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Managing Complex Projects

Book Description

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

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. About the Author
  5. Dedication
  6. Contents
  7. Foreword
  8. Preface
  9. Acknowledgments
  10. Introduction: Unprecedented Change in the Business Environment
  11. Part I: Complexity Thinking in the world of Business
    1. Chapter 1: Complexity Thinking
      1. Complex Systems and Complexity Theory
      2. Complex Adaptive Systems
      3. Businesses and Project Teams as Complex Adaptive Systems
    2. Chapter 2: Applying Complexity Thinking to Projects
      1. Is Conventional Project Management Enough?
      2. Conventional versus Adaptive Project Management
      3. Complexity Thinking: A Right-Brain Activity
    3. Chapter 3: The Project Complexity Model
      1. The Nature of Project Complexity
      2. Introducing the Project Complexity Model
      3. Using the Project Complexity Model
      4. Rationale for the Project Complexity Model
      5. Visualizing Project Complexity
      6. When to Apply Complexity Thinking to Projects
      7. How to Apply Complexity Thinking to Projects
  12. Part II: Applying Complexity Thinking to Assign Key Project Team Members
    1. Chapter 4: Competencies Required to Manage Complex Projects
      1. Industry Requirements for Senior Project Leaders
      2. Emerging Complex Project Leader Requirements
      3. Organize for Success: The Core Complex Project Leadership Team
    2. Chapter 5: Developing Leaders of Complex Projects
      1. Traditional Project Leader Career Path
      2. Emerging Complex Project Manager Career Progression
      3. Successful Leadership Characteristics for Organizations Undergoing Pivotal Transitions
      4. Using Complexity Thinking to Assign Complex Project Leaders
  13. Part III: Applying Complexity Thinking to Select the Project Cycle
    1. Chapter 6: Appropriate Project Cycles for Independent Projects
      1. Waterfall Model
      2. Modified Waterfall Model
      3. Rapid Application Development Model
      4. Vee Model
    2. Chapter 7: Appropriate Project Cycles for Moderately Complex Projects
      1. Incremental Delivery Model
      2. Spiral Model
      3. Agile Model
    3. Chapter 8: Appropriate Project Cycles for Highly Complex Projects
      1. Evolutionary Prototyping Model
      2. eXtreme Project Management Model
  14. Part IV: Managing the Dimensions of Project Complexity
    1. Chapter 9: Applying Complexity Thinking to Large, Long-Duration Projects
      1. What Makes Large, Long-Duration Projects Complex?
      2. Dealing with the Complexities of Large, Long-Duration Projects
    2. Chapter 10: Applying Complexity Thinking to Large, Dispersed, Culturally Diverse Project Teams
      1. What Makes Large, Diverse Project Teams Complex?
      2. How to Lead Large, Geographically Dispersed, Culturally Diverse Project Teams
    3. Chapter 11: Applying Complexity Thinking to Highly Innovative, Urgent Projects
      1. What Makes Highly Innovative, Urgent Projects Complex?
      2. How to Lead Highly Innovative, Urgent Projects
    4. Chapter 12: Applying Complexity Thinking to Ambiguous Business Problems, Opportunities, and Solutions
      1. What Makes Ambiguous Projects Complex?
      2. How to Lead Ambiguous Projects
    5. Chapter 13: Applying Complexity Thinking to Projects with Poorly Understood, Volatile Requirements
      1. What Makes Dynamic, Poorly Understood Requirements Complex?
      2. How to Manage Poorly Understood, Unstable Requirements
    6. Chapter 14: Applying Complexity Thinking to High-Visibility Strategic Projects
      1. What Makes High-Visibility Strategic Projects Complex?
      2. How to Manage High-Visibility Strategic Projects
    7. Chapter 15: Applying Complexity Thinking to Large-Scale Change Initiatives
      1. What Makes Large-Scale Change Projects Complex?
      2. How to Manage Large-Scale Change Initiatives
    8. Chapter 16: Applying Complexity Thinking to Projects with Significant Risks, Dependencies, and External Constraints
      1. What Makes Projects with Significant Risks, Dependencies, and External Constraints Complex?
      2. How to Manage Projects with Significant Risks, Dependencies, and External Constraints
    9. Chapter 17: Applying Complexity Thinking to Projects with a High Level of IT Complexity
      1. What Makes Projects with Significant IT Components Complex?
      2. Techniques to Harness IT Complexity for Competitive Advantage
  15. Epilogue
  16. Bibliography
  17. Index