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Complexity Theory and Project Management

Wanda Curlee, Robert L. Gordon

ISBN: 978-0-470-54596-6 October 2010 416 Pages


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. 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.

(PMI and PMBOK are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.)




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.