Picture this, you are managing a project and you are confronted with a lot of uncertainties. Also, you are required to manage multiple teams and diverse stakeholders and at the same time manage a huge budget and project resources and other constraints, before you can fulfill the desired outcomes from the project.
No doubt, in this kind of scenario, the reality before you as a Project Manager is a complex project. In a complex project, you are bound to experience unpredictability where you cannot predict the outcomes of the activities of the project.
Without mincing words, the task of managing complex projects can be herculean for most Project Managers because they always exhibit a series of challenges of different magnitude that could hamper the success of the project.
In reality, you need to embrace the best project management software to control complex projects to attain ease of managing such projects.
In this article, we will discuss complex projects, their characteristics, and how best project management software can be of help in controlling and simplifying complex projects.
» How to identify complex projects in project management
Complex projects are identified with the following characteristics:
› They involve several variables and interfaces in their execution.
› Complex projects are synonymous with ambiguity in which there is a lack of awareness about events that could spring up in the project.
› They are characterized by uncertainties: here you cannot predetermine the actions of the project.
› They are unpredictable: you cannot predict what will happen in the project at any point in time.
› They are dynamic: you will experience a different rapid rate of change in the course of the project execution.
› They are notable for the existence of various interdependencies among the activities of the project.
› Complex projects are often susceptible to external influences such as government policies.
» How to control complex projects
As a Project Manager, the following will help you in controlling the activities of a complex project:
› Effective communication
The task of managing a complex project involves the use of effective communication. No doubt, effective communication is vital to the success of any project irrespective of the size.
It allows you to communicate the objectives of the project to the various teams that will work with you on the project to ensure that all hands are on deck. Furthermore, you are required to communicate with various diverse stakeholders in a complex project.
Effective communication will help you in disseminating the scope of the project to them to ensure that they understand what is expected of them to be delivered at the end of the project. It will promote the right synergy between you and the stakeholders thereby ensuring that you are on the same page.
› Effective workload management
You are assured of ease in managing complex projects by creating a work breakdown structure (WBS). A work breakdown structure will enhance the process of achieving effective workload management by establishing a structural overview of the activities of your complex projects.
It will arrange the tasks of a complex project in the proper order to ensure that you are on top of your project management strides. It aids the simplification of the cumbersome activities by dividing them into manageable chunks that the teams can get on with easily.
› Proper scheduling of the activities of the complex projects
Effective scheduling is a vital tool that you must possess in your arsenal as a Project Manager to have full control over your complex project.
With effective scheduling, you will be able to have a mastery of how to organize your team members into different groups that will adequately leverage their skills and potentials thereby aiding the smooth execution of the project.
Effective scheduling will assist you in overcoming the occurrence of having a square peg in a round hole through the proper pairing of the team members into different shifts.
In reality, all these can be derived from the use of the best project management software. As a tool, it offers you full control over the complexities of your project because it supports proper planning and effective communication. It aids realistic planning of your project, a feature that helps in the management of its risks.
Also, you can painstakingly manage the updates of your project activities in real-time with the best project management software. Furthermore, another feature on it is the notification system. This feature provides regular updates to everybody about changes in the plan of the project.
Furthermore, it can simulate the activities of the project to ensure proper management of the possible risks that could arise in the project. Again with planning simulation, you can exercise full control over the project progress in real-time through earned value techniques.
Earned Value techniques allow you to track the project progress against the project plan to enhance better decision-making efforts of the project team.
For instance, an example of the best project management software is Sinnaps, it aids you in controlling the consumption and availability of your resources because it has an easy-to-use interface that can be used to monitor the utilization and allocation of the project resources.
Again, it can create the interdependencies between the activities of your project with the use of the slack of an activity. This enhances your ability to meet deadlines, complete the project well ahead of time and achieve the desired milestones from the project.