Research Support Program

Contribute to the growing body of knowledge.


An important part of fulfilling ICCPM’s mandate to build organisational capability in complex project management, is encouraging research that furthers the body of knowledge and supporting the translation of this research into positive impact.

The ICCPM Research Support Program connects researchers and practitioners globally. It helps researchers gather the empirical evidence they require to further the body of knowledge in complex project management and it helps practitioners access current research that will help them improve project performance. We hope you will use this platform to share information and be an active participant for the benefit of the profession and the performance of complex projects.


About the Researcher: Aleksandar Seizovic

Aleksandar is currently an Engineers Australia Associate Fellow and candidate Doctorate in Professional Engineering (research) at USQ and USQ Postgraduate Research Scholarship 2021 – 2022

Aleksandar has over 35+ years’ experience identifying, building, analysing and implementing processes and systems that add continuous improvement to the engineering and business organisations. He has propelled and energised business through management and operational excellence across the various business and engineering industry sector with a high level of versatility and motivation.

Aleksandar is dedicated to education and training and fulfils these essentials working closely with University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in providing advance industry research. He leads the discussions in education with University of Southern Queensland (USQ) by opening the opportunities for growth in alternative and innovating industry sectors. Aleksandar recognises the mechanisms and frameworks that provide greater cooperation and teamwork across academia, industry and government.

Aleksandar served in Royal Australian Navy Submarine service with distinction and honour and is awarded military medals for his near 25 years of service. As Senior Deputy Marine Engineer with COMAUSTSUBGRP (Department of Defence), he represented Commonwealth of Australia (CoA) at Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC) executive committee meetings during Collins Class Submarine build project. During this period, he was the senior marine engineering officer to be fully involved with Collins class submarine engineering capability development, operations and integrated logistics systems (ILS) program in Australia.
Aleksandar’s experience extends into Industries: oil and gas (offshore and upstream), power generation, mining, aerospace, manufacturing and maritime.

Research Background

The aim is to investigate various theories and elements that are and can be relevant to system emergent behaviour in complex meta systems. Therefore, basic theory and research on judgment, decision, and choice are the starting point for general systems of systems (S0S) framework. This research is in emergent behaviour phenomenon to minimise the occurrence of failure in complex engineering project. How to manage emergent behaviour phenomenon in system of systems project management.

There is a difference between system of systems project and traditional projects. For the System of Systems project management, the requirements are emerging.

The emergence exists in the project mainly due to the unclear of the project elements that cause the complication. In the search for indicators or that can serve as early warning signs, we need to look at sources describing factors of project success and failure. In the project management literature one can find descriptions of so-called project success factors, or sometimes their inverse, project pitfalls. The emergence exists in the project mainly due to the unclear of the project elements that cause the complication.


How Do I Participate in this Research?

Please contact Aleksandar for any enquiries about the research topic.

  • Researcher: Aleksandar (Alex) Seizovic
  • USQ Postgraduate Research Scholarship July 2021 – July 2022
  • 0418-350 636

Taking a People-Centric Approach to Improving Project Success

About the Researcher: Paul Myers

Paul is a mature-age 3rd year PhD student. Having practised the science and art of project management for 40 years in multiple States, Countries, industries and disciplines, he brings a wealth of understanding of PM practice to his academic studies. There are few who cannot benefit from exposure to Paul’s knowledge, experience and wisdom gained by successfully delivering many landmark projects, including megaprojects.

About the Webinar

Paul Myers is presenting a webinar with ICCPM. It is designed to introduce participants to some of the concepts and challenges of researching projects when taking a people centric approach in a real world setting. Participants will be introduced to not only the conceptual development side of Paul’s research in relation to complex systems but also methodology and methods being used to investigate project systems. To learn more and register, please visit the webinar page.

Research Background

It is well known that projects typically do not attain high average success rates and that to achieve an increased rate of success remains challenging. Flyvbjerg and Sunstein (2016) report an average cost overrun of 39% on a database of over 2,060 major projects across 103 Countries and six continents. Worse, some industry studies suggest that there has only been a modest improvement in the past several decades.

There is increasing evidence that the common thread in project failure is human behaviours with many pointing to project governance teams as well as behavioural biases in decision-making and Complexity, notwithstanding the project team and leadership in general.

Developing a better understanding of how people can be empowered and leveraged to improve project controllability is fundamental to finding a way forward to improving project success rates. This means re-imaging project management through a different ‘people-centric’ lens.


Research Objectives

1.1 Problem Model

Building a problem model that represents the real world is fundamental to determining a solution model. To be successful, the problem model must take a holistic approach covering the full span of control, including commercial boundaries, decision-making biases, goal-conflicts, power in the relationships and project system impairments exhibited by people. In other words, represent the ‘worldview’.

Another aspect to be considered are the conditions necessary and sufficient to drive project success. Addressing success drivers using a suite of ‘dominant factors’ that when taken together, are both necessary and sufficient for success. The idea of ‘dominant factors’ is forward-looking. They address the critical matters that are needed to drive success from the start of the project. This approach contrasts with root cause analysis used in hindsight to determine (often singularly) what went wrong after the fact. The concept of dominant factors allows for the fact that they may exist as a blend and, as to which factors dominant a project at any point in time, depends on a wide range of circumstances.

