Project Management

Complexity Matters

George Jucan is an experienced Project Manager Professional (PMP) with 20 years of technical and management experience in complex environments, both in public and private sector. He is well known in the project management community as a successful IT project management consultant, speaker at public events, trainer and author of project management articles.

Overview
Taking your time to measure before you cut is always good advice. In a PM's world, spending the time to plan the project is proven to dramatically increase the chances of success. A complete Project Management Plan as described in Section 4.3 of  the PMBOK Guide Third Edition is the final expression of comprehensive planning.
 
Well, we all know that, but who's got weeks to create a full Project Management Plan? In most cases, the project manager will be pressured by sponsors to cut down the planning time because "it can't be that complex." Do we really need separate management plans for risk, scope, quality, budget, communications, etc., or can they simply be sections within a single project management plan?
 
Most project managers have an instinctive feeling of how complex the project will be and the required level of planning. But explaining it to sponsors and stakeholders is a totally different matter. While estimating other project measures are quite well defined--such as effort, duration, risk and quality--for project complexity there is not even a generally accepted definition. However, being able to measure a project's complexity allows customizing the methodology (and associated planning effort) to the actual needs of the particular project. This would ensure that "enough" planning is performed to efficiently manage the project while avoiding excessive …

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