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ISSUE 24: MARCH 2017


Project Execution Strategies for Complex Projects

Hidden Neural Patterns Could be Limiting Your Performance

ICCPM Solutions Sixty Years of Project Management Research: Trends & Blindspots

CONTACT US STAFF Deborah Hein Managing Director & CEO Collin Smith Deputy CEO Dr Erin Evans Director of Research and Development Diane Hope Business Manager Corinne Hopewell Training Coordinator Ian Biggs Certification Project Manager ICCPM BOARD Harry Bradford, Chair Simon Henley Julie Dunlap Mary McKinlay Deborah Hein Alicia Aitken International Centre for Complex Project Management Ltd (ICCPM) PO Box 327 Deakin West ACT 2600 AUSTRALIA Level 2, Equinox 3 70 Kent Street Deakin ACT 2600 AUSTRALIA +61 2 6120 5110 Twitter: @iccpm LinkedIn: ICCPM Complex Project Management Discussion Group The views expressed by contributors to this magazine are solely their own and ICCPM accepts no responsibility or liability for these views.

CEO MESSAGE Welcome back to 2017. This year is a significant milestone for ICCPM, we turn 10 years old! How time flies when you’re having fun. In each edition of our magazine this year we will include a retrospective focusing on why we were established, what we have done so far, how we have evolved and what the future looks like for us and our community of interest. 2016 was a wonderful year for us, you will recall in the December edition we provided a review of what was achieved in 2016. We will be launching the Outcomes Paper from the 2016 International Roundtable Series: ‘Contracting for Success in Complex Projects’, at a breakfast on the 27th of April at the National Press Club Canberra. This is a significant piece of work that will contribute to the knowledge of Project and Contract Managers globally and is the first collaboration with IACCM on a subject that affects both organisations. If you attended a roundtable or you are member you will receive a specific invitation, be great to see ICCPM members at the launch. Places are limited so you will need to book in early, consider booking a table of ten. Cathy Baljak, Learning & Development Manager left us in January to look for opportunities elsewhere. Cathy had been with us for around 2 and a half years and was instrumental in us becoming an RTO and achieving accreditation of our Certificate IV course. We wish Cathy well for the future.

We are pleased to welcome Collin Smith, Ian Biggs and Corinne Hopewell to the team. Collin as the Deputy CEO, Ian as the Certification Project Manager and Corinne as Training Coordinator. We also welcome Laura Somers to ICCPM. Laura is studying for a Bachelor of Commerce Marketing major and a Bachelor of Arts at the Australian National University (ANU). As part of her studies Laura is participating in the College of Business and Economics internship program and will be assisting us with our communications and marketing for our 10th anniversary this year. In this edition we once again have some great member contributions as well as some pieces that I hope inspire thinking around managing complexity in projects and what it really is all about. We also have a piece on our very first graduate of the Certificate IV in Responding to Organisational Complexity and a lot more.

Deborah Hein

© ICCPM 2017





ICCPM Appoints Simon Henley as Regional Director for UK/Europe



Sixty Years of Project Management Research: Trends and Blindspots


First Certificate IV in Responding to 7 Organisational Complexity Graduate Understanding the Complexities of People and Projects with Next Generation Engagement Projects ICCPM Appoints New Staff Members for 2017 ICCPM New Members for 2017


9-10 10

EDUCATION Reflections from ICCPM’s First Certificate IV Graduate


Responding to Complexity in Project Environments


2017 Training Calendar


ARTICLES An Excerpt from the Major Projects Assoication Project Execution Strategies for Complex Projects ICCPM Solutions

11 12-14 15

Hidden Neural Patterns Could Be 16-17 Limiting Your Performance Project Management in Complex Environments


Where Are the Women in Major Projects Leadership?



ICCPM NETWORK Dimitris Antoniadis 28 Bruce Armstrong 29

LINKS & EVENTS Calendar 30 Food For Thought





This September marks ten years since ICCPM’s inception. Watch this space for... • The ICCPM Story: Parts 1 - 4 • Details on upcoming events • ICCPM anniversary developments



The ICCPM Story PART ONE The establishment of ICCPM in 2007 was led by the Australian Department of Defence (Defence Materiel Organisation) with support from the UK Ministry of Defence, US Department of Defense, and global Defence industry as part of the Australian Department of Defence’s Complex Project Management Initiative. The Complex Project Management Initiative was seen as an international response or reaction to the continual failure by governments to deliver complex projects, and the identified need to do something differently in order to achieve better results. This initiative was further justified by the release of ‘The Conspiracy of Optimism – Why Mega Projects Fail’ published in October 2007 by the RUSI ACQUISITION FOCUS. The RUSI Acquisition Focus was formed in March 2006 to provide expert, objective views on aspects of defence equipment acquisition. The initiative was recognised in both houses of the Australian Parliament via a Deed of Agreement between the Centre and the Defence Material Organisation when the then Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence and the Minister for Veterans Affairs, the Hon Bruce Billson, MP tabled the Notice Pursuant to Section 45 of the CAC Act (1997). The rationale for establishing ICCPM, as agreed by the Australian Government was to create an independent, international, not-for-profit organisation that would support both government and industry’s ability to better deliver complex projects. ICCPM provides this central and coordinating role, by bringing together leading thinkers and practitioners in the complex project sector from around the world. ICCPM’s key objectives are to: • Develop and sustain effective collaborations; • Develop and disseminate practical knowledge and solutions; and • Educate and develop leaders and organisations on issues of complexity and managing complex programs.

The People Involved Founding Fellows/Members Ali Baghaei

David Hurley

Tom Burbage

BC Liew

Yvonne Butler

Ian Mack

David Dombkins

Frederick Payne

Peter Fielder

Andrew Pyke

Edward Geisler

Graham Selkirk

Kim Gillis

Al Volpe

Paul Goodge

Andrew Wilford

Ids Groenhout

Rick Yuse

Stephen Hayes

Jeff Worley

Simon Henley

Being an ICCPM Fellow is a great honor…It represents a position of stature having lived the experiences of managing large, complicated, intricate programs encompassing political and global environments. It allows for the dissemination of a lifetime of lessons learned, both failures and accomplishments, to help current and future program managers find the path to highly successful program execution and creating the world’s most successful customers. Being associated with ICCPM and its Fellows means being a member of a fraternity that represents the most experienced and knowledgeable executives and program managers from around the world.

Jeff Worley



NEWS ICCPM Appoints Simon Henley as Regional Director for UK/Europe ICCPM is delighted to announce the appointment of founding fellow Simon Henley to the position of ICCPM Regional Director for the United Kingdom and Europe. The focus of the position is to explore and support opportunities to deliver ICCPM education products and broaden network activities in the region. Deborah Hein “I

have been keen to engage Simon in this role for a number years now given his knowledge of and significant history with the organisation. As the inaugural Chair of ICCPM Simon has an intimate understanding of ICCPM’s purpose and reason for being, so he is eminently qualified to drive the take up of ICCPM education products on our behalf in his jurisdiction” Simon Henley “The ICCPM course in Responding to Organisational Complexity codifies the work of the past ten years of ICCPM’s work and presents it in a set of modules which significantly demystify the causes and potential strategies for dealing with complexity in projects and programmes. I am delighted to take up the role of promoting and providing these worldleading courses to practitioners and senior executives in the U.K. and Europe”


I was lucky enough to be involved in the very early days of the Australian DMO initiative to create a cadre of Project Managers capable of dealing with the non-linearity, emergence, and near-chaos which characterises complexity in projects. At the time I had not long finished a period of 7 years working full time in and around the Joint Strike Fighter Programme, and had seen that project grow from the early days of Advanced Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (A/ STOVL) through the creation of the Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) programme, and finally the Joint Strike Fighter (now F-35 Lightning) programme. When Kim Gillis and David Dombkins came to the UK Ministry of Defence to share the thinking behind the DMO initiative, it really struck a chord with me as I reflected on the extraordinary thinking which had steered the birth of F-35 by a number of extraordinary people. Those people were all characterised by great wisdom honed over years on difficult programmes combined with the ability to think through and execute non-linear strategies. I found the prospect of analysing what lay behind the ability to deliver projects in this space to be a fascinating proposition, and really enjoyed the intellectual challenge of supporting the early underpinning exploration and work to create the ICCPM Competency Standards. The ICCPM has been pivotal to changing conversations in the project management space to recognise that when a project is complex it is subject to non-linearity and emergence which traditional project management techniques don’t address. We have moved the discussion through a phase of denial into a very productive recognition that traditional techniques are absolutely essential, but not sufficient in delivering complex outcomes. Project Management as a profession has embraced complexity, albeit relatively few organisations have yet produced education products to help Project Management professionals grow their capabilities in this area, whilst academia is heavy on theoretical study of complexity, but as yet relatively light on practitioner input. ICCPM’s development of accredited training in this area builds on our thought leadership work to date, so that we can now provide practically-based, readily available education to help delivery organisations prepare their teams for working with complex challenges.


