Event: Managing Complexity in Projects

logo lessons from historyStephen 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.

history of pm

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, April 26, 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 Apr 19, 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

Mark Kozak Holland

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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