Complexity Is The Enemy Of Execution

The title of this article is a quote from Tony Robbins, and he is absolutely right.

One of the main reasons technology projects fail so often is their (underestimated) complexity.

Managing and reducing complexity in projects should be an urgent concern for any organization.

But before you can manage and reduce complexity you should be able to understand and recognize it.

Instead of a binary understanding of complexity in projects (it is complex, or it is not) you should be thinking in three dimensions of complexity:

1) Structural complexity
2) Sociopolitical complexity
3) Emergent complexity

My free online Project Complexity Assessment will guide you through these dimensions by asking you 38 questions.

At the end of the assessment you will get a score between 0 and 38. The higher your score, the better you have a grip on the complexity of your project.

After finishing the assessment you will get your score and detailed feedback for each question with links to further reading material on how to reduce this part of project complexity.

You will also receive an email with a link to the assessment and your answers so you can review it again any time you want.

In use, the benefits of this assessment arise not directly from the questionnaire but from the subsequent conversations between people involved in the project.

The Project Complexity Assessment is, in other words, a tool for transparency and sense making.

The assessment is based on research from Stephen Carver, Senior Lecturer at Cranfield School of Management.

Originally published at

Written by

I help C-level executives in the financial service industry with interim management and recovering troubled technology projects.

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