Complex projects consist of infrequent level of unpredictability and uncertainty. It is important for the project manager to make decisions in sound environment in which a lot of the precarious aspects are outside the project team`s direct control. Complex projects requisites for truly interconnected delivery; making horizontal instead of vertical integration is main element of success. A rapid renewal project which replaces, expand or renew the existing from the initial phase of construction only causes complexity for the engineers and the project management team working on the same. It is required that the proper set of focus should be developed on the complexity of the project and develop the strategies with the help of which complexity of the same could be managed in a proper way.
It is being analyzed that each project which is required to be developed by the project management team calls for the different project management styles and techniques. For a project management team it becomes important that he should apply proper project management technique and style with the help of which complexity of the project could be managed in a proper way. To meet the demands of the project it is required that practice of the transportation system should get managed. In each and every project on of the aspects which plays a very vital role is transportation as it is required that the transportation of the project should get managed in a proper way with the help of which the raw material which is required for the construction project could be received within the set time and work could remain continued. Any aspect could have a great impact on the project. Hence it is required that appropriate focus should be developed on the complex project and proper plans should be developed with the help of which project could get completed in a smooth manner.
There are various aspects which are required to be understood by the by the project management team so as to manage the complex team and there are also certain set of aspects which are required to be understood like what do people mean when it is being said that the project is complex, why complexity is being caused and why it is termed as the problem and how the project management team as well as organizations could best respond to the complexity in the project? These are certain set of questions which are required to be answered so as to evaluate the understanding with the complexity of the project. The essay will provide effective as well as appropriate set of information related with why complexity occurs and what are the techniques which could be adopted by the project management team so as to manage the complexity of the project and ensure that the same could be completed in a proper as well as effective way.
Body Of The Essay
A project turn out to be complex mainly when it combines three effects- it is very Complicated (lots of interconnections and measures), when it is extremely uncertain (as a result there are probability of many disruptions or changes), as well as the project is heavily time constrained (much time is not left to re-plan for the project) (Hübler, Foster and Phelps, 2007). Standard practices such as- design, contracting and funding cannot be used in the complex projects. In addition to this the level of uncertainty is high about final project scope. Complexity in a project is dynamic as the components of a complex project interact with each other in various ways (Hordijk, 2013). Projects related to rapid renewal projects which has aspects such as- replace, renew existing infrastructure and expand vary both from new construction and from each other in number of ways such as: jurisdictional control, modality, engineering complexity, and method of delivery, type of contract, size and financing approach. Each and every project demands for different style of project management and a team is required that embraces set of different skills to achieve successful completion (Hodgson and Cicmil, 2008).
Connotation Attached With Complexity
There are different set of connotations attached with complexity which makes it difficult to define the same in a proper way (Hatcher et al., 2013). The state at which quality of being intricate or complex in which the complex is being defined as the aspect which is made up of many interconnecting parts like time, budget and deal of uncertainty. All these aspects comes together to make a project complex also affects the process of the project with the effect of which the whole project gets disturbed and project management team faces difficulty in completing the project and as a result it fails (Dunne and Dunne, 2011).
Project That Contain A Great Deal Of Uncertainty
Project management complexity writers have discussed uncertainty as a feature project complexity (Cooke-Davies and Crawford, 2011). Argue can be done on this topic as uncertainty can be equally a source of project complexity as well as a consequence of emergence and nonlinearity. Difficulty in associating effect and cause puts an important effect on key stakeholders and project team for the reason that is rise of uncertainty. Factorswhich are cause to perceptions of uncertainty could include unclear or untimely decision making, technical complicacy, and unexpected changes in environment beside some other factors (Brady and Davies, 2014). Ambiguity and resultant uncertainty can marked as loss of trust or faith in the project`s technology management in addition to involvement of other parties in the project. In such situation, the associated reactions and uncertainty like loss of trust and faith are regarded as dependent factors (Yugue and Maximiano, 2013). These factors are result of emergence and nonlinearity. Another cause of uncertainty in the project is lack of clear and causal relationships and confusions in the project. As in case, if the project team`s roles and duties are not segregated in proper way then this can cause confusion which led to uncertainty and creates the project complex. It is also important for the project team to form causal relationship so that the team members help each other in delivery of project and the complexity of project i.e. uncertainty shall not arise. On the other hand, uncertainty can also be a main reason of nonlinearity (Whitney and Daniels, 2013). Uncertainty in a project can also arise due to lack of shared understanding of project team about objectives; areas that will lead to achieve the objectives, objectives which are understood in different way by the different-different stakeholders. If these causes are not dealt in proper manner then uncertainty may increase with the progression in project with the increase in complexity of project (van Marrewijk et al., 2008).
