How hard can it be?
Dr Harvey Maylor
CARBS Event
University of Warwick
January, 2015
Rethinking organisational design for
the business of projects
Complexity response:
disciplines, behaviours,
processes
Comp...
The complexity crisis
Time
Complexity / Capability
Complexity
Capability
Identify
managerial
complexities
Actively
manage
complexities
Working framework
Complexity
assessment
tool
Resolve, reduce...
Academic Background
 Grounded study (Maylor, Vidgen and Carver, 2008)
 Systematic Literature Review (Geraldi, Maylor and...
Managing Complexities
 How to actively manage the complexities being
faced?
 How many complexities are self-inflicted?
...
Responding to complexities:
The MLE approach
Influencer:
relationship-builder
• What style of project leader do we need?
S...
Responding to complexities:
Personal development
We asked a group of 246 PMs these questions
“In your work, which of the 3...
Teaching using complexity as a lens
• Done research and seen impact in practice
• Teaching using complexity lens
• Look at...
For future research
Complexity
of
Response
Structural
complexities
Socio-political
complexities
Emergent
complexities
4. B...
So what?
Complexities of projects
RRR
Complexity response
References:
Maylor, H., Turner, N. and Murray-Webster, R. (2013)...
This presentation was delivered at
an APM event
To find out more about upcoming
events please visit our website
www.apm.or...
Complex - how hard can it be, Wednesday 21st January 2015
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Complex - how hard can it be, Wednesday 21st January 2015

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A presentation given by Dr Harvey Maylor to the APM Planning, Monitoring and Control SIG and guests at the University of Warwick, Coventry 2015.

Dr Harvey Maylor, Major Projects Leadership Academy – Select the right people for the right job, then develop them. Use complex as a lens. Finally “all models are wrong”, although I am not sure he meant this literally.

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Complex - how hard can it be, Wednesday 21st January 2015

  1. 1. How hard can it be? Dr Harvey Maylor CARBS Event University of Warwick January, 2015
  2. 2. Rethinking organisational design for the business of projects Complexity response: disciplines, behaviours, processes Complexity portfolio Capability and capacity Competitive Strategy Project-levelOrganisational-level Advanced Project Thinking: Constraints + Lean + Visual Management
  3. 3. The complexity crisis Time Complexity / Capability Complexity Capability
  4. 4. Identify managerial complexities Actively manage complexities Working framework Complexity assessment tool Resolve, reduce, run with Determine managerial response Processes, people, paradoxes
  5. 5. Academic Background  Grounded study (Maylor, Vidgen and Carver, 2008)  Systematic Literature Review (Geraldi, Maylor and Williams, 2011)  Proof of concept and complexity assessment tool (Maylor, Turner and Murray- Webster, 2013)  Can be summarised into 3 key dimensions: Structural complexities Socio-political complexities Emergent complexities
  6. 6. Managing Complexities  How to actively manage the complexities being faced?  How many complexities are self-inflicted?  Three ways of addressing each: Resolve – make it go away Reduce – make less severe Run with it – work out response Q. In 43 workshops with a total of 1100 managers, what % of the identified complexities were they able to plan to resolve or reduce? A. 22% B. 52% C.82%
  7. 7. Responding to complexities: The MLE approach Influencer: relationship-builder • What style of project leader do we need? Strategist: Proactive, adaptive S E S-P Manager / Operations deconstruct and solve
  8. 8. Responding to complexities: Personal development We asked a group of 246 PMs these questions “In your work, which of the 3 complexities is the most difficult to manage?” “In your own formal training and development, which of the 3 complexities has received the most attention?”
  9. 9. Teaching using complexity as a lens • Done research and seen impact in practice • Teaching using complexity lens • Look at how to respond to complexities • e.g. Leading Project Success – BAE Systems Leader: relationship-builder Entrepreneur: adaptive, flexible S E S-P Manager: deconstruct and solve
  10. 10. For future research Complexity of Response Structural complexities Socio-political complexities Emergent complexities 4. Build on 3. Iterative not linear complexity response 1. Research AND Development 2. Standing on the shoulders…
  11. 11. So what? Complexities of projects RRR Complexity response References: Maylor, H., Turner, N. and Murray-Webster, R. (2013), ‘How Hard Can It Be? Actively Managing the Complexity of Technology Projects,’ Research-Technology Management, (3*), Vol. 56, No. 4, pp. 45-51. Geraldi, J., Maylor, H. & Williams, T. (2011), “Now Let’s Make It Really Complex (Complicated): a systematic review of the complexities of projects,” International Journal of Operations and Production Management, (3*) Vol. 31, No. 9, pp. 966-990. Maylor, H., Vidgen, R. and Carver, S. (2008), “Managerial Complexity in Project-Based Operations: A Grounded Model and Its Implications for Practice,” Project Management Journal, (2*) Vol. 39 No.S1, pp. 15-26. The future – linking research, teaching and practice harvey@pmpc.co.uk
  12. 12. This presentation was delivered at an APM event To find out more about upcoming events please visit our website www.apm.org.uk/events

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