NEWS First Certificate IV in Responding to Organisational Complexity Graduate We are very pleased to announce ICCPM’s first graduate of the Certificate IV in Responding to Organisational Complexity – Mr Josep GudayolDausa.

• Understanding and effective application of the tools, methods and approaches that may be used to deal with complex situations present within organisations;

Josep is Principal Engineer and Functional Manager for the Collins Class and Future Submarine at ASC Pty Ltd and attended the Cert IV in Adelaide during 2016.

• Capacity in working with managers and team members to deal with situations where complexity is present across a range of organisational contexts;

Deborah Hein

• Ability to take responsibility for ones own role in applying complexity theories, approaches and systems concepts to allocated tasks;

“Congratulations to Josepforbeing the first student to complete the progam and receive the award of the Certficate IV.” We delivered the Cert IV to around 70 students in 2016 and Josep was one of those students who completely engaged with the program’.

Josep Gudayol-Dausa “The ICCPM course fits perfectly to the modern needs of engineers and project managers...the overall complexity framework is an evolutionary landscape and ..needs to be clearly recognised and acknowledged in order to allow productive discussions to happen among differnt stakeholders”

• Skill in managing oneself and supervising others in the efficient use of complexity management techniques at an organisational or operational level; • Effective facilitation of problem-solving techniques for effective risk management and decision making in complex environments; and • Demonstrative of effective leadership required in environments where complexity is present; • Capability in facilitating an orientated to high performance.


The Certificate IV in Responding to Organisational Complexity was designed and developed by ICCPM. The qualification seeks to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to better handle the nonlinearity, unpredictability and uncertainty that distinguishes the management of complexity. This is a specialised qualification that builds on the skills and knowledge of existing workers who have experience in the field of people management or project/programme management and/or an awareness of complexities that exist in organisations. The completion of the course indicates success in the following development outcomes: BUILDING CAPABILITY IN COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTS

To enrol in the Certificate IV in Responding to Organisational Complexity visit our website and complete the registration form for the location nearest you. We will then send you an enrolment form. For more information contact ICCPM on 02 6120 5110 or email us on to speak with our team about your training needs. ICCPM CONNECT | 7

NEWS Understanding the Complexities of People & Projects with Next Generation Engagement Projects The International Centre for Complex Project Management will partner with the University of Melbourne’s groundbreaking Next Generation Engagement Project to better understand the stakeholder aspects of project delivery. ICCPM is a not for profit organisation that seeks to translate contemporary research on the effective management of complexity into practical solutions for organisations facing the responsibility of delivering complex projects internationally. ICCPM CEO Deborah Hein said: “The Next Generation Engagement Project has a special interest in translating evidence based research into practical tools for industry – this is an interest that we share.” “ICCPM looks forward to examining the relationship between projects and communities and to identifying the key challenges in this space that will enable practitioners to understand the complexity that arises during engagement processes particularly where there are multiple stakeholders.”

Over the coming six months the University of Melbourne and its partners will conduct the largest national consultation on engagement to date. This will include: • A national survey on engagement and social license challenges for Australia’s infrastructure sector

Social license expert, Dr Sara Bice, is leading the project on behalf of the Melbourne School of Government.

• Workshops in each capital city with leading Australian practitioners and international infrastructure experts

“There appears to be an significant challenge emerging in terms of the relationship between communities and infrastructure projects. “

• A gap analysis that details the most critical knowledge gaps for the community engagement profession

“Anecdotally, we are told that community factors have significant impacts on the budget, schedule and scope of major infrastructure projects. Almost $20 billion in largely taxpayer-funded projects have been delayed, cancelled or completed and then mothballed over the past decade in Australia and it appears that community conflict may have contributed to this.”

• Testing the gap analysis with infrastructure professionals across Australia.

“The Next Generation Engagement Project aims to identify the key engagement challenges and gaps in delivering new infrastructure and to then address them through applied research with industry, government and ultimately community.” “Partners such as the ICCPM will play a vital role in helping us to understand the problem. Their understanding of managing complexity in project environments will allow us to create a clearer picture of the core social challenges facing Australia’s infrastructure delivery. What’s more, their experience in engagement research will give us some invaluable building blocks for our work” Dr Bice said. 8 | ICCPM CONNECT

Dr Bice said, “Through this work we aim to identify the biggest roadblocks around engagement, social risk management and social license for infrastructure delivery together with an analysis of emerging trends and challenges.” “Our aim is to get this information onto the desk of key decision makers in Australia’s infrastructure sector to really inform the discussion. Our intention is that this work will seed longer-term research partnerships that will help industry to make meaningful progress on these issues.” For the latest news on the Next Generation Research Project visit:


NEWS ICCPM Appoints New Staff Members for 2017 ICCPM is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Collin Smith to the role of ICCPM Deputy CEO. With over 23 years of commercial experience in a variety of senior roles and across multiple industry sectors, Collin brings multidisciplinary experience, leadership, and decision making skills to ICCPM. Colin Smith

“I am delighted to be part of the team at ICCPM and excited to be able to make a contribution to the advancement of complexity management both locally and internationally”

ICCPM is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Corinne Hopewell to the role of ICCPM Training Coordinator. Corinne has a diverse background as a cardiothoratic nurse, chef, facilitator of DiSC Advanced, and as a Management Consultant in the field of HR. Corinne’s career has been varied, but always included assisting people in one way or another; as a practice nurse/manager for medical practices, sales rep for a Pharma company and more recently managed the Crisis Support Worker Training package for Lifeline. Corinne brings some much needed sales experience to ICCPM and her bubbly personality and passion for learning makes her a valued asset to the team.


Deborah Hein “I

am immensely pleased to have Collin on board as Deputy CEO. Collin not only brings his wealth of experience from his work here in Australia, he also brings experiences and expertise gained through working in his country of origin, South Africa. In his role as DCEO, Collin will bring his significant business acumen, relationship management, communications, marketing and business transformation skills to bear to help take ICCPM to the next level of sustainable performance. In this our 10th year we are looking to consolidate our position in the existing market and in fact expand our market to areas that have not been open to us before. Collin will be instrumental in this growth strategy, as well as contributing to the company’s resilience in an ever changing environment.”

ICCPM is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Ian Biggs to the role of ICCPM Certification Project Manager. Ian has been to undertake a feasibility study into a competency based certification scheme for complex project managers. Ian is a Certified Practicing Portfolio Executive with 15 years of portfolio program/project leadership experience driving the delivery of: large-scale ICT programs, aviation industry systems, aviation rescue and fire fighting vehicles, solar power stations, communications systems, defence infrastructure, and research & development initiatives. Ian is highly regarded for building project delivery dexterity in complex environments and has an active interest in the implementation of new and innovative methods to work through project complexity.