Factors That Cause The Project Complex
Complex projects are caused by issue in performance, schedule or cost that requisites a constant amount of reprogramming which force continually schedule changes, cost containment measure and personnel changes (Rose, 2012).
Investigating Failure In Complex Projects
There are various set of aspects which are attached with the failure of the project. According to the studies it is being evaluated from 1992- 2004 there are various set of complex projects which were being initiated by various organizations which includes the construction businesses, manufacturing units, IT sector (mainly IT projects) but from all the projects there are only 29% of the complex projects which results to attain the success and rest of the projects usually fails (Rolstadås and Schiefloe, 2017). There are four categories in which the aspects of the failure of the projects are being characterized these categories are:
It is the failure in which the system design objectives of the project are not being met. It is required that all set of objectives as well as the designs of the project should be matched because it helps in ensuring that the project will be completed in an appropriate manner. But failing to match all the aspects and fulfilling the requirements of the projects leads to the failure of the project due to which same gets affected (Peter, 2008).
Project cannot be developed within the budget which was being developed and the schedule in which it was being decided to be completed. It is the situation in which the project management team or the professional fails to estimate the appropriate set of budget for the project and the time plan for each and every activity of the project (McGhee and McAliney, 2008). Such type of aspect leads to the failure of the project because it has a direct impact on the project process.
This is the situation in which attitude of the user, satisfaction of the team of the project and the frequency of work do not correspond with the project process. It is require that the attitude of the team indulged in the project should be appropriate as well as they should get satisfactory wages as well as incentives so that they could work effectively on the project and ensure to complete the same within the deadlines and budget decided. But failing to provide the same have a direct impact on the project due to which the same fails (Mainga, 2017).
When the project does not meet the expectations of the stakeholder’s requirements, expectation or the values. There are various stakeholder attached with the project and it is required that their expectations and values should be taken into consideration before starting the project. Failing to evaluate the expectations of the project and providing them proper set of support leads to the failure of the project (Lessard, Sakhrani and Miller, 2014).
These are some of the factors which are being investigated which leads to the failure of the project (Jugdev and Mathur, 2012). It is necessary that these aspects should be taken into consideration while initiating the project so as to ensure that the same should get completed within the deadlines and in a proper manner.
The Inherent Complexity In Projects
Complexity issues of the project can be resolved in the condition when the most appropriate set of project management methodologies will be used by the organization so as to ensure that the project could get completed within the time frames and the budget which is being developed by the organization (Hutton, 2011). Working in the complex project is a very tough task as the percentage of the success of the project are very low and there are various set of risk factors which are attached with the same. It is necessary that all set of risk factors should be analyzed and information related with all set of risk should be evaluated well in advance form. Such type of activity will enhance the percentage of the completion of the complex project in a proper way (Hübler, Foster and Phelps, 2007).
There are two dimensions that are required to be undertaken before indulging in any type of the complex project these dimensions are the amount of turbulence caused by the project volatility and the internal as well as the external uncertainties and the degree at which the traditional approaches could be applied to manage the project in a proper as well as effective way (Hordijk, 2013).
Number Of Technologies
Number of technologies used in the project also helps in determining the complexity of the same (Hodgson and Cicmil, 2008). It is being studies that the project which has more technological requirements is more complex also the chances the success for the same is very less. Technology plays a very vital role in defining the complexity of the project and it is required that the same should be focused appropriately by the organizations so as to ensure that the requirements of the project could be fulfilled and the same could be completed in a proper way (Hatcher et al., 2013).
The project manager should evaluate the necessity of the technology in well in advance form so as to ensure that the project on which he will work could get completed in a smooth manner. Technologies that are required in the construction project are really very expensive and any breakdown in the machines have a direct impact on the project as it may lead to shutdown which will have an impact on the budget as well as on the time of the project (Dunne and Dunne, 2011). It is necessary that technology should be taken care in the project and a trail should be made that the project should be processed by using the traditional methods rather than using the technologies. More number of technologies leads to increase the complexity of the project with the effect of which risk of failure of the project gets enhanced which has a direct impact on the project management team and the company who has initiated the project (Cooke-Davies and Crawford, 2011).
