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Complexity Theory and Project Management

ISBN: 978-0-470-54596-6
416 pages
October 2010
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An insightful view on how to use the power of complexity theory to manage projects more successfully

Current management practices require adherence to rigid, global responses unsuitable for addressing the changing needs of most projects. Complexity Theory and Project Management shifts this paradigm to create opportunities for expanding the decision-making process in ways that promote flexibility—and increase effectiveness. It informs readers on the managerial challenges of juggling project requirements, and offers them a clear roadmap on how to revise perspectives and reassess priorities to excel despite having an unpredictable workflow.

Complexity Theory and Project Management provides remedies through the use of teaching notes, power point slides, a solutions manual, and a toolbox of answers to common project management problems to illustrate how the deployment of complexity theory can make a project more successful. One of the first books covering the subject of complexity theory for project management, this useful guide:

  • Explains the relationship of complexity theory to virtual project management
  • Supplies techniques, tips, and suggestions for building effective and successful teams in the virtual environment
  • Presents current information about best practices and relevant proactive tools
  • Makes a strong case for including complexity theory in PMI's PMBOK Guide

Complexity Theory and Project Management gives a firsthand view on the future of complexity theory as a driving force in the management field, and allows project managers to get a head start in applying its principles immediately to produce more favorable outcomes.

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Preface.

Acknowledgements.

Introduction.

Part I Complexity Theory.

A Practitioner's Explanation of Complexity Theory.

1 Introduction to Complexity Theory.

2 Going beyond the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide.

3 Virtual Leadership and Complexity.

4 Successful Virtual Projects.

Part II How to Deploy Complexity Theory.

5 Successful Project Management Strategies of Complexity.

6 Virtual Leadership through Complexity.

7 How Organizational Culture Is the Key to Applying Complexity.

8 Cultural Conflict through the Lens of Complexity.

9 Cultural Conflict Resolution Strategies.

10 Risk Management through the Lens of Complexity.

Part III Case Studies of Applied Complexity.

11 SEMCO (Organizational Complexity).

12 Web-Based Universities (Multilevel Complexity).

13 Small Team Complexity.

Part IV Create Successful Project Communities.

14 Leadership of Complexity-Driven Organizations.

15 Communities.

16 Teams and Complexity.

17 Micro-Teams (Tribes).

18 Dealing Appropriately with Change.

Part V Advanced Tools for Managing Complexity.

19 Complexity Tools for Organizations with Virtual Teams.

20 Virtual Projects and Complexity Theory.

21 Using Complexity to Address a Troubled Project.

22 The Future of Complexity.

Index.

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Wanda Curlee is a Program Management Consultant for a Fortune 500 company, and her primary clients are within the federal government. She has been a consultant in various organizations including telecom, insurance, and various technology firms. She has a doctorate in organizational leadership from the University of Phoenix and has authored papers on virtual project teams, complexity theory and project management, and virtual project management offices. She is also an adjunct professor at Northcentral University, Kaplan University, and the University of Phoenix.

Robert L. Gordon is currently a Senior Faculty Member with Keller School of Management (DeVry University). Dr. Gordon earned his doctor of management and organizational leadership degree and his master of business administration from the University of Phoenix, as well as an undergraduate degree in history from UCLA. He has been active in project management and supply chain management for over twenty years. During that time, he has been involved with the construction of ten different passenger vessels as well as multiple ERP-related projects.

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