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Project Management Theory and Large Complex Projects

Bob Prieto moves beyond rethinking project management to offer a broader perspective on managing large programs and projects

9 June 2015 – Dallas, TX and Princeton, NJ, USA – Bob Prieto, senior vice president at Fluor corporation in the United States with 40 years of experience in the engineering and construction industry, has authored another major paper in the June edition of the PM World Journal. His new paper titled “Project Management Theory and the Management of Large Complex Projects” has been added to the PM World Library.

According to Bob’s introduction, “The normal condition of a project is “failure” and this is no more true than in the world of large complex projects where two out of three projects “fail”. Current project management theory does not provide a framework for success. In this article, the current theoretical framework for management of large complex projects is considered in light of the continuing evolution of general management theory and the theories of management and projects explored. Characteristics of large complex projects are reviewed and changed management perspectives suggested.

The purpose of this article is to move beyond the author’s previous question of “Is it time to rethink project management theory” to suggesting some of the essential perspective and focal changes that such a rethink will likely include. Just as theory in physics moved from a purely classical view to a classical and relativistic (or neo-classical view) view, each with their own scalar domains, so too must the universe of large complex projects be better underpinned.

The large complex projects contemplated in this article are large, complex engineering and construction projects but others may judge its conclusions to apply equally in other domains…”

140609 - PMWL Logo for NitL - 150To read this paper, go to Bob’s author showcase page in the PMWL at and click on the title. Free access, but must be a logged in library member to access after 10 July 2015.