Keeping chaos out of complexity

Ambiguity is a part of every project. Pinning down the knowns and anticipating the unknowns starts in the planning stages and should be standard operating procedure every step of the way. As the complexity of a project or program rises, though, elements and participants interact in increasingly unforeseeable ways. This article discusses how to keep chaos out of complex endeavors. In doing so, it reports the results from the IBM 2011 The Essential CIO survey, showing that 57 percent of 3,018 global respondents expect more complexity and change over the next five years. It details how organizations should tackle complexity and identifies four ways companies can acknowledge the risks and demands of projects with added complexity. The article then overviews how organizations need to pay attention to and successfully navigate the dynamics of interactions and power relationships between diverse project participants. It concludes by discussing flexibility and adaptability as a means to manage complexity. Accompanyin
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