Investigating a Systems Thinking approach to Complex Project Risk Management

A presentation given by Warren Black at the 2019 Engineers Australia, Risk Engineering & Project Controls Conference on some key learnings secured from his QUT PHD research, to date.

The fact is projects globally are not getting any simpler, only more and more complex. For most modern project professionals this increased complexity can be felt on an almost daily basis. The shear volumes of data, systems, technology and stakeholder relationships which need to be effectively managed in order for a project to succeed is steadily becoming insurmountable.

It is thus only a matter of time before the invested project management community will be forced to start looking at projects through the lens of the complexity sciences. More specifically, there is a growing need to improve the community’s understanding of how disruptive phenomena (aka risks) emerge from within highly energised, dynamic and integrated (aka complex) project systems.

In brief, the future of project risk management lies within the complexity sciences.