Summary of Aspects of Complexity

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Aspects of Complexity book summary


8 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

7 Style


This outstanding small volume draws from seminars on “Complexity in Project Management and the Management of Complex Projects” that the Project Management Institute sponsored in São Paulo, Sydney, Atlanta and Malta. Editor and project management consultant Terry Cooke-Davies used material from these seminars to assemble an elevated, thoughtful and well-documented treatise on the effective management of complex projects, complete with recommendations from the field – including the unusual advice to take a “fire-ready-aim approach” to project management. Given that the book’s chapters come from an array of experts, it has some unevenness and spots of stiff styling, but it is a strong package nonetheless. getAbstract recommends it to project managers, line managers and academics who study how leaders succeed with complex projects – or don’t.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What constitutes a complex project,
  • What makes such projects hard to manage,
  • How “systemicity” makes complex projects even more challenging and
  • Why breaking complex projects down into their component parts doesn’t work at all.

About the Author

Terry Cooke-Davies, chairman of Human Systems International, is a visiting fellow at the Cranfield School of Management.



Project Management for Complex Projects
Project managers often confront an overwhelming degree of complexity in extended, multifaceted projects. Such managers come to understand how to handle confusingly complicated projects with knowledge and intuition derived from years of hard-won experience...

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