27 February 2020
The Hub 500 Aztec West Park Avenue Almondsbury BRISTOL AVON BS32 4RZ
APM / INCOSE UK Non member ticket: £10.00
Member ticket: FREE
South Wales and West of England branch

The benefits of using systems thinking in project management

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Atkins, The Hub, 500 Park Avenue, Aztec West, Bristol, BS32 4RZ

Systems thinking provides a framework to address complex, uncertain and/or inter-connected problems that do not have simple solutions. However, when its application is proposed, business managers often ask how much it will reduce current budgets. The answer is that using system thinking will reduce costs, but not from the current budget. It reduces future costs that the project does not know about yet.

The case for using systems thinking is ‘spend to save’; cost avoidance and quality improvement rather than reducing current forecast costs; which are almost certainly too low. Using systems thinking provides more realistic cost forecasts by enabling the full scope and requirements for the project to be understood. Slightly more needs to be spent at the start, but expensive ‘surprises’ are reduced due to the removal of late requirement changes and better management of risks that are not obvious without using systems thinking. 

This presentation will give an update on the value proposition for using systems thinking in project management.

This value proposition is intended to provide a starting point from which the case for using systems thinking on a specific project can be developed.


David Cole has 30 years' experience of managing projects, programmes and portfolios, to deliver products, services and business change in large, technically orientated private and public sector organisations. As a management consultant, he advised these types of organisation on the management of their projects, programmes and portfolios. 

He is a member of APM and IET, a Chartered Engineer, and a PRINCE2 Practitioner. He is a founder member of the joint APM and INCOSE UK Systems Thinking SIG and currently serves as its APM Co-chair.

This is a joint event with APM and INCOSE UK and is suitable for professionals with an intermediate level of experience.

Previous presentations and webinars can be viewed on the APM Slideshare and YouTube channels. Follow @APMEvents for upcoming event information.


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