Stephen Hawking said: ‘I think the next century will be the century of complexity’.
In today’s world, nothing is simple any longer. So what is complexity in projects? What are the sources of project complexity, the levels and also the implications of project complexity? What complexity factors are critical in projects? Can regular project management tools and techniques be used for complex projects? This presentation will answer these questions.
This presentation is based on several case studies in complexity. Primarily the history of Ancient Roman Project Management which culminated with the Colosseum in Rome. These case studies have rarely been associated with complexity (and projects) and this is what makes this presentation so unique. Through these case studies the presentation highlights the importance of complexity and why it needs to be considered in projects. The presentation follows the evolution of Roman projects to better understand how they became more complex with time, facing more challenging and difficult problems, sometimes close to insurmountable. For example, the iconic Roman Colosseum megaproject had no precedence and technical complexity arose from unknown and untried solutions, whilst organizational complexity arose from the myriad of stakeholders and organizations that had to be engaged during the project.
In this presentation you will examine not only the project complexity spectrum but how your ability to understand complexity in projects could be the difference between project success and failure. Through the case studies you will see the importance of complexity and how it varies in projects. From simple projects with repeating patterns, consistent events, knowns, and clear cause and effect relationship to edge-of-chaos projects with high turbulence, ambiguity and uncertainty, interdependency, and non-linearity.
Important lessons are buried in these projects and this presentation will extract them and connect them to today’s world. New insights emerge when dissecting historical projects through a project management lens, and brought to life in this analysis. You will walk away with new insights and curiosity to re-examine these project more closely for lessons. Paying attention to how historical projects and emerging technologies of the past solved complex problems of the day provides some very valuable insights into how to solve today’s more challenging business problems.
Date: Thursday, January 25, 2018, 6:00-9:00pm
Location: Kitchener City Hall - Conestoga Room (200 King St W, Kitchener, ON, N2G 1A3 - Directions)
Prices: $35 (members) & $40 (non-members)
Early bird discount: $5 discount if you register before January 18, 11:55pm!
6:00-6:30pm - Registration
6:30-6:35pm - Welcome and Keynote Introduction
6:35-7:35pm - How to Handle Project Complexity? Lesson Learned from the Ancient Romans
7:35-8:30pm - Formal and free-flow networking
Keynote Speaker: Mark Kozak-Holland PhD, PMP, IPMA D, Cert. APM
The History of Project Management is from the “Lessons from History” series. As the author behind the series, Mark Kozak-Holland brings years of experience as a consultant who helps Fortune-500 companies formulate projects that leverage emerging technologies. Since 1983 he has been straddling the business and IT worlds making these projects happen. He is a PMP, certified business consultant, the author of several books, and a noted speaker. Mark has always been interested in tracing the evolution of technology and the 3 industrial revolutions of the last 300 years. Whilst recovering a failed Financial Services project he first used the Titanic analogy to explain to project executives why the project had failed. The project recovery was going to take 2 years and $8m cost versus the original $2m cost and 1 year duration.
As a historian, Kozak-Holland seeks out the wisdom of the past to help others avoid repeating mistakes and to capture time-proven techniques. His lectures on the Titanic project have been very popular at gatherings of project managers and CIOs.
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