Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/104535
Citations
Scopus Web of Science® Altmetric
?
?
Type: Theses
Title: Exploring project complexities and their problems: a critical review of the literature
Author: Bakhshi, Javad
Issue Date: 2016
School/Discipline: Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC)
Abstract: It is hard to imagine any simple projects in today’s emergence behaviour world. There is varying degrees of complexity in all types of projects. This is evident in the early definition of complexity, which is defined as an entity which consists of many varied interrelated parts and elements such as tasks, components, and interdependence (Hornby & Wehmeier 1995). Thus, every practical project in the world contains a degree of complexity. Complexity is one of the most important and controversial topics in many disciplines, project management included. Interestingly, however, there is no universally accepted definition of complexity (Ireland, 2013). Stephen Hawking has mentioned correctly “I think that the next century (21st) will be the century of complexity.” Project Management Institute (PMI) also has concentrated on that recently. “Complexity is not going away and will only increase. Ultimately, how organizations anticipate, comprehend and navigate complexity determines their successes and failures” (PMI 2013a, p. 5). Complex systems display numerous different behaviours. Self-organisation and the emergent properties of them are often counter-intuitive. As a result, opportunities for external or top-down control are very limited (Helbing 2013). This is because of their diverse components’ properties and interactions without simple cause-effect relationships. Based on this, “complexity is the inability to predict the behaviour of a system due to large numbers of constituent parts within the system and dense relationships among them” (Sheard & Mostashari, 2012, p. 11). Although there is extensive research in this area, there is still a lack of understanding on what exactly project complexity is. Accordingly, the purpose of this research is to clarify the epistemology of project complexity and the implication of this definition for complex project management, considering different schools of thought. Thus, the main purpose of this paper is seeking out what factors make a complex project while considering different perspectives. Given the research main aim, this research seeks to answer the following questions: Q1: What is project complexity and why are some projects complex? Q2: What factors contribute to project complexity considering different schools of thought? To answer the research questions above, first of all, we have conducted an in-depth systematic literature review to define complexity in the context of project management. The analysis period is more than 25 years from 1990 to 2015, and covers key developments in project complexity. Then, selected publications have been analysed. Finally three dominant perspectives construct a project complexity framework: the Project Management Institute (PMI) view, the System of Systems view and the complexity theories view.
Advisor: Ireland, Vernon
Elsey, Barry
Dissertation Note: Thesis (M.Phil.) -- University of Adelaide, Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC), 2016
Keywords: project complexity
complex projects
system of systems
systematic review
complexity theories
histogram analysis
Research by Publication
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/legals
DOI: 10.4225/55/58f6d012dd064
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
01front.pdf818.79 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
02whole.pdf11.68 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
PermissionsLibrary staff access only809.92 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
RestrictedLibrary staff access only11.9 MBAdobe PDFView/Open


Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.