Having been a part of meetings where level of complexity of a given project is often discussed, I prefer to usually clarify my stand by mentioning that complexity can be defined according to the number of interactions that must take place for the work to be executed. The greater the number of functional units that must interact, the harder it is to perform the integration. The situation becomes more difficult if the functional units are dispersed across the globe and if cultural differences makes integration difficult. Complexity can also be defined according to size and length. The larger the project is in scope and cost, and the greater the time frame, the more likely it is that scope changes will occur significantly, affecting the budget and schedule. Large, complex projects tend to have large cost overruns and schedule slippages. Complex projects can differ from traditional projects for a multitude of reasons, including:

◾ Size
◾ Dollar value
◾ Uncertain requirements
◾ Uncertain scope
◾ Uncertain deliverables
◾ Complex interactions
◾ Uncertain credentials of the labor pool
◾ Use of large virtual teams
◾ Other miscellaneous differences

There are numerous definitions of a complex project, based upon the interactions of two or more of the preceding elements. Even a small, two-month project can be considered complex according to the definition. This can create havoc when selecting and using metrics. The projects that you manage within your own company can be regarded as complex projects if the scope is large and the statement of work is only partially complete so before starting a project just try to thrash out this important issue as well, wherever required.


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