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INFS4858 Managing Complex Projects

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INFS4858 Managing Complex Projects

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Course Code: INFS4858
University: University Of New South Wales

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Country: Australia


“The most common High level categorizations of complexity were identified as:”
and Socio-political.
Is there a relationship between each of these and “The four categories or dimensions, which are based on the source of complexity and may constitute a tool to assist stakeholders in identifying the nature of complexity”, namely:
Structural complexity;
Technical complexity;
Directional complexity; and
Temporal complexity.
That Remington and Pollack discuss
In other words is:
Scale a synonym for Structural complexity?
Uncertainty a synonym for Technical complexity?
Pace a synonym for Directional complexity?
and Socio -political a synonym for Temporal complexity?
Or are the respective authors discussing something more complex and subtle? Does then the concept of Structural and Dynamic Complexity alter your initial opinion as discussed by Carver and Maylor?

Between Scale and Structural complexity
The scale is the size of a project which is related with the volume or the cost involvement in the project. Whereas at the same time the structural complexity is based on the channel of the flow of information which is required to be maintained to avoid increasing the level of complexity of a project. If at all in a project the reporting cycle is not proper or it is not in a lean manner then the complexity is bound to increase due to increase in the chances of miscommunication. In the referred article (Bosch-Rekveldt, Jongkind, Mooi, Bakker, & Verbraeck, 2010) on page number 3 it is written that the uncertainty is also belonged to the structural complexity. And as we know that as the size of a project increases the level of uncertainty is also increases due to the involvement of various factors and so it can be confirmed that scale of a project can be used as a synonym of the structural complexity. Again, with respect to the page number 5, it is mentioned that because of the increase in the scale of a project the scope of a project is bound to increase and so the number of deliverables also which means the number of components and the decision-making factor will increase and it will ultimately hit the structural complexity.
Between Uncertainty and Technical complexity
The uncertainty of a project belongs to the unknown factors which are included in the project. And at the same time, the technical complexity also deals with the challenges which can be faced to design the project due to the time required to develop the solution to the problem. In the article (Lukosevicius, Soares, & Jola, 2018) page number 332 and 338, it is well mentioned that the complexity of a project always increases with the uncertainty of the method of operation. In the article (Koleczko, 2012) page number 78, it is declared that for making any decisions the uncertainties related to the environment and other risk factors are required to be reduced so that the complexity can ultimately be reduced. Further to this in page number 79 also it is mentioned that to reduce the engineering complexity the uncertainty is always required to be reduced. In page number 2 of the article (Poveda-Bautista, Diego-Mas, & Leon-Medina, 2018), it is clearly noted that the technical complexity always increases with the number of the unknown factor or the increase in uncertainty. In the referred article (Johansen, Eik-Andresen, Landmark, Ekambaram, & Rolstadås, 2016) page number 5, it is mentioned that there are various categories of uncertainties ultimately lead to the increase in the risk and so increases the complexity of the project. In this case, the decision-making criteria also change and become difficult for the manager, owner, and user to take the decision. So, in this case, it is very much clear that the uncertainty or the problem is due to the unavailability of technical information and so the technical complexity increases which are uncertainty.
Between Pace and Directional complexity
From the referred book (Cooke-Davies, 2011) on page number 61, it is mentioned that the delivery time which is required to deliver the product by executing the project in comparison with the similar project is a key factor for increasing the complexity of that project. Suppose for constructing a dam 48 month were required and in a similar project, the available time is only 28 months than in that case due to the reduction in the duration of the project to deliver the product the complexity of project increases. Similarly, at the page number 34, it is clearly noted that due to unclear goal with the stakeholders the directional complexity increases because none of them understand clearly their roles and responsibilities which could have happened due to minimizing the minimum required time to plan the activities properly. So, from the argument we can conclude that even the requirement of increase in pace of a project can give rise to the complexity level of direction of completing the project.
Between Socio-political and Temporal complexity
In the referred article (Svejvig & Andersen, 2015) on page number 283 and 287, it is mentioned by the author that the Socio-Political background of the project management professionals always influence the decision-making criteria and so the ability to maintain the interpersonal relationship by the project manager will highly depend on its culture which can intern affect the complexity of the project. And at the same time, this can impact the decision-making criteria in case of a change in the environmental factors and so, in this case, the complexity of the project is bound to be affected. it is the ability of the project manager or the soft skill which can influence the stakeholders throughout the project life cycle so that the temporal complexity present did the project can be reduced as and when it is required. From this evidence, it can be concluded that even the Socio-Political factor can also be used as a synonym for the temporal complexity of a project.
Bosch-Rekveldt, M., Jongkind, Y., Mooi, H., Bakker, H., & Verbraeck, A. (2010). Grasping project complexity in large engineering projects: The TOE (Technical, Organizational and Environmental) framework. International Journal of Project Management, xx(2010), 1-12. doi:10.1016/j.ijproman.2010.07.008
Cooke-Davies, T. (2011). Aspects of complexity : managing projects in a complex world. Pennsylvania, USA: Project Management Institute.
Johansen, A., Eik-Andresen, P., Landmark, A. D., Ekambaram, A., & Rolstadås, A. (2016). Value of Uncertainty: The Lost Opportunities in Large Projects. MDPI, 6(11), 1-17. doi:10.3390/admsci6030011
Koleczko, K. (2012). Risk and uncertainty in project management decision-making. Public Infrastructure Bulletin, 1(8), 76-83. Retrieved from https://epublications.bond.edu.au/pib/vol1/iss8/13
Lukosevicius, A. P., Soares, C. A., & Jola, L. A. (2018). Characterization of complexity in engineering projects. Gest. Prod., São Carlos, 25(2), 331-342. doi:10.1590/0104-530X2957-16
Poveda-Bautista, R., Diego-Mas, J.-A., & Leon-Medina, D. (2018). Measuring the Project Management Complexity: The Case of Information Technology Projects. Hindawi, 2018, 1-19. doi:10.1155/2018/6058480
Svejvig, P., & Andersen, P. (2015). Rethinking project management: A structured literature review with a critical look at the brave new world. International Journal of Project Management, 33(1), 278-290. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijproman.2014.06.004

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