Patterns of Complexity: the Thermometer of Complexity

Joana Geraldi

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


For the successful management of projects, it is pertinent to better comprehend what characterises the complexity embraced in project oriented activities, and how this changes in the course of a project. This study further explores the concept of Patterns of Complexity, the minimal manage-able “space” of complexity. The paper suggests and tests a method for assessing the perception of complexity in projects anchored with the concept of Pattern of Complexity. The empirical test consists of the measurement of the complexity of eight projects through the lens of the project manager. Based on these results, the set of characteristics, as well as the method used to assess its intensity, is discussed. The results indicate that that the Patter of Complexity can indeed serve as a thermometer of complexity. Moreover, it shows that project managers simultaneously deal with different kinds of complexity. This challenges the set of project management tools and calls for more integrated approaches for managing projects.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProject Perspectives
Pages (from-to)4-9
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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