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
38 Project Manager THE OFFICE Living with complexity There are effective tools to keep a handle on complications, minimising the risks to a project's ultimate success. GARY YORKE Gary Yorke is a Senior Consultant with MetaPM, providing advice and assurance on portfolio, program and project management. He lectures in project management, is an AIPM Victoria Councillor and is Chair of the Victoria PMO SIG. AFTER READING THE PROJECT BRIEF FOR the project, the Project Manager requested an urgent meeting with the PMO Manager. "Look, you know I've delivered loads of projects for you in the past but I need some help on this one because it's so complicated! What can I do to sort it out?" he asked in desperation. Most project managers are used to handling a certain level of complexity in projects, but do they approach it in a methodical way? As most PMOs provide guidance on, and support for, methods and tools, this gives them a pivotal role in how organisations manage complexity. But what is complexity? When something is complex, it is said to have many interconnecting parts or elements -- which is why all projects exhibit some complexity. Controlling complexity If the interconnections between the parts -- which can be the technologies, systems, people, di erent organisations, and even cultures -- are not managed, the complexity introduces risk to the delivery of successful outcomes, so it is vital it is managed e ectively. Having an understanding of the level of complexity in a project is critical to determining the best approach and reducing the risks. But the various types of interconnections means there are different types of complexity, so what are the approaches that can be used to manage it? Tools for Complex Projects by Remington and Pollack is an excellent reference point for PMOs. In the book, Remington and Pollack review the attributes of comple x projects and categorise project complexity on four main dimensions. They then identify a range of tools and techniques that can be applied to each category. In summary, the four categories are: Structural -- These are large-scale projects that have many interrelated and interdependent parts. Many IT and Defence projects fall into this category. Technical -- These projects usually involve doing something new or there is a high level of uncertainty in how to do something. The NASA Opportunity mission to Mars or developing the iPhone would be examples. Yes, there had been missions to Mars and other planets, and mobile phones already existed, but there was uncertainty in how existing elements could be integrated into a new product. Directional -- projects where the goal is unclear, where there is no consistently understood or agreed direction, or politics and hidden agendas play a significant part. The JSF program is an example where there is a high level of directional complexity. This is a program started in 1993 and intended to IF THE INTERCONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE PARTS OF A PROJECT ARE NOT MANAGED, THE COMPLEXITY INTRODUCES RISK TO THE DELIVERY OF SUCCESSFUL OUTCOMES
Project Manager Apr May 2013
Project Manager Aug Sept 2013