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Complexity & Project Management

Whether managing complex projects or implementing complex program or project management, complexity is an important topic in the project management field.  This topic has been much researched in recent years, and much has been published on the topic.  This section of the PM World Library provides access to a few useful resources on these topics.

PM World Journal

There have been several articles and papers related to complexity previously published in the PM World Journal and now included in the PM World Collection at https://pmworldlibrary.net/pm-world-collection/.



International Centre for Complex Project Management (Australia) - a not-for-profit peak body dedicated to building organisational capability in complex project management. Learn more at https://iccpm.com


Papers, Reports, Studies

Caressa, M and Pirozzi, M (2021). An Innovative Integrated Approach to Manage Effectively the Complex Projects, Programs, and Portfolios; PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue I, January. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/pmwj113-Jan2022-Pirozzi-Caressa-Innovative-Integrated-Approach-to-Manage-Effectively-Complex-Projects.pdf

Ika, L. (2022). The Journey towards Profound Simplicity: How to Effectively Navigate Complexity in Projects; originally published in PM Review in China, republished in the PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue VI, June. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/pmwj118-Jun2022-Ika-journey-towards-profound-simplicity.pdf

Ika, L., Coullard, J., Garon, S. (2021). Coping with Project Complexity: The Complexity Based Project Management Framework; PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue V, May. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/pmwj105-May2021-Ika-Couillard-Garon-coping-with-project-complexity.pdf

Mahoney, D. and Milovidov, I. (2024). Mastering Chaos: How Successful Project Managers Overcome Challenges in the Digital Workspace; PM World Journal, Vol. XIII, Issue III, March. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/pmwj139-Mar2024-Mahoney-Milovidov-mastering-chaos-QTalo.pdf

Montreuil, S. and Bredillet, C. (2024). Performance limiting factors for complex projects within the Royal Canadian Air Force; PM World Journal, Vol. XIII, Issue V, May. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/pmwj141-May2024-Montreuil-Bredillet-performance-limiting-factors-for-complex-projects.pdf

Pace, M. (2019). Can complex adaptive systems help the wicked problem that is project management? presented at the 13th Annual UT Dallas Project Management Symposium, Richardson, Texas, USA in May 2019; published in the PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue VII, August.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/pmwj84-Aug2019-Pace-can-complex-adaptive-systems-help-wicked-project-management.pdf

Prieto, R. (2024). Quantum Project Management and the Concept of Space-time, PM World Journal, Vol. XIII, Issue V, May. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/pmwj141-May2024-Prieto-Quantum-Project-Management-and-Concept-of-Space-time.pdf

Prieto, R. (2024). Measurement of Complexity in Large Complex Projects, PM World Journal, Vol. XIII, Issue IV, April. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/pmwj140-Apr2024-Prieto-Measurement-of-Complexity-in-Large-Complex-Projects.pdf

Prieto, R. (2024). Quantum Project Management, PM World Journal, Vol. XIII, Issue I, January 2024. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/pmwj137-Jan2024-Prieto-Quantum-Project-Management-.pdf

Prieto, R. (2020). Decision Making Under Uncertainty; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue XI, November.   Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/pmwj99-Nov2020-Prieto-Decision-Making-Under-Uncertainty.pdf

Sohi, A. J., Hertogh, M., Bosch-Rekveldt, M., Blom, R. (2016). Does lean & agile project management help coping with project complexity? ScienceDirect journal; Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 226, 14 July 2016, Pages 252-259. To access this paper, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042816308722  (Kumar)

Tain, D. (2019). Capitalizing on Complexity in Modern Business Environments: A Network-Based Perspective for Projects and Organizations; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue II (February).  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/pmwj79-Feb2019-Tain-capitalizing-on-complexity-in-modern-business-featured-paper.pdf

Thiry, M. (2011). Ambiguity management: the new frontier. Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2011—North America, Dallas, TX. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute. Available at: https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/ambiguity-management-new-frontier-6285   (Dantas)

Williams, T. (2017). The Nature of Risk in Complex Projects. Project Management Journal, 48(4), 55–66. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328020506_The_Nature_of_Risk_in_Complex_Projects  (Dantas)


Articles, Blogs, Opinions

Lanier, A. (2023).  Managing for Complexity, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue VI, June. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/pmwj130-Jun2023-Lanier-managing-for-complexity-2.pdf

Prieto, R. (2021). Rethinking Interface Management, PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue VIII, August. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/pmwj108-Aug2021-Prieto-Rethinking-Interface-Management.pdf

Smith, K. F. (2022).  Analyzing Risks “By the Numbers”: A “Quick & Easy” Approach to Quantifying Complexity, PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue VIII, August. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/pmwj120-Aug2022-Smith-analyzing-risks-by-the-numbers.pdf

Villanyi Bokor, C. (2020).  There are complicated and there are complex projects; The Problem with Complexity, Part 2, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue XI, November.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/pmwj99-Nov2020-Bokor-the-problem-with-complexity-2-complicated-and-complex-projects.pdf

Villanyi Bokor, C. (2020).  The Problem with Complexity: What do you think? We have 30 seconds (part 1), PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VIII, August.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj96-Aug2020-Bokor-the-problem-with-coplexity-30-seconds-part1.pdf



Books, Book Reviews

Gwaze, C. E. M. (2024). Projects and Complexity, book review, PM World Journal, Vol. XIII, Issue I, January. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/pmwj137-Jan2024-Gwaze-Projects-and-Complexity-book-review.pdf

Jackson, S. R. (2019). Everyday Chaos: Technology, Complexity, and How We’re Thriving in a New World of Possibility, book review, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue XI, December. Online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/pmwj88-Dec2019-Jackson-Everyday-Chaos-book-review.pdf

Quintero, A. (2023).  Leading Complex Projects, book review, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue II, February. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/pmwj126-Feb2023-Quintero-complex-project-management-book-review.pdf


Other Resources



More coming soon

This section of the library is a work in progress.  If you know of good resources to add here, please let us know.  If you are a student and might like to help, consider our research internship.  Click here for information or contact help2@pmworldlibrary.net

This section of the PMWL created in April 2018