NEWS We also welcome Australian National University (ANU) student Laura Somers to ICCPM. Laura is a Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Arts student. Laura was nominated by the ANU College of Business and Economics Department and selected by ICCPM to intern in the area of marketing. Whilst on her placement, Laura will be assisting with ICCPM’s overarching brand development and marketing strategy with particular regard to ICCPM’s CONNECT Magazine and communications strategm for ICCPM’s 10th Anniversary.

ICCPM Welcomes Our New Members Lee O’Dowd-Austen

Sue Bate

Peter Neil

NSW Government



Liz Pattison

Trevor de la Motte

Paulino Mendiola

EP3M Limited, United Kingdom

Datang Consultants, Australia

Airservices Australia

Ranjith Jeyabalan

Richard Hume

Terry Nichols

BAE Systems, United Kingdom


Boeing Defence Australia

Muthu Ramanathan

Luke Marshall

Doug Fitzgerald

QUT, Australia

Department of Defence, Australia

Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group

David Hohnke

Paul Momoh



Kerri Fletcher Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group

Donna Alexander

Serge Toulekima

Returned & Services League of

MABELLS Petroleum Advisors,



Michael Dugmore QUT, Australia

Caroline Argent

Tim Christie

Engineers Australia


Corey Spruit BAE Systems Australia

Fred Paton

Nicolas Tallat

Indec, Australia

MoD, Switzerland

Steven Haydon Airservices Australia



ARTICLES An Excerpt from the Major Projects Association: Scoping

Transformational Projects to Realise Their Full Benefits Transformational projects and programmes are hard to do. They require complex changes to organisational structures and cultures, unpicking established ways of working and the creation of a whole new order. They are often instigated to cut costs, improve efficiency and adapt organisations to new technology and economic pressures. And, in terms of delivery, the focus is on outputs, with the process being far more agile and amorphous than that used in major capital projects. Done well, transformations can have far-reaching benefits not only on cost, but also on the well-being of those employed and on whose behalf they are working. But done poorly the result can be chaos. This Major Project Association’s half day seminar set out to explore how getting the scope right can impact on the delivery journey and the outcomes. CHARACTERISTICS OF TRANSFORMATION • It is complex – requiring programmatic and adaptive leadership, multidisciplinary capability across multiple networks. • It needs a balance between business as usual and transformation activity. • It is of long duration – with multiple phases, shifting direction and reconstructed teams at each phase. • It often involves a series of projects within a programme. Implementing & Sustaining for Change


Engaging & Enabling the Organisation

4 Creating the Climate for Change 2



6 5

8 Make it Stick Build on the Change

Create Quick Wins

Empower Action

Communicate the Vision

Create a Vision for Change

Form a Powerful Coalition

Create Urgency

(Ian Clark, Programme Director, Department for Work and Pensions)


WHERE IT GOES WRONG • No burning platform: Many transformation projects start at step 3 – but vision is no substitute for the impetus and backing created by urgency. Transformational projects need a ‘burning platform’; a reason why there is no option but for them to happen. • No burning platform: Many transformation projects start at step 3 – but vision is nosubstitute for the impetus and backing created by urgency. Transformational projects need a ‘burning platform’; a reason why there is no option but for them to happen. • Lack of upfront scrutiny: This is where major capital projects have a clear edge over current management of transformation. Capital projects have a high upfront cost and are always subject to scrutiny at the start – can the job be achieved for the price stated, how will it complete on time, what are the quantified benefits and are they worth the investment? Transformational projects do not always get the same level of scrutiny at the beginning – the benefits seem huge for not much cost at the start and there may be no real assessment of the costs of implementation. • Impact on business as usual: Transformation diverts senior management focus from day-today customer service delivery, and the potential for that to slip during the transformation process is high. The question to ask before business transformation is initiated is, ‘Is it worth it?’. And the bar sould be set very high before go-ahead is given. • You run out of time: This is particularly true in public sector transformation. Projects need to complete within a political cycle before the ministers who are driving them disappear. Reference: 1. Major Projects Association. 2017. ‘Scoping Transformational Projects to Realise Their Full Benefits’ (1st March 2017)



Project Execution Strategies for Complex Projects

Dr John Davies

Dr John Davies holds post graduate degrees in law, business, and systems engineering. John is a subject matter expert in relationship contracting and procurement law and delivers post graduate courses in these areas. John has conducted extensive research in alliance contracts and procurement strategies. John has authored better practice procurement guides for Federal and State governments. John has provided clients with assistance in developing sustainment contract performance measures, negotiation training, interagency agreements, strategic procurement initiatives, and contract capability maturity models. Planning is a key activity in the delivery of projects and programs. We use plans, amongst other things, to seek finance, gain approval for expenditure, allocate resources, identify suppliers, manage stakeholders, manage risk, and establish project controls. Planning has become an industry within itself with standards, tools, and training dedicated to this critical function. Unfortunately, many organisations may be seduced into adopting reductionist approaches with almost exhaustive planning for little benefit. For example, commercial teams may craft meticulous contracts with precise and near exhaustive risk allocation. Likewise, program managers may seek comprehensive specifications, work breakdown structures, and master schedules at a level of abstraction that may involve many tens of thousands of person hours and years to complete. Applying these approaches to complex programs is a fool’s errand. Any detailed plan or traditional contract that involves delivery within high structural, temporal, technical, and directional complexity1 will likely be obsolete before the ink dries on that very plan or contract. This is not to say that planning should be abandoned for complex projects, rather plans needed to be crafted to anticipate emergence, and ambiguity. Just as important, plans need to be very clear about what can and cannot be delivered so that key stakeholders can be appropriately engaged.


Many sources recognise the limitations of detailed plans and commercial documents in complex environments. The International Association of Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) recently published a white paper exploring the contract paradox and planning fallacy with the following observation:

The planning fallacy and related biases means that, in the complex, fast and global economy, we will with absolute certainty fail if we try to deal with the uncertainty of the future through a transactional contract.2 g

Similarly, we see the limitations of the planning function in the complex project management literature with the observation that traditional plans are inherently drafted to avoid ambiguity and such plans are therefore incompatible with emergent, ambiguous environments.3 Similarly, many organisations suffer from the ‘illusion of control’4 whereby there is a perception that detailed planning and forecasting will yield meaningful outcomes when in fact the opposite is often true.

The identification of the limitations of planning is not a new phenomenon. Over twenty centuries ago, Publilius Syrus observed that, “it is a poor plan that admits to no modification”. Why then do we continue to apply reductionist approaches to planning and traditional contracting techniques in complex environments? There are many factors to consider when answering this question. Organisations from both the buy side and sell side are very comfortable with linear planning processes and these processes have become entrenched as business as usual. Financiers, company boards, responsible ministers and the like also have an expectation that plans and contracts will clearly define cost, schedule and performance outcomes with little scope for deviation. BUILDING CAPABILITY IN COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTS

ARTICLES These business as usual approaches to planning to do not work in complex environments. We therefore need to adopt more suitable approaches. Snowden and Boone observed that, in complex environments, decision makers need to probe, sense and respond through a series of iterative feedback loops.5 In complex environments it is not practical to anticipate cause and effect apriori, hence we need to ensure our project execution strategy, including contracts and plans, are suited to the task at hand. This requires investigation into agile and flexible delivery methods, relational contacts, and a systemic review of stakeholder engagement methods. Several procurement models are available to support complex program delivery. Many of these models deviate from traditional approaches by placing an emphasis on collaboration, incremental capability delivery, maximising capability trade space, and creating an environment that is resilient to failure. For example, more and more contracts are now being crafted to allow for collaboration and timely change. The use of alliance contracts, performance based contracts, and multi-stage contracts6 allow buyers and suppliers to collaboratively deal with change with a focus on holistic, prudent, and equitable risk management. Incremental capability delivery is a natural reaction for the need to ‘probe, sense and respond’ in complex environments. Agile contract methods, evolutionary acquisition, and spiral development all allow for iteration, innovation, and continual improvement. These methodologies also provide convenient ‘off ramps’ to terminate or modify program objectives if the expected benefits will not materialise.