Rigidity Of The Sequence
Rigidity is another factor which makes the project more complex, because things in the market keeps on changing due to which it become important for the project management team to change the plans accordingly (Kerans, 2014). But if the project is rigid then it will have a direct impact on the project process. The rigid sequence leads to affect the productivity as well as efficiency of the employees working on the project. Rigid sequence leads to work in a set process due to which people indulged in the project did not get the chance to show their skills and abilities. It is the aspects which have a direct impact on the quality of the project (Marvaldi, & Pani, 2016).
It is necessary that the rigidity of sequence should be taken into consideration by the project managers so as to ensure that the project could get completed in an effective way (Yugue and Maximiano, 2013). In case if all the sequences of the project will remain rigid then the project management team working on the same will not have the authority as well as freedom to make changes according to the time as well as requirements of the situation. This will lead to shut down the process as they will not be able to work if things will not get changed according to the time (Whitney and Daniels, 2013). And shut down will lead to increase the budget as well as time that will be indulged in the project. Increase in the expenses and time could also affect the progress of the project due to which it may fail.
Overlap Of Phases Or Concurrency
Overlapping of the phases is also one of the reasons due to which progress of the project gets affected and which could have a direct impact on the progress of the project. Overlapping of phases leads to increase the cost of the project as when the things are being done in a repeated order in the same project then it leads to increase the cost of the project (van Marrewijk et al., 2008). Projects are being developed by making appropriate set of calculations and determining all the factors which may incur in near future. Each and every cost is being estimated and budget is being developed accordingly. The budget shows the deadline of the project in which it should get completed because investors invest a huge amount of money in the project. Hence any increase in the cost of the project is not being tolerated in the project because it affects the estimated budget of the project which causes loss to the project (Rose, 2012).
It is being studied that overlapping leads to increase the cost of the project due to which budget of the project gets affected and so the quality is also being affected (Rolstadås and Schiefloe, 2017). In case if the cost is being increased it could lead to affect the future processes of the project and so could lead to the failure of the same.
Uncertainties are the biggest risk for the projects which are being initiated and are being undertaken by the project management companies (Peter, 2008). Technological shutdown, environmental uncertainties like various set of natural disasters have a direct impact on the progress of the project. It is hard for the project management team as well as organization to fight with the uncertainties but it could occur at any point of time and could have a direct impact on the progress of the project (McGhee and McAliney, 2008). It is necessary that all the aspects related with the project uncertainties should be taken into consideration so as to ensure that the project could get completed in a smooth manner.
Natural disasters have a great impact on the progress of the project which could lead to the failure of the project (Mainga, 2017). Mainly construction projects are the projects which have a direct impact of the natural disasters as the people faces issues in working in such conditions also risk of demolition of the buildings always remain attached in case of natural disasters which have a huge impact on the budget of the project and affects the pocket of the construction company. Due to the environmental as well as technological uncertainties it could be possible that the complexity of the project could get increased and the project could get affected due to which it may lead to the failure of the same (Mainga, 2017).
The Complex Adaptive Systems
This system discerns the universal idea that in order to understand the components, it is important to understand the relationship of components with other parts of system. Complexity theory`s branch which induces upon systems discerning and has also drawn the attention of theorists of project management is complex adaptive systems (Lessard, Sakhrani and Miller, 2014). This system is also known as dynamic systems are categorized through path dependency, disconnection between reason and effect, irreversibility, emergence and nonlinearity.
Complexity theory is a combination of philosophies that pursues to explicate phenomena not explicable by way of traditional theories (Jugdev and Mathur, 2012). Complexity theory has been developed in various contrasting fields, comprehending economics, mathematics and natural science, assimilating ideas from cognitive psychology, evolutionary biology, chaos theory, information theory, fuzzy logic, and general systems theory, computer science as well as other related fields. Instead of segregating down these theories in to their integral parts, complexity theory seek out to deal with artificial and natural systems in the way they are, universally (Hutton, 2011). A mixed reception has been received by complexity theory in the universal management literature, with thoughts or ideas drive apart between adversaries and strong advocates.
