Robert

    Thanks

    The Liverpool John Moores Lecture a week Monday will be on “Organisational Safety Assessment” – I’ve had to follow their syllabus and teaching so I don’t confuse. I have put some outline slides together this morning and have shared them with the University for review. I will adlib ‘real life’ stories to stimulate the students. I probably can’t give them too much on complexity as I want to ensure they understand the basics in organisational safety assessment.

    I will work on the slides next week

    Tony Graham

    Attachments:
    You must be logged in to view attached files.
    Robert McMartin
    SIG Chair
    @rmcmartin
    Post count: 12
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Tony,

    This is a presentation that I did for the Predict User Group.  I have a whole manual written for Risk Management if you want.

    Attachments:
    You must be logged in to view attached files.
    Andrew Pyke
    Participant
    @mr-andrew-pyke
    Post count: 23
    Up
    0
    ::

    As discussed today, the Australian Risk Policy Institute did a great paper or two on RSKM limitations.  Here are my personal notes on it, FWIW:
    <ul class=”ul1″>
    <li class=”li1″>Risk Policy (Potentiality) > Risk Management (Probability) > Issue Management (Happening)
    <li class=”li1″>Think “vulnerability”, well before “risk”
    <li class=”li1″>About decisions <span class=”s2″>and</span> non-decisions
    <li class=”li1″>Include assessments of “patterns of thinking”
    <li class=”li1″>From organisation-centric risk, to network-centric risk
    <li class=”li1″>Strategic Risk = Vulnerability ^ Threat ^ Threat Actor (conjunction of all three)
    <li class=”li1″>Strategic Risk Policy should define where <i>Consequence</i> will be emphasised
    <li class=”li1″>KPI for the risk management system – how many issues being managed came from Risk Management, vs were missed
    <li class=”li1″>Personal costs (e.g. including non-decisions) can often exceed organisational costs, which needs to be considered
    <li class=”li1″>Outrage Management needs to consider behavioural science in how stakeholders respond to threats
    <li class=”li1″>“Risk Landscape” informs risk appetite and tolerance – recommend against defining “tolerance”
    <li class=”li1″>“New Civics” for how risk will be managed across the network
    <li class=”li1″>Measure risk in terms of magnitude of consequences, not probabilities
    <li class=”li1″>Compound Vulnerability – a domino effect of a new potential risk or vulnerability arising from an exposure created by an existing risk turned wicked problem.
    <li class=”li1″>Systemic Risks (which can become wicked problems, requiring reconstruction)
    <ul class=”ul1″>
    <li class=”li1″>Plural (legal/organisational) ownership
    <li class=”li1″>Jointly manage – formally and collaboratively
    <li class=”li1″>Single integrated processes

    Andrew Pyke
    Participant
    @mr-andrew-pyke
    Post count: 23
    Up
    0
    ::

    All, I recently had cause to analyse a complex project and deeply consider the Principal-Agent Problem and the Multiple-Principal Problem.  Thought I would share fwiw. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principal%E2%80%93agent_problem

    Andrew Pyke
    Participant
    @mr-andrew-pyke
    Post count: 23
    Up
    0
    ::

    We talked about lessons learned today.  I found this great resource that you might be interested in.  https://learninglegacy.crossrail.co.uk/

    Ian Mack
    Participant
    @ian-mack
    Post count: 68
    Up
    0
    ::

    Thanks Rob and Davin for the two papers. A few thoughts after reading them in terms of what topics we might tackle next.

    From the paper on ‘early warning signals’, I tried to extract what might be important subjects for us to consider tackling that we think are important, that have depth and that we could contribute meaningful thoughts on elements of solutions – my ‘take’ of some of the tougher nuts to crack:

    – [As per Andrew’s comments at last meeting] key stakeholder uneasiness, outright disagreements or marketing of differing project narratives of events and/or their interpretation (including Politicians/political-actors) and I might add that all are affected by power dynamics

    – Time pressure (‘when the stars line up, you go & do your best’)

    – Weak risk treatment (includes inherent risk of project assumption validity in the face of change)

    – Unclear expectations

    – Cultural barriers (low risk threshold, group think, blame culture)

    – Closed/biased mindset

    – Competency shortfalls in project execution teams (including minimum levels to make good decisions when relying on contractors, and lived experience to provide ‘gut feel’,)

    – Inept gatekeeper assessments (incompetent or not external enough or frequent enough as black-hat audits/reviews)

    – Governance misplacing trust in competent-weak project execution teams

    And from the paper regarding categorizing projects, two possible objectives came to mind:

    – Noting the disorder in the middle of the Cynefin reality, how does one address the challenge of actually being able to pigeon-hole a category (complicated or complex) based on judgment of the degree of certainty of assessment versus over-confidence?

    – What are the aspects that are critical to the necessary level of resilience to navigate complex projects (within the project execution team in particular)?

    Some of these might appeal, for consideration Team.    Ian

    Robert McMartin
    SIG Chair
    @rmcmartin
    Post count: 12
    Up
    0
    ::

    I came across this article today and thought I would share it.

    Complicated and Complex are very different things! (danpronk.com)

    Davin Shellshear
    SIG Chair
    @davin-shellshear
    Post count: 103
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Group B

    I thought I might make a suggestion re our new topic.

    I have noticed discussion from time to time regarding early signs of complexity/ spearing off into mud, or what are referred to as weak signals. If seems that this might be an interesting place to draw off our collective experiences. I have been reading a paper called ‘Identifying and Acting on Early Warning Signs in Complex Projects’ (see attached) which has probably influenced my thinking. Link:   https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/identifying-warning-signs-complex-projects-6259

    If nothing else, this post might trigger alternative topics.

    Cheers

    Davin

    Attachments:
    You must be logged in to view attached files.
    Davin Shellshear
    SIG Chair
    @davin-shellshear
    Post count: 103
    Up
    0
    ::

    CONGRATULATIONS to Group B

    Attached is the final product of a year’s hard effort by Group B.

    CONSIDERATIONS FOR ACHIEVING COMPLEX PROJECT DELIVERY

    Thanks to all those who participated, and a particular thank you to the amazing work by Ian Mack in putting the document together progressively over the period, and undertaking the final editing process.

    The document has been passed onto Colin Smith so ICCPM can consider how best to use this excellent outcome.

    Once again, thank you all

    Cheers

    Davin Shellshear

    Attachments:
    You must be logged in to view attached files.
    Davin Shellshear
    SIG Chair
    @davin-shellshear
    Post count: 103
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Group B

    Attached are the notes from our meeting on 27th October. Apologies for the delay, I had uploaded the notes and took them down immediately when I realised I had to make some further edits. My bad!

    So – please read and enjoy.

    I remind members to post suggestions on potential new topics for the group. There was a lot of discussion around this in the meeting, so may I suggest reading the notes first.

    Cheers

    Davin

     

    Attachments:
    You must be logged in to view attached files.
    Lizzy Smith
    Participant
    @serviceworksmith-com-au
    Post count: 4
    Up
    0
    ::

    hi Ian and Davin

    Yes Davin is correct I used his highlighted version to add my comments. I attach a word version with my comments if that is easier.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Attachments:
    You must be logged in to view attached files.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 280 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.