Project Management

How to Reduce Complexity on Projects

From the The Money Files Blog
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A blog that looks at all aspects of project and program finances from budgets, estimating and accounting to getting a pay rise and managing contracts. Written by Elizabeth Harrin from GirlsGuideToPM.com.

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Categories: complex projects


reduce complexityThere are loads of things that make a project complex, and in the past I’ve written about criteria for complexity and what ‘true’ complexity means.

However, I’m now leaning towards the opinion that if you think it’s complex, it’s complex. The benchmark from which to approach managing complexity is whether you are worried about it being complex. Because if you are struggling with all the moving parts, then other people in your business probably are as well, and you all need strategies to get things feeling more comfortable.

OK, your project might not tick all the boxes for ‘pure’ complexity as defined by academics, but who cares about that, right? We want YOUR project to be successful, and that means meeting you where you are, and dealing with the stakeholders and the situation you find yourself in.

So when you’re feeling like things are getting out of control and the complexity level on your project is spiralling, what can you do about it? The infographic below sets out – in a high level way – three ways you can start to approach complex situations. Ultimately, the aim is for you to feel like things are under control.

Take whatever steps you need to that help you identify where the complexity is coming from and then break it down to deal with each part.

There’s more information about how to reduce complexity on projects in this article.

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Posted on: December 16, 2019 08:59 AM | Permalink

Comments (10)

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Dear Elizabeth
Interesting reflection on the theme of complexity on projects and how to reduce it

Thanks for sharing

I liked the tip:

"Take whatever steps you need to help you identify where the complexity is coming from and then break it down to deal with each part"

Good article, Elizabeth - have you read Al's article here: https://portal.netobjectives.com/articles-public/dealing-with-complexity-by-using-inherent-simplicity ? I'd suggest that your article aligns well with his assertions...

Elizabeth, I do not see any infographic above, were you referring to your 2016 article? Thank you.

Thank you for sharing your perspective regarding Project Complexity!....

@Sreepathi - oops! I forgot to put the infographic in the article. That's now fixed, so you should be able to see it now. Thanks for letting me know!

Thaks for your sharing ! good communication and have a consensus can make the project simple .do what we can do to handle with the challenge

Dear Elizabeth
Thanks for sharing the infographic in the article.

If we clicked on the link you shared we would have access to the infographic :-)

Thanks a lot for sharing, Elizabeth. Great inspiration.

Elizabeth,

There is always the old way to break it down in smaller and smaller parts that are less complex.

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