1.2 Solution Model

As suggested above a complete project system that brings into play the many aspects of the problem model, including internal and external commercial boundaries that cover the full span of control is required. A baseline system model of current practice that uses the same thinking process can then be created for comparison. The two models created by the author to date are starkly different from each other, which demonstrates that a very promising line of enquiry is afoot. The model representing current day practice largely operates as a serial suite of open-loop control systems existing within each contributing organisation while the model built for study purposes is a holistic, collaborative closed-loop control system that can operate in near real-time. Feedback to address the range of dominant factors is applied as feedback signals to the system. The occurrence of risk events, being a disturbance to the project system, is catered for within the solution model, but this time with both feed-forward and feedback signals.

Call to Interested Parties

The first to solve the problem of how to move the project success ‘dial’ significantly in a positive direction is likely to be able to assert a significant competitive advantage over their commercial rivals.

If your organisation struggles with project delivery, is interested in improving delivery success rates, is desirous of developing a commercial market advantage, or just improving stakeholder value, please contact the author.

To express your interest to participate in Paul’s research, a form is available on the webinar page.

Contact Details

If your organisation would benefit from Paul’s studies and would like to participate for mutual learning, you may contact Paul directly:

Webinar Recording Available

The Risk Software Demo with Shree Lakshmi Ramesh Babu is now available exclusively in the Members Area. The presentation demonstrated software that is being developed to assist project managers in effectively evaluating risks by considering their interactions and studying their nature as three-dimensional networks. Members Area >>

About the Researcher: Shree Lakshmi Ramesh Babu

Shree Lakshmi Ramesh Babu, is a PhD student researching on exploring risk analysis strategies to assist risk managers to assess risks and their interactions. Her research looks into exploring the benefits of evaluating risk networks in three-dimensional (3D) space and implementing the research findings towards developing a visualisation software. Shree Lakshmi holds a Bachelor Honours degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Curtin University and has worked as an intern with Curtin HIVE, sponsored by Curtin University and Pawsey Computing Center on a visualisation research project. She also has experience working as a software engineer at Secure2Go Pvt. Ltd.

Research Background and Software Demonstration

  • Date: 22 July, 2021
  • Time: 12:00pm-1:00pm AEST
  • Registrations close: 21 July, 2021 or when fully booked
  • Format: Software Demonstration and Webinar – Delivered Online
  • Fee: FREE

This event will demonstrate a new risk assessment software, initiated by Curtin University and Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, and worked upon by PhD Candidate Shree Lakshmi Ramesh Babu sponsored under the collaboration of both organisations. developed by PhD Candidate Shree Lakshmi Ramesh Babu. Risk management is a critical aspect in managing projects and delivering them on time and within the set budget. The various factors involved in a project interact and multiply the complexity of dealing with the project. Studying the risks in isolation and ignoring the systemic effects of risks on the project objectives could be a major cause for timely overruns over decades.

Software Demonstration

This presentation will demonstrate software that was developed in collaboration with Curtin University and Pawsey Supercomputing Centre and which is currently being worked upon by the PhD student to assist project managers in effectively evaluating risks by considering their interactions and studying their nature as three-dimensional networks. It will also discuss risk management techniques that have been followed in the past and present and identify the benefits and the limitations involved in assessing the entire risk profile.

The presentation will cover the following topics:

  • Demonstration for a new risk assessment software
  • Past and present risk management techniques
  • The positives and limitations in the current approaches
  • The significance of considering risk interactions during assessment
  • The opportunities arising from evaluating the risks as a system

How Do I Participate in this Research?

Your feedback will be very valuable in informing this research and improving the software. After joining the software demonstration, you will have the opportunity to fill up a short survey to provide your feedback. Please click the button below to register.


Webinar Recording Available

A recording of our webinar with Warren Black is available exclusively in the Members Area. It discusses some of the challenges of conventional risk management methods in project environments of advanced complexity, and specifically how adopting a systems thinking approach to project risk management may help to better address such challenges. Members Area >>

About the Researcher: Warren Black

Warren is currently engaged in a higher degree in research (PhD) program at the Queensland University of Technology, whereby he is Investigating a Systems Thinking Approach To Controlling Risks within Complex Projects.

Warren is an Engineer, Risk Professional and Complex Systems’ Specialist, who has particular interest in understanding how the complexity sciences may offer a better means to controlling disruptive phenomena within complex organisations. He consults to industry on how to improve Governance, Risk & Assurance practices so that they may reflect not only the degree of investment at risk, but also the specific complexities in play.

Research Background
Solving a 70-year-old industry problem

Projects globally continue to get larger, more expensive, more expansive, more challenging and ultimately more complex.

Unfortunately… large-scaled, capital intensive and technically intricate projects (aka complex projects) fail to meet their investor sanctioned cost, schedule and benefit objectives more than 70% of the time. A hurdle rate which has been well published and proven.

This includes; 9 of every 10 mega infrastructure projects, 5 of every 6 complex technology implementations, 4 of every 5 large dams, 3 of every 5 major road programs, 9 of every 10 major rail builds and so on. In fact, abnormally high failure rates have been observed across every major project sector, technical class and investment type with no demonstrable improvement for at least the past 70 years.

These observations are particularly concerning for the formal discipline of project risk management as this specific discipline has long been hailed by both industry and academia as being critical to a project’s ability to successfully meet its’ objectives. Such disproportionally high complex project failure rates however suggest that the traditionally accepted, project risk management practices have been mostly ineffective in helping complex projects to succeed.

Clearly new thinking and methods are required.


About the Webinar

On 25 February 2021, ICCPM will host a FREE webinar with Warren Black. The webinar will discuss some of the challenges of conventional risk management methods in project environments of advanced complexity, and specifically how adopting a systems thinking approach to project risk management may help to better address such challenges.



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