by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Project Manager : Project Manager June July 2013
www.aipm.com.au Project Manager 19 Knowing the beast If tried and tr ue traditional project management methods are insu cient for dealing with complex projects, how do PMs grapple with them? According to Hayes, the rst step is to understand the nature of the beast. Once you know that, he says, there is a range of tools with which PMs can equip themselves. "Developing the appropriate leadership is very much key to organisational success in dealing with complex projects: developing delivery leaders who are able to take a more holistic or systemic approach to dealing with complex projects," he says. " e Department of Defence understood this about seven years ago and established the world's rst Masters in CPM, not to teach people more process, but to shape their ability to deal with ambiguity and uncertainty, and to be delivery leaders in this space." Ireland says the type of leadership used in traditional projects has to change on complex matters. " ere is strong evidence to suggest that you can't use the traditional top-dow n methodology. You need to have a much more distributed leadership: spread the leadership and delegate responsibility," he says. " e leader really just becomes an initiator of ideas, rather than someone who is in a top-down command and control position." According to Atkinson, the failure to recognise a complex system can lead to organisations adopting the w rong approach to a project, which can be disastrous. " e di culty with many projects is that they have not recognised they are dealing with a complex problem and they move straight to optimisation," he says. "In the public sector, this means getting rid of people, because you achieve e ciencies by making other people work more. If you are getting rid of people you are, over a period of time, getting rid of knowledge networks." And this, says Atkinson, is one of the worst decisions an organisation can make. "Seventy- ve per cent of real-time solutions to complex problems actually come from the network of people you are close to. You talk to someone you trust. You don't go to the book. A healthy organisation is one capable of problem solving. As soon as you take away that problem-solving capacity, the health of the organisation declines." A step-change in thinking According to Hayes, many of the challenges associated with CPM are related to organisational attitudes. " e major challenge is bringing about change in organisational thinking and the acceptance that we need to move beyond applying more process to deal with complex problems," he says. ( AMER AN SPACE PROJECT Combination of physics and engineering made it predictable. BUILDING A JET ENGINE The laws of physics and mathematics make construction predictable. EXAMPLES OF COMPLICATED PROJECTS What is it? It is generally recognised that there is no settled complex project management theory. While definitions of 'complexity' vary, there is no one definition to which academics or project managers universally subscribe. Despite this, complex projects could be described as: • Being non-linear • Prone to uncertainty, ambiguity and instability • Unsuitable for management via traditional command and control methods • Suitable for distributed leadership • Unpredictable • Requiring critical thinking CPM THEORY 101
Project Manager Apr May 2013
Project Manager Aug Sept 2013