A touch of genius

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Economist Ernst Friedrich Schumacher once said: Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

This is certainly true of the practitioners I have met over the past month project professionals who, when faced with complexity, have excelled.
Between them they have delivered a scientific base in Antarctica, military programmes in Afghanistan, a motorway in Kosovo and, more locally, a cutting-edge building development here in the UK. The scope of their respective projects differs greatly, but their professionalism and determination to deliver make them the ideal candidates to feature in May, our complexity-themed issue.

Any practitioner will tell you that there is no such thing as an easy project. Complexity is indiscriminate of budget and scope, it just so happens that many of the complex projects you hear and read about are big and complicated too.

What I have learnt from the professionals who will feature in Mays Project is that, when faced with complexity in ones project, the ability to effectively manage stakeholder expectations to align with what is realistic is crucial.

Yes, it is doing the basics well, but there is also an undeniable sense of innovative thinking prevalent in these practitioners.

Experts will long debate the issues surrounding the complexity theory, and how best to overcome them. From my experiences though, in order to truly conquer complexity, you need a touch of genius.

Posted in Project Journal
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Posted by Andrew Hubbard on 24th Apr 2013

About the Author
Andrew is the editor of Project magazine. He began his career working as a freelance journalist. At the time his clients included Northcliffe and BSkyB. He became editor of Project at the end of June 2012.

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