Five facts for managing complex projects during disruption

Disruption to the way we work is here to stay. Social, political, environmental, economic and technological changes will continue to affect our businesses at speeds set to compound over time.

Undoubtedly, the biggest common disruption to all businesses of all time is the global pandemic – COVID-19. How are your current business processes coping with the disruption? If not all, then most businesses are re-thinking their approach to become more resilient, agile and protected from the pandemic.

Change is also required within our approach to project management.

Here are some facts that will help you when reconsidering how you manage projects within your business after the disruption of COVID-19.

  1. All projects, large and small, are fast becoming complex

Whilst there is no universally accepted definition for Complex Project Management, common themes are uncertainty, ambiguity, dynamic interfaces and significant political or external influences.

Sound familiar? All projects, large and small, are fast becoming complex, by this definition.

Even small businesses who have been managing successfully with a basic project management software tool have struggled to plan effectively due to COVID-19 disruptions to their business.

  1. Projects need to be nimble and adaptive

In her book “Managing Complex Projects: A New Model” Kathleen Haas says project managers must view their projects as complex, adaptive systems.

Haas says that applying the concepts of complexity theory can complement conventional project management approaches and enable us to adapt to the unrelenting change.

Suffice to say that we need to get used to complexity. In this case, businesses can choose software solutions to ensure nimble and adaptive decision making based upon good visibility over workload and competing priorities.

Project managers require greater visibility across resources who are scheduled within multiple projects and multiple tasks within each project. Dependencies must also be dynamically applied to tasks so that changes to the project timeline can be made with respect to the order of tasks and their completion dates. Today’s project management tools offer sophisticated dashboards and functionality to view the project from various elements.

  1. Linear tools are insufficient

While still necessary, research indicates that traditional, linear project management tools and techniques are often insufficient to manage the complexities of 21st century projects. 

Project management software tools allow for project managers to make significant changes to project resource allocation or timeline with a few clicks. What’s more, tools can embed communication channels into the solution, so changes can be communicated just as swiftly.

  1. Projects are vulnerable

Not only have we seen that our projects are vulnerable to global events like the pandemic. We can also view them as being vulnerable to undesirable virtual events – cyber attacks. Project managers must protect their data because it’s mission critical to their success.

Having experts on your team to ensure a secure network and policies will mitigate risks of major disruptions. Some security questions to ask yourself are:

  • How and where is my data stored?
  • How is my data encrypted?
  • How is my data transmitted?
  • How is my data protected?
  • How do I manage remote access to data?
  • How are my project resources using the data?
  • Who owns my data?
  • What happens to my data if the software partnership ends?

Review your partners’ Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policies on a regular basis.

  1. Digital is the key for managing complexity

Advance your digital capability and automate as many tasks as possible.

In summary, the three most vital actions for business today are:

  1. Adapting to global changes in the way we work and interact
  2. Automating processes to greatly increase the pace of change
  3. Viewing digital as a necessity not just a nice to have option

Drive Lynx is a project management software portal that accelerates project performance.

Take our 14 day Test Drive today.

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