IPMA International Project Management Association

How we define Complexity in Projects, Programmes and Portfolios

The more competent you are as a project, programme or portfolio professional, the more complex your responsibilities will probably become. Complexity is also of key value when you want to assess your current competence level. So, how do we see complexity of projects, programmes and portfolios?

We see ten factors that define complexity of initiatives (projects, programmes, portfolios). These ten are described below and are defined in the international certification regulations (ICR).

Every local Certification Body has defined a table for assessing the complexity of the initiatives a candidate has been involved with. Self-assessing complexity is part of the application. If you want more information regarding how complexity is assessed in your country, please contact your local Cetification Body.

Complexity of Initiatives is defined through 10 Perspectives

Capability perspectives:

  • Input related complexity
  • Process related complexity
  • Output related complexity
  • Risk related complexity

Context perspectives:

  • Strategy related complexity
  • Organisation related complexity
  • Socio-cultural related complexity

Management/Leadership perspectives:

  • Team-related complexity
  • Innovation-related complexity
  • Autonomy-related complexity

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