Principle of Navigating Complexity

Complexity is one of the 12 project management principles that provide a guide to project teams in order to deliver optimum value at the end.

This principle is about using the best approaches in order to navigate complexity to the direction of a beneficial outcome. Complexity may emerge as a result of many factors. Generally, it is the consequence of human behavior, system interactions, uncertainty, and ambiguity.

The project manager should continuously evaluate and navigate project complexity so that approaches and plans help the project team to reach the goals of the project life cycle.  The best way to do this is by analyzing the source of complexity and then coming up with a process that will help you handle it. While complexity cannot be controlled completely or partly, project teams should tailor their activities to address impacts that occur as a consequence of complexity.

It’s important to look at the sources of complexity from different angles, explore different perspectives, and identify what’s missing. Sometimes it’s necessary to draw diagrams or make models in order to see what’s going on.

Navigating Complexity is a project management principle that can be applied to any situation, whether it's a personal or professional one. The Principle of Navigating Complexity can be applied in any situation where you are faced with complexity. 

However; the more important thing is tracking the indications of complexity and navigating its harmful effects through a favorable project outcome that adds value. It is not the complexity that makes a project difficult to manage, but how we navigate its complexity.

Read also: Systems Thinking Principle

Ambiguity Risk in Project Management