Tuesday 26 April 2022

Characterization of project complexity


Before approaching the issue of forming a project team at the enterprise, it is necessary to solve one of such important issues as classifying all projects according to the degree of complexity, since it is on this fundamental factor that the approaches to solving certain technical or organizational issues regarding the corporate project management system will depend.

Based on what levels of complexity the projects carried out at the enterprise will have, a project team responsible for a particular project or a portfolio of projects will be formed. Low-complexity projects are characterized by the formation of a team within the framework of resource savings, only the most important members who, according to the project manager's forecasts, will be able to guarantee the success of its implementation. For projects, a level above, the team is formed in accordance with the competencies of the project. 


When forming a project passport, all the necessary resources will be taken into account and, of course, in the presence of certain resources, the project manager will form a team, trying to fill it as much as possible with those specialists whom he deems necessary. In the case when the complexity of the project has the highest level, and consequently, the highest priority, the process of collecting the project team in some cases can take a very significant period of time, because in this case it is important to choose a team that could, even in conditions of limited resources, tight deadlines and high complexity of individual tasks, cope with the task established during the formation of the project, taking into account all sorts of risks and factors.

Of course, the formation of a project team will be only one of the features that are taken into account depending on the complexity of the project. The rest may also include:

– formation of the project budget;
– resource portfolio;
– assessment of the degree of significance of the project;
– the level and factor of influence of risks;
– model of management and interaction with stakeholders;
– analysis of the evaluation of results;
– method of approach to solving individual project tasks, etc.

In order to understand what the complexity of the project is, there is a project classification model that is designed to highlight all levels of complexity. The process of complexity assessment itself is presented in a simplified form in Table 1.

Table 1 Resource requirements by component

Classification features

Project Types

By project level




By project scale (size)




By difficulty


Organizationally complex

Technically challenging


Complex complex

By terms of implementation




According to the requirements for quality and methods of its provision




By totality of projects



By level of participants


— state;

— territorial;

- local.


By the nature of the target







By object of investment activity





For the main reason for the emergence of the project



The need for structural and functional transformations





Technically complex projects are those in which the technology of obtaining the result is partially unknown, or there are a number of technical difficulties of various kinds for the implementation of the project.

An organizationally complex project is one in which many participants or members of the project team are geographically dispersed (may be located in different regions, cities, countries), additional tools and costs are required for their control.

A complex project contains a set of problems of both organizational and technical plan.
A simple project is one in which the project team has already been implemented and has experience in working with its staff and who have not had problems with the implementation of the project. Almost all reusable teams (with the exception of adjustments for the specifics and scope of business) consider simple projects to be teams, the activities of which should be debugged and put on stream.

In this case, complex projects imply the presence of certain resource, organizational or technical tasks, for the solution of which it is planned to introduce non-traditional or unusual approaches, as well as to increase the level of costs for their solution. In modern practice, there are also variants of complicated projects, where there is an increased influence of any of the types of complexity described above - in-depth financing schemes, a significant increase in project participants, the use of non-traditional execution technologies and much more.

It should also be noted that not so long ago the "Center for Evaluation and Development of Project Management" provided its model and degree of assessment of the complexity of projects. According to its classification, each of the types of complexity has its own factors of complexity, with which typical management problems are associated in the course of project activities. For each of these types and factors, approximate parameters are determined, on the basis of which a particular project is assigned a complexity score in the point system:

0 — low complexity;
1 — medium difficulty;
2 — high complexity.

The project will be considered difficult if it scores the sum of points of at least three points according to the complexity parameters (if, for example, according to one of the criteria, the complexity is assessed as "high", according to another - "medium"). 


According to their system, it is easy to determine to what degree of complexity the project will be ranked and evaluated. Determine the numerical indicators of the project should be the project manager or his immediate superiors

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