Many of today’s projects require novel approaches to handle increased complexity and large uncertainty. Complex projects are both difficult and challenging even for the most seasoned project managers. Leading these types of projects requires a versatile skill set, the ability to manage the unforeseen, and a strategic vision. Complex projects require more than just management. They require leadership.
Leadership is important in every project but can be even more challenging for complex projects since there is a multitude of variables to manage all at once. Complex projects lie between traditional project management and extreme project management and they:
- Utilize new or unproven technology
- Consist of independent, interacting elements that require integration
- Involve two or more stakeholders
- Entail a dynamic human resource environment
All projects have common characteristics: every project has a scope, budget, and schedule. Projects also differ. Understanding how projects differ and what that difference means to the management of the project is critical to successfully managing a project. Large, complex projects need project management tools, systems, and processes that are very different from the small and less complex project.
Complex projects involve an unusual degree of uncertainty and unpredictability. Project manager must make decisions in an environment in which many of the critical factors are outside the project team’s direct control.
Project management is complicated because projects consist of many activities that are interrelated, and the actions taken in one activity affect several other aspects of the project. Project management is complex because project managers must understand several knowledge areas and develop a variety of tools and techniques to successfully manage a project.
Project managers may have control over their direct project activities but little or no influence when it comes to the micro and macro economics and politics of a country and the world in general. Natural disasters, social unrest, economic downturn, labour issues, wars and depletion of natural resources all have a profound and unpredictable effect on projects. This is especially so when project duration spans many years and cross international borders.
There are many reasons why projects (both simple and complex) fail. They are:
- User processes and incomplete planning specifications
- Principal’s organization and responsibilities unclear – unrealistic cost expectations, failure to perform projections, and lack of risk analysis
- Ineffective planning and construction processes, excessive project duration
- Lengthy approval procedures and project interruptions
- Lack of transparency and an incorrect assessment of the general public.
Generally, any one of these issues is sufficient to derail a complex project.
What are the factors needed for successful projects?
- Define objectives clearly
- Adhere to defined objectives
- Establish a professional organization
- Make quick and clear decisions after appropriate preparation.
If these conditions are met, project managers and engineers can ensure a project is completed on schedule, within budget and at the required quality.
A complex project manager needs to have a strategic focus. He or she must be able to develop a strategic vision of the project’s overall direction, communicate it to the project stakeholders, and make the necessary modifications as the project progresses.
In our team we have assembled the appropriate consultants, facilitating all of the communications and information flow to insure that all disciplines are aligned with the project goals.
We initiate and manage the resources, planning and execution process, mitigate risks and manage changes on our client’s behalf. This results in the quality project that is on time, in budget and meets their business goals.
We have set high standards and put in place sophisticated procedures to develop concrete action plans, review mechanisms, risk evaluation systems and decision-making process to manage and monitor the development of the investment project. We ensure the project is aligned with your business strategy, defined project goals, agreed timeframe and established success criteria.
We are now using the RIBA Plan of work diagram to help illustrate the individual stages of a project to our clients from the very first meeting, through to handing you the keys at the end of your project.
The RIBA Plan of Work organises the process of briefing, designing, constructing, maintaining, operating and using your project into a number of key stages. The full Plan of Work details the main architectural tasks and outputs required at each stage which may vary or overlap to suit the specific project requirements.
The principal purpose of the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 is explaining to clients the circular processes involved in a building project, although these are expanded and adjusted to relate to the briefing, design, construction, maintenance, operational and in-use processes involved in a building project.