Complexity, dynamics and project management

Peter Popp

In the day-to-day work within a project environment that is continuously growing more complex the challenges for the applied project management methods grow more and more complex, too. Thus partial or broad loss of control in projects leads in most instances to failed project targets. Costs, deadlines and output quality get out of hand.

Recovery attempts often comprise squeezing more and more tasks into a shorter and shorter period. The consequence: delays cause immense additional costs, clients are being lost. However, in smaller projects, too, such outcomes can be observed. Does this scenario look familiar to you? Indeed, common outcomes could almost create the impression that cost explosion, delays and quality loss were an accepted element of the multi-project landscape.

The reasons being cited for such undesireable developments primarily point to inappropriate methods and tools, vague objectives, insufficient communication or incapabilities of project staff. While these and further factors can cause projects to go wrong, the root cause for failing projects is inadequate management of complexity and dynamics.

It is critical to apply new methods – rethinking the current practices is inevitable! There arises the question which project approaches can resolve this dilemma.

Peter Popp.

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