There is also an increase in the use of procurement models that maximise program trade space. Detailed plans and specifications inherently minimise BUILDING CAPABILITY IN COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTS

trade space hence we need to explore alternate approaches to achieve faster, cheaper, better outcomes. Cost as an Independent Variable (CAIV) is an example where performance can be traded off against cost outcomes. Typically, under CAIV, a customer and supplier integrated product team will be established to examine the cost implications of all program technical and schedule parameters and conduct “performance requirements trade-offs”7.

The CAIV approach therefore allows for a meaningful discussion about cost and capability compromises. CAIV epitomises the phrase “better is the enemy of good”, and encourages innovation and aggressive cost performance. Resilience to failure is also a procurement principle that better deals with complexity. Many projects progress to the point where they are “too big to fail” and cannot be cancelled. In many instances, only after significant cost and time has been expended, do project managers become aware that their complex program will not deliver the expected benefits for the expected cost at the expected time. Alternate approaches must therefore be sought to allow early termination or redirection of programs to better deliver value. The principle of, ‘fail early, fail cheap, fail often and fail smart’8 supports this premise by ensuring we learn from failure and do not overcommit to a complex program. Initiative such as Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained, Elegant (FIRE) procurement places emphasis on speed, thrift, simplicity, and self-control9 and likewise create an environment of resilience. Whilst FIRE approaches were initially designed for rapid prototyping environments, FIRE does offer opportunities for major programs.10


ARTICLES To explore these issues further, ICCPM has commissioned Research Task 7 - Execution Strategies for Complex Programs, to examine these novel project execution strategies in more depth. Techniques for dealing with risk, uncertainty and opportunity on a holistic basis will be examined, ensuring program management and commercial disciplines are fully integrated. The challenges of these approaches will also be explored including an exploration of how finance can be sought and business cases crafted to deal with emergent environments. This research project will be led by Dr John Davies.

Please contact us if you are interested in contributing to Research Project 7. Referenes: 1. K. Remington, J. Pollack, Tools for Complex Projects (2007). 2. IACCM White Paper Unpacking Relational Contracts (2016) 3. F. Marle and L. Vidal, Managing Complex, High Risk Projects (2016) Ch2. 4. R. Durand “Predicting a firm’s forecasting ability: the roles of organizational illusion of control and organizational attention”, Strategic Management Journal (2003) 24(9) 821–838. 5. D. Snowden & M. Boone “A Leader’s Framework for Decision Making”, Harvard Business Review Nov 2007 68-75. 6. See e.g. US Government White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Innovative Contracting Case Studies (2014).

Launch of Roundtable Outcomes Paper In 2016 ICCPM, in conjunction with IACCM, ran an International Roundtable Series on the theme:

Contracting for Success in Complex Projects. The findings from these events have been analysed and collated to create a significant piece of work that will have an impact on the way we conduct contracting in complex environments.

We are pleased to invite you to attend the launch of the Outcomes Paper. Date: Thursday 27 April, 2017 Time: 7:30am - 9:00am Venue: National Press Club of Australia, 16 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600 Style: Catered breakfast, with an opening address and short presentation of the paper

7. B. Rush, “Cost as an Independent Variable”, Acquisition Review Quarterly— Spring 1997.

Dress: Business attire

8. US Government, opcit.

Cost: $55.00 per person (includes breakfast and a copy of the Outcomes Paper)

9. D. Ward, “The Effect of Values on System Development Project Outcomes”, (2008) AFIT/GSE/ENV/09-M08,

RSVP: Please register online by 18 April

10. Ibid.




ICCPM Solutions ICCPM Solutions Pty Ltd is a boutique service provider established to provide advisory services and support to the most complex projects and programs that exist today and will exist tomorrow. Focussing on helping organisations to recognise complexity in all its forms, develop strategies and advise on implementation of strategies, ICCPM Solutions has a proven track record of success. Some projects and programs are now having to contend with so much complexity that many of us choose to either not recognise it (deny) or become so overwhelmed that functioning becomes difficult. Undoubtedly a different management approach is needed to break the all too common cycle of delay, cost overruns and the spiral down to failure. So what does this all mean and how might ICCPM Solutions help you? The following list outlines some of the instances where ICCPM Solutions advice and services would be most beneficial to surface complexity: • Establishing the initial conditions for startup projects or programs that have been determined to be complex in order to set them up for success. • Projects, Programs or BAU activities that are off track without a clear understanding of the corrective actions needed to get back on track. • Projects or programs that are clearly complex in nature and behaviour that are being managed using only first order project management strategies. • Complex projects or programs that have lost the confidence of the Senior Responsible Officer, Steering Board or committee, or organisation’s executive (including Boards). • Projects, Programs or BAU that are at risk of delivery failure due to the effect of complexity. • Lack of organisational capability to deal with complexity. BUILDING CAPABILITY IN COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTS

ICCPM Solutions delivers a holistic system of systems approach when delivering all advisor services that focuses on identifying the first and second order project management issues that are the causes for concern. We also recommend appropriate interventions and improvement strategies for recovery. The reviews are designed to be conducted over a timeframe assessed as being appropriate by your organisation in conjunction with the most appropriately qualified and experienced practitioner to provide the best outcome. Areas of Focus • Strategic Guidance • Strategic Leadership • Organisational Design and Capability Gaps • Governance • Stakeholder Engagement • People • Change and Transformation Management • Project/Program and Portfolio Management • Communications and Networks • Project Delivery Leadership • Strategic Procurement and Contracting. Contact us to discuss your needs and we can work out a plan to support your delivery, we are members of a number of government panels. Clients include – Department of Defence (CASG, DSRG, CJLOG), NT Government, Victoria Police, Airservices Australia. ICCPM CONNECT | 15

ARTICLES Hidden Neural Patterns Could Be Limiting Your Performance

Vip Vyas & Stuart Doughty

Vip Vyas is the CEO of Distinctive Performance and Stuart Doughty, an Executive Coach. Both Vip and Stuart work with boards and senior executive teams to catalyze rapid shifts in performance in large, complex projects. They both contribute to INSEAD Knowledge on thought leadership topics related to organisational performance. Our memories and experiences obscure potential value in our midst. Is it possible that in your market, competitive advantage resides in your executive team’s ability to see and create value opportunities that your competition cannot perceive? Bright Funds, an all-in-one platform for charitable giving, is an example of a company that detected the emerging importance of social consciousness as a driving force amongst younger consumers. Whilst the company’s initial focus was on individual donations, the executive team sensed a greater opportunity lay with employee-giving programs of corporates. It successfully managed to pivot its technology to this sector and radically increase donation levels. Conversely, perceptual narrowing and constrained strategic thinking can vaporise shareholder value and kill any organisation. Cutting-edge research in neuroscience is spotlighting the synaptic mechanisms underpinning decision thinking and corporate performance. The catastrophic demise of companies such as Kodak and DEC and more recently Nokia and Garmin illustrates the detrimental impact ingrained neural patterns can have on strategic thinking and competitive advantage. In today’s fast moving environments there is an imperative on the executive team to become aware of its own patterns of thinking, how it processes information, and identify biases that could impair their judgment especially in high stakes decisions.


The Seeds of Demise Garmin, for example, is a case in point. In 2012, it was the industry leader in GPS navigation devices for cars and ramped up to 100 million units of sales. The Garmin executive team’s pattern of thinking naturally focussed on product development, an approach the vast of majority of organisations would identify with. What they failed to sense and detect was the potential impending threat of digital platforms. Indeed apps such as Google Maps and Waze have caused a rapid reduction in sales for Garmin in its car navigation product line.

