Project Management

Fostering Complexity: Transforming Risk Into Opportunity

PMI Northern Italy Chapter

Luca is a PM consultant in Italy. He has a passion for the industry and has worked as a professional in project management for more than 10 years.

Projects these days are developing in a VUCA world, where “C” represents complexity. Usually, complexity in projects is determined by many elements, like technology tools, poor supplies, rapid changes, globalization, lack of adequate skills, more demanding customers, and so on. All of these factors make it increasingly difficult to manage projects and achieve the expected results.

Complexity should not be passively accepted; it can be managed and limited by farsighted choices that avoid creating a sort of "artificial" complexity. The article aims to illustrate some examples.

A common language for stakeholders
One of the main objectives of data management tools is to ensure the uniqueness of data. In projects, data can pass through various business functions, from engineering to sales, from procurement to finance. This data essentially concerns the economic aspects of the project and can be managed by each stakeholder following different logic related to their role and education. In this case, complexity comes from the lack of a common language among stakeholders, which can also occur when they are part of the same working group.

Establishing a common language for all project stakeholders is a fundamental step to overcome complexity. A work breakdown structure harmonized and shared by everybody can be a starting point, but it alone is not enough.


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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