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Complex Projects - Carolyn Limbert

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Complex Projects - Carolyn Limbert

  1. 1. Complex Projects Carolyn Limbert, Principal Planner, Harmonic Ltd, November 2013 “I think the 21st century will be the century of complexity” (Hawking, 2000)
  2. 2. What is Complex? Making Mayonnaise? Building a Jumbo Jet?
  3. 3. What is Complex?
  4. 4. Aircraft Carrier – Complicated or Complex?
  5. 5. Back to Basics New view on PM Technical Technical Schedule Schedule Cost Cost Context Financing (Strategic Highway Research Program, 2012) “The intrinsic complexity of projects, in part, is driven by political, social, technological and environmental issues, as well as tight fiscal pressures, end user expectations which may change dramatically during the life of a project, and government instability.” (ICCPM, 2012)
  6. 6. Complex Projects (Remington, 2011) Expert based consultative leadership Experimental, collaborative leadership Simple, best practice leadership Crisis leadership, directive, r apid action to prevent collapse Tipping point: usually no way back Control Processes are clear Things go to plan Complicated Complex Chaos Risk events escalate rapidly Innovation & learning high
  7. 7. Complex Projects Low Uncertainty Closure Implementation Scope: WHAT Mobilisation Objectives are to be achieved Definition Concept Initiation High Uncertainty Low Uncertainty Delivery: HOW To implement objectives Adapted from; (Dombkins, 1997)
  8. 8. Complex Projects Low Uncertainty Closure Scope: WHAT Objectives are to be achieved Mobilisation Definition Concept Initiation High Uncertainty Low Uncertainty Delivery: HOW To implement objectives Adapted from; (Dombkins, 1997)
  9. 9. Can we control Complexity? ● Do we create complex projects? • Poorly defined objectives • Ambiguity • Scope creep ● Do PMs need to manage projects differently to lower project complexity? ● Are projects truly complex or just complicated?
  10. 10. Carolyn Limbert carolyn.limbert@harmonicltd.co.uk

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