Are projects complex or just complicated?

The latest in a long line of project management buzz is ‘complex’ projects. We like to differentiate between the normal run-of-the-mill projects where repeatability is high or the cost and risks are low, with projects that are huge innovative things that last years and eat up resources at a phenomenal rate. Yet the debate has yet to provide a clear answer or definition of what a complex project is – or in fact what a complicated project is. At the recent eva19 conference in Central London which included complex projects as a theme; it was proposed at the very basic level that we re-look at the project management ‘iron triangle’ and add two further dimensions

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A personal view of project control

Although not always possible, your project should be well-defined before you contemplate making your business case. Planning and estimating should begin with a work breakdown structure in as much detail as you can manage at the early planning stage. Past experience should help you to estimate the costs, foresee the risks, make an outline plan and predict the realization benefits. If you have no past experience, then you will probably need to engage a consultant. Clearly once a project has been authorized, the benefits will be in jeopardy if you allow subsequent changes. It is usually impossible to prevent changes altogether, but they must be rigidly managed to prevent scope creep. If there is an external customer, then all customer-requested changes must be assessed for additional project pricing.

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Getting Your Message Across

You’ll have heard it said before: project managers spend lots of their time communicating. And I mean lots – upwards of 80%. So getting your communication right and your message across is important as it will mean all that effort is actually worth it. When it goes wrong you have ...

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The Project Management Maze

Since Egyptian times we have been led down blind alleys; circumnavigated the loops and turns as we try to find the “goal” or exit. Whilst we try out the physical maze just for the fun of it today, the maze that is project management is something far more serious. Consider the ...

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How to create a strategically-aligned PMO

To be successful today, and take advantage of improvements in the market, businesses need to innovate their products and services – not just deliver enough to keep their customer happy. But organisations are only going to be able to achieve this if they start aligning projects with strategic initiatives. The ...

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How PMO professionals should prepare for interviews

There are three popular types of interviewing within project management and PMO: Traditional CV-based approach Competency-based interviews Scenario-based questioning The traditional approach concentrates on the skills and experiences you have presented on the CV. The interviewer will want to delve into some of the details of the role you performed ...

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