2 September 2015 (© Ontonix) | The dynamism and volatility of a project or a portfolio (frequently changing scope, objectives, priorities, resource allocation, etc) imply that the project can no longer be managed and governed with static or predefined metrics, methodologies and best practices.
As the environment in which a project has to be managed becomes uncertain and unpredictable, it becomes necessary, if not mandatory to measure, manage and control the complexity of a project.
This is particularly true for mega projects that involve multiple stakeholders who may be geographically dispersed and that affect multitudes of beneficiaries. Such projects are too big to fail and may be termed too complex to fail (TCTF). Such highly complex projects, offering, introducing or enabling innovative technologies that must respond to organizational changes or business needs are inherently fragile. Their fragility is proportional to their level of complexity. A project with a fragile structure can suddenly, without warning, exhibit behaviors and reactions that could lead to unexpected results not in line with the defined objectives. It is therefore preferable to design and maintain a less complex project providing the same level of performances and results.
If properly controlled and managed, complexity will become a critical factor of success in the development and implementation of projects.
Therefore, it becomes important to adopt a comprehensive metric to objectively measure the complexity of large, complex and unpredictable projects or program environments.
Graci, Deshpande & Martin (2010) introduces how the complexity of any project can be measured. And through its measurement, complexity can provide a significant value add to the management. First, as an early warning indicator that can forecast and forestall possible crises in time-sensitive situations. Second, from a business intelligence point of view, allow identifying the main factors that generate or increase the level of complexity. The goal of managing TCTF projects will essentially be to decrease the level of complexity to the “physiological” limits of a project where complexity is properly balanced between benefits and risks.
Giuseppe Graci, Balachandra Deshpande & David Martin (2010). Ontonix Complexity Measurement: A New, Comprehensive Metric for Project Management. Ontonix.