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Top Tips for Managing Complex Projects

Tips for Managing Complex Projects

Managing a project is a process that requires complete dedication and control from all parties involved.

Certain projects bring their own unique complexities to the table and will require some expert techniques in order to get them across the line successfully. As the project manager of a complex project you will face a number of challenges that will test your knowledge and experience. Below are our top tips to keep in mind while you try and gain control over the unpredictable nature of these complex projects.

7 Top Tips for Managing Complex Projects


1. Are your end goals clear?

The initial insight into the complexity of a project can sometimes hinder the project manager from seeing the complete picture and the end goals. If you are to succeed you need to clearly define what your end goals are. These goals need to be agreed by all responsible parties and documented in a system that will strictly manage them.

This helps the project manager keep on track and ensure that the focus doesn’t shift away from the tasks set out at initiation. Never assume when you are managing a complex project – this can be dangerous as you don’t have the clarity to make important decisions.

2. Milestones:

When you are managing complex projects it is advised to break it down and make sub goals or milestones. By setting deadlines against these milestones it should help the project manager focus on the small steps towards the big goal. It also helps highlight any potential risks or issues before they have a chance to take hold of the project.

3. Resources:

Once you have your goals and sub-goals clearly defined and documented you need to organise and manage the resources that are going to help you overcome this complex project. Ensure that you have the right resources working on your project. As it is a complex project it is important to choose the resources that have the knowledge behind them in order to make experienced decisions and provide advice.

4. Communication:

Clear communication is essential when you are managing complex projects. It has been proved that effective communication leads to a higher successful project delivery rate. It does be worth putting the time and effort into producing a sustainable communication process between all of the layers. As painful as some of the project update meetings might be they are an important component for effective team communication.

5. What are the pain points:

It’s difficult to predict the problems you will face in a project; however you may be able to pinpoint some of the potential pain points that could arise. Putting a plan of action in place to minimise the risk is important here.

6. Adapt:

Things won’t always go to plan especially when you are managing complex projects. As you can’t plan for the unforeseeable it is important to accept and adapt when things go wrong. It is important to get all the facts before you make a decision on what action to take.

7. Listen:

You won’t have the answers to all the questions so ask for help and seek advice from the people around you.

Learn more

Cora is a customized project & portfolio management enterprise solution which can be configured and implemented for any organization. To see how we could benefit your organization why not watch a demo.

Alternatively, you may be interested in our on-demand webinar which looks at managing complex projects from an Engineering and Construction perspective.