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IPMA Project Complexity Model Managing Large Program with Talaia  

September 12, 2019

IPMA Project Complexity Model Managing Large Program with Talaia

Managing projects in complex and changing circumstances require us to understand complexity thinking and put it into practice. Traditional project management techniques are based on our desire to decompose work into simple, easily managed components. Yet sometimes, more creative solutions emerge from teams operating on the edge of chaos. The trick is to know when to apply traditional project management techniques and when to live on the edge. Complexity thinking enables project managers to learn to diagnose the dimensions of complexity present in a project and then to apply appropriate management techniques.

There are many different ways projects can become both complicated and complex. The business problem might be difficult to define. The solution may be elusive and difficult to determine, describe, or grasp. Business boundaries might be unclear. Business process relationships are likely to be non-linear and contain multiple feedback loops. Today’s complex business systems will change over time, and therefore need to be dynamic, adaptive, and flexible. Some business systems are nested, that is; the components of the system may themselves be complex. There are a number of dimensions of project complexity, including team size and composition, project duration, schedule, cost and scope flexibility, clarity of the problem and solution, stability of requirements, strategic importance, level of organizational change, inter-project dependencies, political sensitivity, and unproven technology.

Excerpted from Hass, K. B. (2007). Living on the edge: project complexity management. Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2007—North America, Atlanta, GA. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.


Terence Kwok & Ma Shi Ao


September 12, 2019


Project Management Association of Singapore (PMAS)


EPM Office
35 Selegie Road, Parklane Shopping Mall #10-29
Singapore, 188307 Singapore
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