Future from the Past For the most part, human beings are constrained by the databases of their experiences. In fact, 99% of what we see is projected from our memory. Only 1% is added by input from our sensory organs. Given this dominance of projected memory, we are able to falsify what is actually out there. This can have a significant impact on business performance, especially in dealing with difficult problems that require innovative answers predicated on the brain forming new neural connections.

The Impact on Corporate Performance Besides sub-optimal strategic thinking our inherited cognitive structures can also adversely impact the following areas:


ARTICLES Business Area


Strategic Planning

Devolves into a routine, mechanised process full of biases and assumptions. A poverty of imagination around deriving new forms of value.

Business Model


Change Initiatives

Failure to question the limitations of the existing way of doing business and how potential competition could take advantage. Not perceiving market threats until it is too late. The comfort associated with familiar patterns of activity can inhibit disruptive thinking, cognitive flexibility and ideation. High failure rates predicated on lack of interest, politics and resistance. Fear with the unfamiliar - people, products, markets and technology.

Ineffective Business Operations

Deeply grooved business processes combined with noncreative Process Leadership can erode Working Capital competition and business efficiency.

Key Business Relationships

Split-second judgments that generate difficult working environments and poor working dynamics.

Performance Culture

In the absence of an engaging, purpose, rewards and incentives, a culture of apathy, resignation and lack of ownership can become toxic to performance.


What can the Executive Do? Whilst neuroscience is an exciting, expanding field providing valuable insights to how the mind operates, what are the practical takeaways for executives? Here are five practices businesses could immediately institute for improved performance. 1. Power of Inquiry - enhance individual and organisation awareness by architecting dialogues within organisations to highlight both hidden limitation and untapped opportunities e.g. “What if constraint “X” was removed, what impact could it have on the turnover?” 2. Future Outcome Thinking - working backwards from the desired business outcomes can reveal a multitude of different pathways to deliver on the business intent. 3. Strategically adopting the position that existing and new competitors could take to undermine our strategic direction can be useful in revealing and highlighting flaws and gaps in our current logic and approach. 4. Altering the context of key change initiatives such that the organisation sees the possibility being bigger than the emotional threat. 5. Enhance personal awareness - identifying those “hot buttons” that set you off and developing practices for self-regulation.

Breaking the addiction to repeating the formulas for past successes is a difficult undertaking for the brain. Garmin’s turnaround has largely depended on its executive team interrupting the company’s reliance on the core automotive segment. Their newly invented Outdoors, Fitness and Wearables segments now account for about 50% of Operating Profit and have generated renewed optimism for the business.

Copyright ©: Vip Vyas and Stuart Doughty. All rights reserved.



Project Management in Complex Environments Deborah Hein At its core, managing projects in complex environments is about the management of uncertainty associated with delivering project outcomes; especially the risk of abrupt and irreversible emergent effects that escalate rapidly. Projects that are complex can span multiple countries with widely differing cultures and world views, no organisation is immune to complexity. Project teams are increasingly multi-disciplinary and virtual, drawing expertise from government, industry and international partners. The use of virtual teams, whose members are distributed around the world in multiple time zones, has been made possible by the development of powerful IT tools and communication systems. However, this also means that many more people than ever before can influence the decisionmaking and implementation processes. The intrinsic complexity of projects, in part, is driven by political, social, technological and environmental issues, as well as including end user expectations which may change dramatically over the project life-cycle. Indeed, even minor projects can be complicated by hierarchical, siloed, and unnecessarily competitive organisational arrangements, which can foster breakdowns in communication and trust. Project management failures happen in all sectors. Throughout the world, there are examples of failures on similar scales within defence, infrastructure, public policy implementation, medical R&D, energy/ nuclear and financial systems and IT sectors. Often, interventions into projects that are complex through the application of traditional methods or tools results in worse outcomes for the project or organisation where other unforeseen issues have emerged. By addressing failures through the lens of ‘Complexity Management’ and the multidisciplinary approach it offers, potential solutions can be found to address uncertainty and reduce the incidence of failure. Discussions within the project management community highlight that project sponsors and purchasers appear eager to accept unrealistically low tenders from suppliers who then rely on ‘scope creep’ to drive the price up to realistic yet unbudgeted levels. It is widely acknowledged within the PM community that current tools and decision making processes


are inadequate when challenged with having to understand complexity. Many project management organisations still remain dependant on standard linear probability versus impact risk assessments that lack the nuanced contingency cost provisions associated with complex risk events occurring. Institutionalised procurement practices mean that the officials or politicians making expenditure decisions are seldom experts in the actual capability being acquired, and so their choices tend to be risk averse and determined by legal frameworks of liability rather than actual needs and social benefits. This dysfunction is exacerbated by a lack of engagement between government and industry as rigid pre-award protocols tend to preclude full understanding and alignment until after the contract is signed. Projects that are complex have been characterised by many sources as “embodying uncertainty, ambiguity, dynamic interfaces and significant political or external influences”. Such projects also tend to run longer than the life-cycle of the technologies involved. Complex projects are undertakings for which traditional methods, practices and frameworks are inadequate in terms of scale, rate of change, heterogeneity, multiple pathways and ambiguous objectives. The methodology used must assess and comprehend project context, criticality, collaboration, convergence and confluence at various points of intervention along the project’s life-cycle to maintain flexibility through organisational agility and project resilience, thus maximising its chances of success. In short, projects which are merely complicated may only require traditional linear approaches to management, in contrast, complex projects demand the addition of adaptable, visionary leadership coupled with new processes and approaches. To fully comprehend program/project complexity the focus should encompass the whole spectrum of project dynamics, rather than discrete functional processes, placing it in context as part of a much larger whole.


ARTICLES Programs involving difficult political issues and multiple influential stakeholders, ranging from capital acquisition to climate change mitigation and disaster relief, should be assessed and planned as complex projects. Improved techniques for managing complex projects would not only ensure effective program delivery with increased benefits, but also reduce costs and improve productivity.


While a complicated project comprises a plethora of distinct and mostly linear elements essential to the conduct of the project as a whole, complexity implies multiple mutual interdependencies, in which the constituent parts themselves are capable of change (exceeding system boundary tipping points), so when one variable changes, other variables may or may not change as a result, creating new realities and paradigms, depending on the dynamic drivers. The perceived complexity of a situation or system is relative to the capacity of the responsible individual or group to comprehend it; the current lack of effective management of complex projects has been driven by a shortage of suitable managers, changing patterns of demand, a confusing multiplicity of relationship models, generic management certification and lack of focussed well-rounded and complementary research. The emergent properties of complex projects greatly increase the unpredictability and variability of the risk profile over time as the cascading effects of multiple interdependencies are felt. Risk may be defined as the probability of an event multiplied by its consequences, and given the unpredictable nature of complex emergent systems, the vast resource costs involved and the catastrophic consequences of failure, the ability to manage complex projects effectively is of paramount importance to project success. Building on traditional project management disciplines, management of complex projects requires a “system of systems” focus and multidisciplinary approach that addresses the influences associated with complexity and emergence.



Managing complexity allows practitioners the flexibility to assess and comprehend a project’s context, its critical influences, the need for collaboration, and the increasing convergence of factors that affect the project throughout its life-cycle. Further, it allows leaders and organisations to address the effects of complexity as they emerge. This flexibility is achieved by the introduction of mechanisms that support both organisational and individual agility and resilience, thus maximising a project’s chance of success. It is of utmost importance that the fundamental underlying principles of traditional project and program management are applied well in complex projects as these provide the foundation and stability from which the application of complexity management approaches are most effective. ICCPM CONNECT | 19


Where are the Women in 1 Major Projects Leadership? Sue Pritchard

Honary Research Associate The Bartlett School for Construction and Project Management ‘Major Projects’ are those national-critical, politically sensitive, high cost, sometimes technologically novel projects that so often make the headlines - and not always in a good way. Included in a list would be high profile infrastructure projects such as HS2, Crossrail, Tideway, Hinckley C, defence projects such as the Trident successor and Queen Elizabeth carrier. Also included are things you might not expect cybersecurity, NHS Choices, Universal Credit, prisoner rehabilitation, immigration. In fact, as Sir Francis Maude said, in 2011: “Over 90% of government policy is now delivered through major projects” and funded by £450billion (in through life costs) of public money. Rereading that short sample of current major projects reminds us that it includes some of the most highly contested, highly sensitive policies of our times, characterised by, among other things, highly diverse stakeholder perspectives. Even a cursory glance through the media will illustrate that the ‘delivery’ of major projects does not always go to plan. Backed by an ESRC funded research project, The Blunders of our Government (King & Crewe 2013) sets out, in painful detail, governments performance here. And in fairness, governments have for some time recognised this issue and sought to improve its performance. It has chosen to do this through strengthening the project management function, setting up first the Major Projects Authority (which has now become the Infrastructure and Projects Authority) and (among other things) commissioning two major projects leadership development programmes.

