For organizations to thrive, indeed to survive, in today's global economy, we must find ways to dramatically improve the performance of large-scale projects. Applying the concepts of complexity theory can complement conventional project management approaches and enable us to adapt to the unrelenting change that we ignore at our own peril.
Managing Complex Projects: A New Model offers an innovative way of looking at projects and treating them as complex adaptive systems. Applying the principles of complexity thinking will enable project managers and leadership teams to manage large-scale initiatives successfully. • Explore how complexity thinking can be used to find new, creative ways to think about and manage projects • Diagnose complexity on a wide range of projects — from small, independent, short projects to highly complex, longer projects • Understand and manage the complexity of the business problem, opportunity, solution, and other dimensions that come into play when managing large-scale efforts Use the Project Complexity Model to determine the most effective approach to managing all aspects of a project based on the level of complexity involved.
Table of Contents
About the Author
Introduction: Unprecedented Change in the Business Environment
Part I: Complexity Thinking in the world of Business
Chapter 1: Complexity Thinking
Complex Systems and Complexity Theory
Complex Adaptive Systems
Businesses and Project Teams as Complex Adaptive Systems
Chapter 2: Applying Complexity Thinking to Projects
Is Conventional Project Management Enough?
Conventional versus Adaptive Project Management
Complexity Thinking: A Right-Brain Activity
Chapter 3: The Project Complexity Model
The Nature of Project Complexity
Introducing the Project Complexity Model
Using the Project Complexity Model
Rationale for the Project Complexity Model
Visualizing Project Complexity
When to Apply Complexity Thinking to Projects
How to Apply Complexity Thinking to Projects
Part II: Applying Complexity Thinking to Assign Key Project Team Members
Chapter 4: Competencies Required to Manage Complex Projects
Industry Requirements for Senior Project Leaders
Emerging Complex Project Leader Requirements
Organize for Success: The Core Complex Project Leadership Team
Chapter 5: Developing Leaders of Complex Projects
Traditional Project Leader Career Path
Emerging Complex Project Manager Career Progression
Successful Leadership Characteristics for Organizations Undergoing Pivotal Transitions
Using Complexity Thinking to Assign Complex Project Leaders
Part III: Applying Complexity Thinking to Select the Project Cycle
Chapter 6: Appropriate Project Cycles for Independent Projects
Modified Waterfall Model
Rapid Application Development Model
Chapter 7: Appropriate Project Cycles for Moderately Complex Projects
Incremental Delivery Model
Chapter 8: Appropriate Project Cycles for Highly Complex Projects
Evolutionary Prototyping Model
eXtreme Project Management Model
Part IV: Managing the Dimensions of Project Complexity
Chapter 9: Applying Complexity Thinking to Large, Long-Duration Projects
What Makes Large, Long-Duration Projects Complex?
Dealing with the Complexities of Large, Long-Duration Projects
Chapter 10: Applying Complexity Thinking to Large, Dispersed, Culturally Diverse Project Teams
What Makes Large, Diverse Project Teams Complex?
How to Lead Large, Geographically Dispersed, Culturally Diverse Project Teams
Chapter 11: Applying Complexity Thinking to Highly Innovative, Urgent Projects
What Makes Highly Innovative, Urgent Projects Complex?
How to Lead Highly Innovative, Urgent Projects
Chapter 12: Applying Complexity Thinking to Ambiguous Business Problems, Opportunities, and Solutions
What Makes Ambiguous Projects Complex?
How to Lead Ambiguous Projects
Chapter 13: Applying Complexity Thinking to Projects with Poorly Understood, Volatile Requirements
What Makes Dynamic, Poorly Understood Requirements Complex?
How to Manage Poorly Understood, Unstable Requirements
Chapter 14: Applying Complexity Thinking to High-Visibility Strategic Projects
What Makes High-Visibility Strategic Projects Complex?
How to Manage High-Visibility Strategic Projects
Chapter 15: Applying Complexity Thinking to Large-Scale Change Initiatives
What Makes Large-Scale Change Projects Complex?
How to Manage Large-Scale Change Initiatives
Chapter 16: Applying Complexity Thinking to Projects with Significant Risks, Dependencies, and External Constraints
What Makes Projects with Significant Risks, Dependencies, and External Constraints Complex?
How to Manage Projects with Significant Risks, Dependencies, and External Constraints
Chapter 17: Applying Complexity Thinking to Projects with a High Level of IT Complexity
What Makes Projects with Significant IT Components Complex?
Techniques to Harness IT Complexity for Competitive Advantage