Unravelling Complexities in Engineering Projects

Joana Geraldi, Gerald Adlbrecht

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Plant Engineering Companies are project-driven and have been dealing with complexity and uncertainty for decades. As complexity and uncertainty tend to impact efficiency, such companies have difficulties in coping with strong pressures for lower prices and delivery times. It is argued that one approach to increase efficiency in these companies is to improve the synchronisation between complexities and uncertainties in a company’s project portfolio with the correlated organisational designs. A first step to achieve such synchronisation is to identify and to make sense of the complexity and uncertainty of the company’s project portfolio. This paper regards this need by proposing a perspective to unravel engineering project complexity, by developing the concept of patterns of complexity, and the minimum manageable context of complexities within a project. Furthermore, the paper proposes a measurement system to assess the patterns of complexity based on the intensity of complexities. This model can be used to forecast potential complexities in a certain project, functioning as a risk management tool, as well as to measure complexity post factum, where the model allows the company to rethink its actions and processes, and, by these means, reach the desired efficiency and efficacy.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2006
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event2nd European Conference on Management of Technology: Technology and Global Integration - Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Sept 200612 Sept 2006
Conference number: 2


Conference2nd European Conference on Management of Technology
LocationAston University
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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