Currently the governments Infrastructure and Projects Authority estimates that about 30% of them are at red or red/ amber on delivery confidence, to time, plan and budget. When asked, one of the most frequent explanations for this situation is the need for better leadership. There is much debate about what ‘better leadership’ looks like. Books and courses proliferate - it is a lucrative market. It is broadly agreed (and often reiterated) that diversity is essential in leadership teams. This has, however, proved to be an intractable problem. For example, in 2011, The Davies Report set a challenge to improve the number of women on FTSE100 boards - in executive and non executive positions - to 25% of members by 2016. This figure has reached 20%2: however it has been achieved largely through appointing women to non-executive roles, and the numbers of women in executive board positions continue to hover largely unchanged around the 8-10% mark. Turning to the picture for major projects leadership, project managers tend to come through particular disciplines and via particular ‘project-dense’ sectors - engineering, construction, technology, defence, transport - who in turn, draw their intake from the STEM subjects. Fewer girls choose STEM subjects; fewer women choose these particular professions; fewer women are in the pipeline for leadership roles. So the project management field presents a double whammy for women seeking leadership roles. Some forward looking firms and professional bodies have started to address this gap. APM runs a Women in Project Management Special Interest Group and an annual conference; Major Projects Association has initiated a gender balance campaign for its members; WISE (women into science and engineering) offers its Ten Steps campaign. Firms have initiated ‘family friendly’ policies; addressed their recruitment



ARTICLES the mould’. This explains the persistence of the glass ceiling, where women struggle to break through to the places where men predominate (largely but not solely in senior leadership, but also in those STEM professions from which projects leaders are often drawn). More recently, researchers have identified the ‘glass cliff’, where women who do break through are appointed to the ‘poison chalice’ roles, with an increased risk of failure.4 “If it’s risky it’s better that a woman fails to deliver it.” This has been particularly apparent in major projects leadership, where in the few cases where women have led major projects, and ‘failed’ to deliver, gender has been an apparently legitimate line of discussion to account for their ‘failure’. So how have researches explained this phenomena?

activities; unconscious bias training; leadership development, mentoring and coaching and so on. All of these initiatives draw on what is currently believed to be ‘best practice’ from across businesses. There is a problem however. Systematic analyses show that, by and large, they’re not working. The reality is that in spite of decades of effort to improve the representation (and experiences) of women in management and leadership, there is continuing and persistent structural gender inequality in organisations. What is now recognised as ‘stalled progress’ is identified as a critical risk to economic and social progress by organisations as diverse as the World Economic Forum and the International Labour Organisation. So how can we explain this? Since the start of the ‘gender studies’ field, women in management has been a major field of inquiry. From the outset, the underpinning question has been “why don’t women do as well as men?” This assumed that women “are as good as men and therefore deserving the same rewards as men”. Whilst talking about gender in organisations, the research, nonetheless focussed on the position of women and the problems they face. Women were the problem needing to be fixed, whilst men were the norm against which women’s experiences must be judged. The ‘think manager think male’ association persists. Research studies3 illustrate that women are held to different standards, in, for example, interviews, performance conversations, and pay negotiations, even when, in experimental conditions, they behaved identically to men.

This is the outcome of certain ways of thinking about people and organisations - things like personality attributes, social judgement, theories of leadership in which, it is argued, inaccurate stereotypes interfere with accurate perceptions of women. This shows up when certain competencies are attributed differently to men or to women - assertiveness, goal orientation, collaboration, communication. Further, each sex is expected to exhibit certain characteristics, and when they don’t, it provides further evidence that they ‘don’t fit’. The double bind for women is that to be seen as a proper leader they must act in ways to disconfirm gender stereotypes, but in doing, so they risk coming across as socially deficient and ‘not a proper woman’. Moreover, women face a backlash when they act counter stereotypically - labelled too pushy, too emotional, too assertive, too angry. It falls to women themselves to work out the ‘work-arounds’ - making extra efforts at self-monitoring to fit in, and adopting more stereotypical (often low status) behaviours (indirect influence, self deprecation, talking less and more quietly). Crucially, though, the initiatives designed to improve women’s participation do not remain gender blind; for example, apparently neutral policies, such as flexible working, quickly become gendered and have little impact on advancing equality.

In other research strands, researchers observed how women were disadvantaged because they didn’t ‘fit BUILDING CAPABILITY IN COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTS


ARTICLES Instead of inquiring into gender inequality more deeply, it is instead taken for granted that the organisation as a system is gender-neutral, and the norms by which all members are judged are both value free and desirable. It is women who have to engage in more training, or education, or mentoring, to learn how to be different; it is women who have to be ‘fixed’ to fit. The critical question must be, then, why it is that most current practice and research still persists in repeating, in ever more detail, what we already know - that “women face multiple difficulties in organisations and they are judged as inferior to men.” There is an alternative. First, we have to recognise that gender difference (unlike the biology of sex difference) is socially constructed; “not something we have, as individuals, but something we ‘do’ to each other”. Second, gender difference is a historically and culturally institutionalised way through which social power is exercised. And third, we have to recognise that the pervasiveness of power inequalities: the point is, not that women are different and therefore get less resources, but that these social institutions use gender difference as the basis for unequal distribution of power and resources5 Finally, when it comes to investigating, researching, writing and talking about this subject, we have to start from a fundamentally different set of assumptions about how we do research; that is, acknowledging that who is doing the researching determines what they find. This alternative requires us to think more critically about the broader organisational and social arrangements within which the topic of women in project leadership is located. Project management is a relatively new discipline. Generally agreed that it emerged from the US defence and aerospace sectors in the 1950s, it has become characterised by a carefully prescribed set of tools, techniques and procedures, arbitrated and controlled by professional bodies. And whilst the profession is still developing, Bredillet (2010) points out that it is based on a paradigm which is largely a positivist one. In a positivist view of the world, “science is seen as the way to get at truth, to understand the world well enough so that we might predict and control it”. It has also become heavily characterised by “the hype and advocacy of [particular models] and practice” and “a lack of critical thinking”. In fact, he goes on to say, “it [has become] more lucrative to reinforce” the ways things are already done, than apply critical rigour. Back to the practical implications; when Sir Francis said, “Ninety percent of government policy is now delivered through projects” this means the policy delivery mechanisms across all areas of public life are managed through projects and programmes. 22 | ICCPM CONNECT

Women are seriously under-represented in the leadership teams of major projects, especially in comparison with gains made in other organisation fields; and the gender pay gap in project based organisations is also greater. The world of work is being reshaped by a particular project paradigm. Just at the point when we need more diversity, more criticality, more inquiry, the dominant paradigm is becoming more positivist, more masculine, more gendered. In short, major projects are often delivered through temporary and provisional organisational forms partnerships, alliances or hybrid enterprises. They can be highly visible - and high stakes. These projects are often politically sensitive, nationally or internationally significant, high cost, often contested, using novel technologies. Such conditions can lead to more conservative, more opaque and arguably more inequitable processes for recruitment, retention & promotion. Furthermore, project leaders have historically come from the STEM fields; these are disproportionately occupied by men, which in turn, impacts upon the leadership pipeline. We also know that the culture and practices of projectsbased industries are still infected with what we might kindly call ‘unreconstructed’ sexist behaviours in the workplace - harassment, bullying, marginalisation, gaslighting and worse. Meanwhile, the capacity (and capability) gap is growing across all sectors for the leadership and delivery of major projects6. BUILDING CAPABILITY IN COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTS

ARTICLES These are practical challenges which require urgent and practical solutions. But for these to work and to do more than they have done in the past, we need to take a long hard look, a critical, reflexive perspective.