The theory of complexity elucidates states fluctuating from relative order to chaos or complete disorder where the control or prediction is disregarded by the system (Hübler, Foster and Phelps, 2007). On the other hand, in a chaotic system, structure of a system is apparent. Beside this, at any time, the system`s part can be quite constant and predictable. Over a period of time, patterns in the system can also be observed (Hordijk, 2013). A person who has managed a project before which also involved beneficial organizational change will also identify that some part of the project act predictably despite the fact that some part of the project seems to be out of control. It is the acknowledgement that project`s parts or even some projects do not behave in expectable manner, even when the project is undergoing in a supervision of experienced project teams, although a portion of project will be very stable and act in a manner that was expected and has also unremitting and constant interest in the theory of complexity (Hodgson and Cicmil, 2008).
Tools And Techniques To Aid A Project Manager Manage Complex Projects
There are five project planning and analysis methods for each and every complex project. These project planning and analysis method will help the project manager to manage the project and will help in providing better as well as effective support to complete the complex projects in a proper manner. These methods are:
Defining Dimensions of the project
It is necessary that the project manager should define each dimension of the project success. Such type of activity helps the manager to overcome from each uncertainty and irregularity (Hatcher et al., 2013). It is a well known thing that uncertainty and irregularity are the two characteristics of the complex project. It is necessary that both the aspects should be managed in a proper way and it is required that the key dimensions on which the project should be identified in a proper way. Identification of all set of dimensions will provide effective set of support to the project manager with the help of which project manager will be able to process the work in a set as well as unified manner (Dunne and Dunne, 2011). This will help in enhancing the chances of completing the complex project in a proper as well as effective way.
Assemble Project Team
Assemble project team is another method which is required to be applied on a complex project. It is necessary that the human resource which is being chosen by the project manager for the project should be efficient and should have effective human resources (Cooke-Davies and Crawford, 2011). Team work will help in completing all the projects in a proper way. Team work also helps in handling the project with quality and fulfilling all set of requirements of the project in an appropriate manner. Complex projects are hard to be managed by the individuals only team work could manage such type of projects because coordination among the teams ensures that the work related with the complex project could be processed in a proper as well as effective way. Team work also ensures that the complex projects could get completed within the time limits and the budget which are decided for the project (Brady and Davies, 2014).
Selection of Project Arrangements
Selection of project arrangements is the third method which should be taken into consideration by the project manager (Agile Project Management, 2013). Preparing the procurement plans, delivery methods and other project arrangements in a proper way will help the project manager to manage the complex project. Planning is the most important aspects attached with managing the complex projects in a proper way. It is required that all the aspects related with the project should be forecasted and on the basis of the forecasted predictions the project frames should be developed (Kerzner, 2009). Developing the blue print for the project helps in providing better as well as effective set of support in the process of the project. Plans ensure that the risk of uncertainties could get reduced and the complexity of the project could be managed in a proper as well as effective way.
Early Cost Model and Financial Plan
Prepare early cost model and finance plan is the fourth method which should be applied by the manager on the complex project (Bryant, 2014). Preparing the budget and evaluating all the aspects in which expenditures are required to be made by the project manager. Developing the budget ensures that the project could be processed in a proper way and it is required that all set of aspects of the project could get completed within the time frames (Lebcir, 2011). Development of the budget helps in ensuring that the project manager could gather the required funds for the project with the help of which an assurance could be made that all the requirements of the project could be managed in a proper way. Finance planning is one of the most important aspects attached with managing any complex project because finance planning helps in ensuring that all the requirements related with the finances of the projects could be met (Kerans, 2014). Managing all the financial activities of the projects and planning them well in advance manner helps in ensuring that the project should get completed in an appropriate manner and could help the organization to grow in the market.
Project Action Plan Development
Fifth method which is required to be adopted by the project manager is to ensure that the project manager should develop the project action plan (Marvaldi, & Pani, 2016). Project action plan will help in ensuring that all the activities related with the project could get managed in an appropriate manner. Action plan of the project helps in developing the work breakdown structure with the help of which date of the completion of each and every activity could be developed (Yung, & Tang Lin, 2015). Action plan will help in completing all the activities related with the project within the time frame decided and according to the priorities set for the project. Prioritize ensures that all the important as well as critical activities related with the project should get completed within the required timeframes with the effect of which complexity of the project will be completed in an effective manner (Pandit, & Dr. S. M. Yadav, 2012).
