Understanding the different elements of project complexity and how to reduce the impact of it in your project. All lessons are based on the PMBOK®, 7th Edition.
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I’m your host, Kaye B and navigating complexity in projects is a beast!
Since a project is a system of elements that interact with each other, it’s only makes sense that managing projects is complex. It’s usually due to human behavior like your system engineer doesn’t work on Friday, system behavior, you cannot use a vendor until a VP and procurement approves them, and ambiguity, like your stakeholder doesn’t know what they want. On top of that, the nature and number of the interactions determine the degree of complexity in a project. Like using multiple project management systems, spreadsheets for tracking, and updating 30 stakeholders. Even though complexity cannot be controlled, project teams can modify their activities to address impacts that occur as a result of complexity.
Now, you must say to yourself, this sounds all terrible, what can I do? Well, you as a project manger can acknowledge this complexity and use different methods to reduce the amount of impact it has on the project. Using the example above, you can have the team choose one project management system like Asana. If your system engineer doesn’t work on Fridays, make sure you build in enough time in your project schedule to account for days they may are not working on your project. Or if your stakeholder doesn’t know what they want, have a discovery meeting so they can start articulating their desires. At the end of the day, it's up to you, the project manager to help the project get from point A to Z while herding cats, juggling plates and while doing the electric slide. But that is what we do best and why our understanding how to navigate complex projects is powerful.
That is your PMP in 60 seconds. Next week we’re talking about optimizing risk responses.