Tools for Complex Projects  book cover
1st Edition

Tools for Complex Projects

ISBN 9780566087417
Published February 28, 2008 by Routledge
232 Pages

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Book Description

Traditional project management approaches assume that project contexts are unchanging and key factors, though complicated, are reducible to unambiguous elements for management and control. Whilst this assumption has simplified the task for writers and educators, it is increasingly being recognised that these techniques do not work in projects which may be described as complex (due to their size, technical difficulties, conflicting environmental and political constraints or poorly understood or shared goals). Tools for Complex Projects draws on research in the areas of project management, complexity theory and systems thinking to provide a ready reference for understanding and managing the increasing complexity of projects and programmes. The main part of the book provides a series of fourteen project tools. Some of these tools may be used at the level of the whole project life-cycle. Others may be applied ad hoc at any time. In each case, the authors provide: detailed guidelines for using the tool, information on its purpose and the types of complexity for which it is most appropriate, the theoretical background to the tool, a practical example of its use, and any necessary words of caution. This is an example of advanced project management at work; sophisticated tools that require a level of project and management expertise and offer rigorous and highly practical methods for understanding, structuring and managing the most complex of projects.



Kaye Remington and Julien Pollack have extensive experience in extending project management concepts into many fields in practice, education and research, integrating material from fields not traditionally associated with project management. Kaye Remington has 25 years project management and senior management experience and until very recently was Course Director of the Master of Project Management program at the University of Technology Sydney. Julien Pollack has experience in the delivery of complex strategic development projects and has recently been awarded national and international awards for applied research in project management and systems thinking.


’Tools for Complex Projects is informative and well written, and it blends theory and practical advice effectively, presenting a useful range of tools that engage the reader in contemplating technique and high level issues in programme and project management.’ Michael Earle MIRM, Group Exploration Manager, Aurelian Oil & Gas, The Institute of Risk Management This is an excellent, well presented, practical volume written by project managers for project managers.' - Economic Outlook and Business Review 'In this different book about Project Management the authors have blended elements from complexity theory to throw light on why complex projects are particularly challenging to manage. They build a model of four types of project complexity by drawing upon the work of many other writers. The examples of tools come from practitioners and academics. An early and important point is made that the book is not a step by step prescriptive methodology. Rather it is a palette of tools and approaches from which managers can select to improve the management of their projects. Tools for Complex Projects is supported by appropriate bibliography and the use of many tables, figures, diagrams, and other visual aids that strengthen the book's important messages.' David Cleland, Professor Emeritus in the School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh 'Tools for Complex Projects makes two major contributions to our understanding of projects. First, it elaborates on the very nature of projects as being complex and complicated due to contemporary business and organizational circumstances. To this end, we are given several explanations to the management challenges that are at hand. Second, the authors outline a set of tools and techniques that can be used to better handle complex projects. It is not a "how to" book in the traditional way. Neither is a "must do" book. Rather the reader is given access to a number of different approaches that could be used to improve the daily practi