Very Large Complex Project Management

I left a comment on an interesting blog site that dealt with the issue of social project management in large projects (http://www.liquidplanner.c what is this om/blog/2008/06/23/social-project-management-in-large-projects-2).

The author maintains that large projects are not significantly harder to manage than smaller ones, with the tools in place to scale and facilitate. Not true! Very large projects have parameters, mostly around bottlenecks stemming from sorely underestimated scope and scale of coordination, that makes them a different beast entirely.

Traditional project management tools do not deal effectively with these coordination issues issues. Heroic managers brought in to save the day cannot either when they are not addressed.

You might want to look more sophisticated approach to very large project management that I found on a white paper from ePM: http://www.epm.cc/downloads/other/CIFE%20Working%20Paper%20073.pdf.

The company has a product called SimVision® that is very intriguing. SimVision® is ePM’s patented organization modeling and simulation technology. They use it to optimize the fit between an organization and its work, similar to the way engineers use a wind tunnel to optimize aircraft designs:
Measure how well the organization will perform
Uncover and fix design flaws prior to implementation
Explore ways to improve reliability and performance
Maximize the client’s return on capital employed.

The tool is very powerful for midlevel managers in dealing with the extra coordination required for very large, complex projects. It is a highly evolved social management simulation that goes well beyond typical project management tools. It’s just not enough to say let’s use the small is beautiful approach when you’re spending $1 billion.

Scalability and roadblocks are two issues that I’m interested in. The white paper was an interesting read for a day where thunderstorms threaten sailing activities. I know I could incorporate some of the ePM thinking into our WebVoyaging® process

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About Howard Oliver
The founder and CEO of What If What Next, Howard Oliver (holiver@whatifwhatnext.com) for more than 20 years has been an entrepreneur, writer, thought leader, PR Guru, business development strategist, technology evangelist, manager and consultant for numerous service, industrial and high technology companies. Howard provides leadership in the application of Agile and Lean project management methodologies for technology enabled social media marketing and PR campaigns that deliver revenue, customer and alliance engagement, and media buzz. Clients in technology and other industries recognize him as a driven, highly creative and disciplined thinker. He also created the WebVoyaging® brand, a market engagement methodology that optimizes the deployment of cloud based, best-in-class marketing automation solutions. The WebVoyaging® process is inspired by the great visionaries who conceived of and built history’s great sailing vessels, which helped establish trade routes and created huge wealth. An accomplished business educator, Howard has recently created the WebVoyaging® Master Class, a training program for organizations interested in implementing Lean marketing automation solutions. Howard holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University. Howard is an avid sailor and collector of books.

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