Tools for Complex Projects

  • 4h 39m
  • Julien Pollack, Kaye Remington
  • Ashgate Publishing
  • 2007

Traditional project management approaches assume that project contexts are unchanging and key factors, though complicated, are reducible to unambiguous elements for management and control. Whilst this assumption has simplified the task for writers and educators, it is increasingly being recognised that these techniques do not work in projects which may be described as complex (due to their size, technical difficulties, conflicting environmental and political constraints or poorly understood or shared goals). Tools for Complex Projects draws on the latest research in the areas of project management, complexity theory and systems thinking to provide a ready reference for understanding and managing the increasing complexity of projects and programmes.

The main part of the book provides a series of fourteen project tools. Some of these tools may be used at the level of the whole project life-cycle. Others may be applied ad hoc at any time. In each case, the authors provide: detailed guidelines for using the tool, information on its purpose and the types of complexity for which it is most appropriate, the theoretical background to the tool, a practical example of its use, and any necessary words of caution.

This is an example of advanced project management at work; sophisticated tools that require a level of project and management expertise and offer rigorous and highly practical methods for understanding, structuring and managing the most complex of projects.

About the Authors

Dr Kaye Remington is as much a practitioner as an academic with a career involving 25 years in project and senior management, then becoming Director of Post-graduate Project Management at the University of Technology Sydney. Firmly believing that theory and practice are inseparable she now writes, consults and lectures internationally.

Dr Julien Pollack integrates practice with theory through action research, post-graduate teaching and consulting. Focusing on complexity and systems thinking he is the author of many papers and articles. He has won national and international awards for his work linking project management, systems thinking and multi-methodology in practice.

In this Book

  • What is a Complex Project?
  • Where Complexity Comes from in a Management Context
  • Structurally Complex Projects
  • Technically Complex Projects
  • Directionally Complex Projects
  • Temporally Complex Projects
  • Guide to the Tools
  • Mapping the Complexity
  • System Anatomy
  • Target Outturn Cost
  • Programme Tool
  • Role Definition
  • Jazz (Time-Linked Semi-Structures)
  • Multimethodology in Series
  • Multimethodology in Parallel
  • Virtual Gates
  • Risk Interdependencies
  • Temporal Cost/Time Comparison (TCTC)
  • Kokotovich Triad
  • Stanislavski's Method
  • Discursive Universe
  • Conclusion