Second, we need to bridge the gap between theorising and practicing, designing rigorous cycles of experimentation, reflection, action, learning and adaption, supported by good theory andgrounded in real experience.

A different perspective up-ends the conventional ‘fix women to fit’ model and instead inquires more critically into the organisational and societal norms and processes that have kept things unchanged for decades.

Third we need to build a coalition of courageous leaders prepared to work together to create and sustain a visible and critical mass for change.

First of all, all those players who have an interest in changing this system have to play their part in addressing it. This is not an issue for women or about women, instead the position of women in the leadership of major projects represents a sentinel indicator in the line of sight this research. Its impact goes much wider, into how we understand and lead projects, organisations, and social systems. The current players in the leadership systems need to shift to another level of involvement. Organisations are already gendered, project enterprises even more so. The language, culture, work design, is gendered, since it is both nested in, and reproduced by, unequal social systems, as well as emphasising and amplifying masculine norms. This is not a reason to despair; rather it becomes a requirement to design processes which engage ‘self and system’ in a plan for change; it must be relational, participatory, curious. We need more trans-disciplinary inquiry, drawing on the critical and emancipatory fields, and not just the technical fields of projects management or traditional leadership development, to develop a richer underpinning theory and practice to support this level of work. We must resist being pulled into reductive binary polarisations. This is not about theory OR practice, but theory AND practice in dynamic relation to each other. It is not about women OR men, but how gender is constructed and how it has different effects on people and the institutional structures we create. The traditional split between academic research and organisational practice makes real practical progress harder to accomplish. Traditional academically rigorous research ends up being somewhat impenetrable and inaccessible; data from practice is often just anecdote - a-historic and a-theoretical. So how do we change this? First, we need to be asking fresh questions about the current situation, prepared to look behind the gloss and the hype, to the deeper underpinning assumptions and structures that maintain it.


Fourth, we need to encourage professional bodies and practice communities to take up their leadership in stepping up the quality of the discussions. Finally we need to improve the body of knowledge, with effective research; and the body of practice, with effective leadership & governance. Shining a light on this improves the position of women and men and moves us towards a more just and sustainable world.

The production of this position paper has been supported by research grants from APM and ICCPM Reference List: 1. This is a summary of the longer paper produced for the research Advisory Board and sponsors APM and ICCPM in December 2016. 2. Female Representation on FTSE100 Boards, Cranfield School of Management, 2016 3. Heilman et al 1989, Dodge et al, 1995, Schein et al, 1996 ,Schein, 2001, 2007, Ryan et al 2011 4. Ryan et al 2007 5. Wajcman J (1998) Managing Like a Man; Men and Women in Corporate Management, Polity Press 6. Infrastructure UK’s National Infrastructure Plan for Skills (Sept 2015) calculates that the profession is short of 100,000 PMs in the UK alone for the projects pipeline forecast.



Sixty Years of Project Management Research: Trends and Blind Spots Stephane Tywoniak

Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa (Canada) A recent paper1 provides a comprehensive review of project management research. It confirms a number of evolutions observed by scholars and practitioners: by and large, over the past fifteen years, project management has been transitioning away from the deterministic and process orientation of its origins, and new themes have emerged. The authors identify two main perspectives. The explanatory perspective –by far the largest of the two- is seeking to understand better the underlying factors of success for projects, taking a broad view of influences from the organisation and its environment. The non-deterministic perspective emphasizes less success factors to explore projects as social systems, where complexity, risk and uncertainty are the dominant topics. The authors also review in some detail the research topics for each perspective. In doing so, they reveal what has not been studied and not studied enough:

• Similarly, scope management and project integration are paradoxically under-researched, when scope creep and poor integration are often cited as causes of failure. • Risk, uncertainty and complexity are often researched, but in mainly divergent approaches, and there is an opportunity to build integrative views. • Finally, although procurement and public-private partnerships are cited as research topics, there appears to have been limited attention paid to contracting. This demonstrates that the forthcoming ICCPM-IACCM white paper on contracting for complex endeavours will provide a timely contribution.

• Scheduling was the dominant topic of the deterministic perspective, but it has largely been approached from a planning and operations research perspective, with little attention given to the practices that are attached to schedules and scheduling, and their impact on outcomes. • Communication practices, in particular in relation to knowledge management, appear to have been under-researched, in spite of the affirmation of their significance.


Reference List: Padalkar, M., & Gopinath, S. (2016). Six decades of project management research: Thematic trends and future opportunities. International Journal of Project Management, 34(7), 13051321. BUILDING CAPABILITY IN COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTS


Reflections from ICCPM’s First Certificate IV Graduate Josep Gudayol-Dausa.

Josep is an Australian-Spanish EA CPEng Telecommunications Engineer with a Master degree by the UPC (Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Spain). He worked 27 years for the Systems Division of Navantia and in 2010 migrated to Australia to support the AWD Alliance project development. In 2012 he joined ASC Submarines performing several roles as Principal Engineer and Functional Manager in the Submarine’s Combat/Communications System and Electrical/Propulsion space for the Collins Class and Future Submarine.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

Why do you think others should participate the course and who would you recommend it to?

For me, and I acknowledge that maybe is a quite particular reason, was the intrinsic intellectual “beauty” of complex-mutable projects and the interesting challenge that this provides to anybody with an engineering mind set. We engineers however should remember to try always to “keep it as simple as possible” (something that is not evident or easy to find in practice), as we should aim to manage or reduce complexity and not otherwise.

What were your key takeaways? Complexity is a fact of life and is constantly increasing in modern societies. Complexity is intrinsically confusing and commonly regarded as a source of problems in System of Systems (SoS) development; however risks and opportunities always develop together and we need skills and tools to successfully cope with it. These skills can be learned and valid tools exist to work with rather than against complexity, however the overall complexity framework is an evolutionary landscape and therefore the same should apply to our learning and understanding.


Complexity needs to be clearly recognized and acknowledged in order to allow productive discussions to happen among different stakeholders. The first and most imperative step is to develop a common language and understanding around “what complexity is” (and isn’t) and in this respect shared training and this course in particular are excellent opportunities. The ICCPM course fits perfectly to the modern needs of engineers and project managers; however anybody involved in a complex professional scenario within large projects or vast organizations would benefit of this training, first to gain an understanding and second to indirectly enrich the traditional complexity solution space with new ideas and more diverse feedback that would normally happen when only the traditional engineering and project management BoK background is considered.


