Is There Something Going Wrong on Your Project? Look for System Behavioral Archetypes

PMI Czech Republic Chapter

Lenka is a management consultant with an agile mindset and 15+ years of managing domestic and international cross-functional teams.

Abstract
It should not be a surprise that complex problem solving is at the top of the most-wanted job skills for the future. We are facing trends in digitalization, the need for agility on an enterprise-wide level, and a changing business environment with disruptive players. Learning how to quickly navigate in systems of interconnected elements that influence each other helps project managers to improve their nonlinear critical thinking and effectively deal with ambitious projects delivering complex changes.

This article introduces system archetypes and their application in the project management environment. System archetypes are reoccurring patterns of behavior that can be found in any type of organizational system. They serve us as effective tools to diagnose projects, identify and manage risks, and point out underlying structures that are signaling where fundamental decisions must be made in order to fix a root cause.

Complexity of Project Systems
Projects are unique endeavors with ambitious goals that create challenges for project managers and force them to deal with uncertainty in an unstable environment. Some projects fail, and we want to understand why. We scrutinize project statistics, facilitate lessons learned sessions, and implement fast-learning agile methods. Yet we see that some issues are reoccurring.

Projects, in their complexity, may be seen as …

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