Tools Which Will Help In Managing The Complex Project
There are various set of tools which could be used by the manager so as to manage the complex project (Kerans, 2014). It is really hard for a project manager to manage the complex projects but using the appropriate set of tools will help the project manager to manage all the complex projects in a proper way.
Identifying the Specific Activities and Milestones
It is required that the project manager should work towards to identify the specific activities and the milestones of the project (Desmond, 2016). Determining the milestones will help in providing the assurance that the project should get completed within the timeframes required to complete the same. Determining the milestones for each and every activity of the project will help in ensuring that the project should get completed within the deadlines (Creswell, 2013).
Determining the Proper Sequence of Activities
Determining all set of proper sequences of the activities will help in ensuring that the complexity of the project could be managed in a proper way. Sequencing of the project will help determining the deadlines of each and every aspect on the basis of the priorities. Prioritizing the work helps in ensuring that all the important activities could get completed in a proper as well as effective manner (Integrating Process and Work Breakdown Structure with Design Structure Matrix, 2010).
Construct Network Diagram
It is necessary that the network diagram should be constructed. Sequencing the activities will help in construction of the network diagram as it will provide a set direction of which activity should come in which network (Joslin, & Müller, 2016). Then manger gets an idea of dividing the work according to each activity among the teams on the basis of the skills they shares.
Estimate the time required for each Activity
It is required that the time of each and every activity should be estimated, with the help of PERT technique it will be easy for the project manager to determine the time of each and every activity. The activities which are determined in the network diagram requires that appropriate time should be provided for the completion of those activities (Müller, 2015). There are three time estimates on the basis of which estimation of the time for each and every activity is being done these time estimates are:
Optimistic time: It is the shortest time within which the project activity could get completed.
Most Likely Time: The completion time which has the highest probability to get completed?
Pessimistic Time: Pessimistic time is the longest time that an activity may take to get completed (Wells, 2012).
Formula for calculating the expected time = (Optimistic Time +4 x Most Likely +Pessimistic)/6
Determining The Critical Path
Another tool which could be used by the manager to manage the critical project is determining the critical path, using the critical path method will help in ensuring that the project should get completed within the timeframes required for the same (Wojciech Macek, 2011). It is necessary that the shortest path of completing the project should be determined by the project manager. Critical path method helps in ensuring that the project will be completed in the shortest path and in an effective way. It is required that the critical paths should be completed within the time frames with the effect of which an assurance could be made that the complexity of the projects could be managed in a proper way (Rozenes, 2011).
Hence, understanding all the aspects related with the project as well as project management tools and techniques it could be analyzed that managing the complex project is typical but using the most appropriate set tools and techniques will help in managing the complexity of the project (Mir, & Pinnington, 2014). It could be analyzed that projects with lot of parts and interconnections, project that contains a great deal of uncertainty, and project that are heavily time constrained makes the project complex and increases the difficulties of the project manager working on the project.
It is necessary that the project manager should understand all the requirements of the projects and should try to develop the foolproof plan to deal with each and every activity of the project (Rose, 2010). Complexity of the project could be managed by using the work breakdown structure as it requires that all the activities should be divided into small parts and should be divided to different team members. Such type of activities helps in ensuring that all set of complexities related with the projects should get removed and work could be processed in a proper as well as effective manner (Teller & Kock, 2013).
It is concluded that strategies fir project management is crucial as it provides effective and innovative plans for managing the complex projects and it also helps in quick decision making in the course of rapid renewal project. It is also concluded form the essay that in the academic literature review there is cumulative agreement about the complexity theory that it can offer a useful lens for studying extremely challenging projects. When the project is viewed as complex adaptive system support practitioners and researchers to understand the formerly inexplicable phenomena of project. Arguments that there is no support for theoretical claims have been repudiated by evidence from detailed analyses of projects.
Using veracious set of constraints and focusing upon the safety and security aspects will help in managing the projects in a proper way. It is required that all the complexities of the projects should be focused by the project management team. Division of the project activities and prioritizing the work according to the requirement of the project will help in completing the same in an effective manner. It is required that various tools like PERT techniques, using work breakdown structures, using the time estimation and determining the sequencings will help in ensuring that the project should get completed within the deadlines and within the time frames which are being decided by the companies. Critical projects are hard to manage but using appropriate set of techniques and tools will provide the assurance that these could be completed and managed in the most appropriate ways and success could be obtained.
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