EDUCATION Responding to Complexity in Project Environments: 7-9 March 2017 Q: What were the best aspects of training? “open discussions, practical applications of the theory. Rich pictures, exercise[s] provided a highly valuable activity to grasp the complexity of a situation”

“great subject material,. Is something that everyone working on/in large and/or complex projects should be exposed to”


“the practical tools, frameworks, and methodologies”

“provision of management tools, [allowing] for informed decision making”

“facilitators ability to disseminate knowledge”

“active participation and immersive learning in a group of curious collegues who wanted to learn”


EDUCATION 2017 Training Calendar Certificate IV in Responding to Organisational Complexity Dates 16-17 May

Details Risk and Decision Making in Complex Environments

Location Canberra

26-26 July

Lead Through Complexity

4-6 April

Complexity in Project Management

11-12 July

Risk and Decision Making in Complex Environments

12-13 September

Lead Through Complexity

10-12 April

Complexity in Project Management

6-7 June

Risk and Decision Making in Complex Environments

22-23 August

Lead Through Complexity

23-25 May

Complexity in Project Management

1-2 August

Risk and Decision Making in Complex Environments

25-26 October

Lead Through Complexity

30 May - 1 June

Complexity in Project Management

23-24 August

Risk and Decision Making in Complex Environments

3-4 October

Lead Through Complexity

Dates to be Advised

Certificate IV in Responding to Organisational Complexity


Dates to be Advised

Certificate IV in Responding to Organisational Complexity






To find out more visit the ICCPM website and complete the enrolment form or contact us on 02 6120 5112




Member Profile: Dimitris Antoniadis Dimitris has more than 25 years in Programme and Project Management positions, from both sides client and contractor and has covered all project phases from concept to handover. He has worked for major construction, infrastructrure and utilities client organisations in senior management roles for the delivery of programmes of works such as, Egnatia Odos (£3.2Bn), Heathrow East Terminal £1.4Bn), Thames Water Engineering Capital programme (£1Bn) and Nottingham Building Schools for the Future programme of works (£200M). Currently he is the Head of Programme Management Office (PMO) of UK Power Networks. In this role he has set up the department and all the relevant processes and systems for the management of an annual capital expenditure between (£250M - £300M), delivered through an Alliance. Although the PMO is not directly involved with project or programme delivery it is right in the middle of interfaces with various parties and Directorates (within a company) and as it is well known - interfaces cause complexity. This becomes even more challenging when the responsibility of Information Management (outside the Information Systems department) is part of the PMO. Complexity affects projects and programmes of work. From the PMO view point this means that you: •

Have to understand the operating and management ‘environment’,

Understand the effects of complexity characteristics,

Use the understanding of complexity characteristics to implement ways / means to manage its effects,

Understand how various project processes, e.g. poject control, scope management, contract management, reporting and all the other ones can be affected by complexity,


Support delivery by setting up the appropriate requirements at the initial stages and enable the management of the ‘pathogens’ that incubate in project from those early stages – aiming to prevent rather than cure,

Work with all parties as if, even if they are not, in a partnering environment.

We, the project and programme management professionals, need to understand that complexity and its effects is not something new. It was always there and the fact that we have started talking about is because we, as a profession, only recently looked outside the ‘control paradigm’ and consutled with other knowledge areas and professions. We now have more tools in our armory to manage its effects and a simple example can be found in all the articles in the ICCPM ‘Complex Project Management – Global Perspectives and the Strategic Agenda to 2025. Compendium of Working Papers’. It goes without saying that we need to do a lot of work to raise the level of understanding and managing complexity by the project professionals. Hopefully this will not take another 50 to 60 years, as has happened with a number of other project management processes. Dimitris is a member of the International Centre for Complex Project Management, and reviewer on a number of Journals. He was awarded the PhD, from Loughborough University, for his research on the subject of ‘Managing Complexity in Project Teams’ and has written a number of journal and conference papers and contributed chapters in books on complexity, leadership and other project management topics. Parts of his work can be seen in and for further discussion on the above he can be reached on:



Fellow Profile: Bruce Armstrong Bruce started his working career in the Australian Army. On graduating from Portsea Officer Cadet School in 1980, Bruce was posted to 8/12 Medium Regiment, RAA. Highlights of his subsequent military career included service in the Special Air Service Regiment, Command of 8/12 Medium Regiment and his final appointment as Chief of Staff International Force East Timor, prior to the UN handover in 2000. Since resigning from the Australian Defence Force in late 2000, Bruce’s commercial roles have included: Director Channel Sales and Strategic Alliances for a global enterprise software company; Managing Director for a national building service company and Chief Operating Officer of a publicly listed company in the automotive industry. In April 2013, Bruce joined Aspen Medical as the Chief of Staff. More recently he has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer for the global operation spanning 14 countries and employing circa 2,000 employees.

20 years in the Australian Defence Force established a deep understanding of and experience in the planning and execution of complex missions or projects. This foundation of theoretical and practical experience taught me that achieving success relied on many variable inputs and key stakeholders, all of whom had their own agendas and goals. During the planning phase it was crucial to understand the inputs but more importantly how they would be synchronised to achieve the desired outcome. One of the highlights of my Defence career was my appointment as Chief of Staff International Force East Timor prior to the handover to the UN. This complex project/operation involved 11,000 people from 22 nations, each with their own national interests to protect. My Defence experience established a foundation that I was able to refine and mature on entering the private sector. A more recent complex management highlight, in my current role as CEO of Aspen Medical, was the deployment to Liberia and Sierra Leone as part of the Australian, UK and US Government’s efforts to stop the spread of Ebola disease in 2014 and 2015. Key stakeholder engagement, communication and synchronisation of the inputs were central to our success in delivering successful outcomes to these projects.


• Early notification of ICCPM events

• Access to the Digital Gateway

• Discounts on ICCPM courses and events

• Networking opportunities

• Access to research, communications and information reserved for ICCPM members

• Access to the online Member Forum to interact with other members • Opportunity to contribute to ICCPM sponsored research • Monthly Member Bulletin BUILDING CAPABILITY IN COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTS

• Opportunity to contribute to the ICCPM eBook series • Access to free books (in exchange for a book review)



CALENDAR Dates 27 April

Title APM Conference

Organisation APM UK

Location London, UK

27 April

ICCPM Launch of Round Table Outcomes Paper Project Governance and Controls Symposium


Canberra, Australia


Canberra, Australia

8-10 May

IACCM EMEA Conference


Dublin, Ireland

17-18 May 28-30 May

EVA 22: Brexibility Conference PMI Australia Conference

EVA PMI Australia

London, UK Sydney, Australia

15-20 July

27th Annual INCOSE International Symposium 2017


Adelaide, Australia

31 July - 13 October

IACCM Australasia Conference


Melbourne, Australia

11-13 October

IACCM Americas Conference


Toronto, Canada

22-24 October

AIPM National Conference


Melbourne, Australia

2-4 May

FOOD FOR THOUGHT Decisions: Should You Go It Alone? Mind Tools


Maximising Project Performance - The Role of Project Controls in Assuring Delivery MPA

Nationalism vs. globalism: the new political divide Ted Talks


LINKS & EVENTS Ethical Leadership: The ‘On Switch’ For Adaptability Linda Fisher Thomton How to “Roll with the Punches” Mind Tools How to Get Better at the Things you Care About Ted Talks

See Through Your Customers’ Eyes Mind Tools

Foresights: Download Cyber4Sight’s Cyberthreat Analysis for 2017 Jake Norwood, Booz Allen Hamilton

Building Well-being with LEGO® – A Hands-on Approach to Explore Positive Psychology Mads Bab


Building Raport, Trust and Morale Mind Tools

How to Motivate Your Team Mind Tools

Hidden Voices: How to Talk to People who Dont Agree with you Ted Talks



ICCPM also recognises the support of the following organisations: AIPM University of Hull APM HudsonAPM Group IACCM ARPI IPMA CSIRO MinterEllison DAU The PM Channel Gower Publishing SE Group Telfer Centre for Executive Leadership



How to join ICCPM Visit and follow the links to join as either an Individual Member (open to everyone) or a Partner Employee (open to employees of our partners). If you are a Partner Employee please contact us so we can provide you with your Corporate Code. We will be profiling members of the ICCPM network in each issue of the CONNECT magazine; if you would like to appear or suggest someone for a profile in a future edition please get in touch.

In the June edition of CONNECT... • Research Updates • Roundtable Outcomes • Certification Scheme • 10th Anniversary



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Final march 2017 connect magazine  

ICCPM CONNECT magazine: March 2017

Final march 2017 connect magazine  

ICCPM CONNECT magazine: March 2017