Leading Complex Projects



Book Title: Leading Complex Projects
Author: Kaye Remington
Publisher: Gower
List Price: $59.95 (softcover) $160 (hardcover)
Format: Soft cover, 364 Pages
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4094-1905-1
Reviewer: Amalia Quintero, PMP
Review Date: January 2023



The book titled Leading Complex Projects discusses how to apply project management in big projects from different industry sectors in everyday life. The book engages the reader in the analysis of different features required during the whole delivery process of the project management. The book dives deep into leadership as a process, so that conflict can be analyzed, addressed, and resolved. The book explains relevant aspects to consider during the project´s life cycle, such as complexity, communication, teams, portfolio-program, challenges, culture, political skill, crises, governance, key roles, peace, resilience, and courage.

Overview of Book’s Structure

  • Chapter 1. In this chapter is analyzed the notion of comprehending complexity by contrasting four key points: importance of early recognition of complexity by all stakeholders, the difference between complex and complicated projects, indicators of project complexity, project specific factors contributing to project complexity. Complex projects are characterized by uncertainty, ambiguity and decreasing levels of trust. Despite these factors, many complex projects are successfully executed through the application of the various subjects of project management knowledge.
  • Chapter 2. This chapter dives into complex communication networks, social networks, informal networks, communication styles, communications planning, communications risks. Communication is a very common word used in project management vocabulary and even can cause the project failure.
  • Chapter 3. This chapter explains the relevance managing project teams through the comparison with a symphony orchestra. It´s necessary to get the right balance between the players and the instruments. The chapter also analyzes the personalities, behavioural styles, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • Chapter 4. This chapter exposes portfolio and program thinking as an effective way to work with complexity, considering the variety, perspective, and flexibility needed.
  • Chapter 5. This chapter gives detailed information about innovative thinking as an important key to managing complexity.
  • Chapter 6. This chapter discusses the thinking process, in order to make complex decisions considering the uncertainty. It exposes the concept of the linear rationality.
  • Chapter 7. This chapter explains how cultural differences and misunderstandings between teams contribute to project complexity. It´s necessary to consider the cultural boundaries, organizational cultures, project cultures, international projects, and generational culture.


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How to cite this work: Quintero, A. (2023).  Leading Complex Projects, book review, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue II, February. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/pmwj126-Feb2023-Quintero-complex-project-management-book-review.pdf

About the Reviewer

Amalia Quintero, PMP

Dallas, Texas, USA


 Amalia Quintero is a Project Management Professional (PMP) with extensive experience in education and project management. Industrial Engineer. Technological Innovation Specialist. Project Management Specialist. Master’s degree in Project Management from Andres Bello Catholic University. Her career includes over 15 years working in different roles in project management and process engineering. Amalia has worked as a full-time Professor-Researcher in several universities, with face to face and online classes, subjects: Operations Research, Project Management, Economics, Research Methodology, Linear Algebra, Logic and all subjects in the ​​mathematics field. Amalia is a member of the Project Management Institute, Dallas Chapter, having acquired her PMP certification in 2020.

She can be contacted at amalia.quintero@gmail.com

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