Emerging Technology: Program and Project Complexity

Kevin Coleman is a highly skilled senior level project and program manager/advisor with experience leading projects with labor budgets ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to multi-million dollar budgets across multiple industries.

Few people would dispute that we live and work in a complex world. This is especially true in business. Today, the business environment is extremely complex. No longer is success driven by any one single factor—it requires multiple factors.

If you ask what drives the level of complexity of programs and projects these days, you will get a number of answers. But there are a few that stand out, or at least they stand out in the professional arena that I work in: technology-driven strategic issues and opportunities. After a considerable amount of thought, I have identified the three most common drivers of complexity:

  1. First is the number of new technologies that are creating opportunities for organizations.
  2. Second (and equally as complex in my mind) is the estimation process for programs and projects that are being enabled by new technologies that we have limited familiarity with (at best).
  3. The third issue adding to the growing complexity of programs and projects is the scarce human resources that have any experience with the technologies that create these issues and opportunities (much less the associated business process that enables organizations to take advantage of the evolving changes).

If you are unfamiliar with the new and emerging technologies that will combine to create an estimated $25 to $40 trillion market by 2022 (depending on who you might ask)…

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"O, it is excellent To have a giant's strength! But it is tyrannous To use it like a giant."

- William Shakespeare

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