In the news: Whitepaper on Engineering System’s Take on Complexity Management Published

The Department just released a news-item on the Whitepaper I co-authored with Christian Thuesen, Pedro Parraguez Ruiz, and Joana Geraldi. Am copying the text below.

PMI Complexity Management Whitepaper
Thought Leadership Whitepaper discussing an Engineering Systems Perspective on Complexity Management

Engineering Systems group publishes whitepaper for ½ million readers in prestigious forum

The world’s largest project management organization publishes Thought Leadership Whitepaper by Engineering Systems Group.

Last year the world’s largest project management organization with more than 500,000 members, Project Management Institute (PMI), approached the Engineering Systems Group in PSM asking for a Thought Leadership Whitepaper on Engineering Project Management.

A team from Engineering Systems Group, consisting of Josef Oehmen, Christian Thuesen, Pedro Parraguez Ruiz and Joana Geraldi put together the whitepaper that gives an Engineering Systems perspective of managing complexity in engineering projects, programs and portfolios.
“The purpose of the whitepaper is to stimulate discussion both within the PMI leadership team as well as among members regarding better ways to manage complexity”, says Christian Thuesen.

He is complemented by Josef Oehmen who explains that by covering an angle relatively unexplored by PMI the group expects not only to start fruitful discussions but also to add new perspective and methodology to the large international forum.

“Current practices are driven by a “bottom up” approach of collecting what works in industry, consolidating it, and communicating it to members (in forms of standards and guidelines). What is missing is a complementary “top down” approach from an academic perspective to help uncover “blank spots” in the current portfolio of practices, and stimulate innovation in management practices by developing novel approaches. The whitepaper provides such a top-down perspective, encouraging exploration of novel approaches to manage complexity, and operationalizing them in the context of project management.”

The whitepaper was published in April and presented in May at the PMI Global Conference in London to a crowded room and was very well received by project management practitioners. PMI has published the whitepaper as a key resource on complexity on its homepage. It can be downloaded onPMI’s Website.

The whitepaper is written for practitioners and contains the following:

  • It provides an introduction to a system-oriented view of complexity,
  • It illustrates three key drivers of complexity (organizational and technical complexity as such, human behavior, and uncertainty),
  • It highlights a range of novel complexity management approaches that are researched and further developed by the Engineering Systems Group, such as Network Analysis, System Dynamics, Modularity, Antifragility and Mindfulness.

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Hi, this is Josef, the guy who runs