PPMP20014 Forum 5


The key purpose of this forum is to determine the complexity of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project with respect to different aspects along with the tools, techniques, and strategies to overcome this complexity.


ICCPM issues

Several ICCPM issues are present in the GERD project. In relation to this project, all these ICCPM issues are related to details, ambiguity, uncertainty, unpredictability, dynamics, social structure, and interrelationships.


Details are associated with the number of variables and interfaces that may impact the project and enhance its complexity.


At the same time, ambiguity is associated with the lack of awareness of the activities and causality. Ambiguity leads to uncertainty and risks that may cause high project complexity.

It is because the undertaken project involves a large number of diverse stakeholders, who have different interests, issues and levels of actions. There may be no direct involvement of these stakeholders or they may not be aware of project activities (Cook-Davies, 2011).

So, it can be harmful to ignore the interests of the stakeholders. It is required to focus on all stakeholders and their expected benefits. A sound communication should be maintained with the stakeholders. It may be effective to make the complex project successful by delivering benefits to stakeholders at all levels.


In addition, uncertainty is related to the inability to pre-evaluate actions as in the GERD project, it may be difficult to assess the actions in advance that may cause high complexity in this project. Unpredictability:

Unpredictability is also possible due to the inability to know what will happen to result in the high complexity in the GERD project. It may also adversely impact the timing of the project activities that may cause a delay in the project with the increase in complexity of the project (Rose, 2012).

In order to handle the uncertainty and unpredictability, it is required for the organizer of the project to develop capacity. It is essential for the controller to have the ability to deal with uncertainty and unpredictability. For this, the organization needs to develop economic and industrial policies in relation to the GERD project to facilitate its execution (Hussein et al., 2013).


Dynamics is a major ICCPM issue that may raise the complexity of the GERD project as rapid changes may be possible in the project related to change in scope and customer specifications. It may cause a delay in project completion as well as cost overruns.

Social structure:

Social structure is related to the number and type of interactions that are obtained during the project and may raise the complexity of the project.


Interrelationships are associated with the interdependence and interconnections that exist in the project.

Tools and Techniques to manage ICCPM issues

Enabling leadership:

As per the complexity leadership theory, complex projects can be handled by making a proper balance between administrative, adaptive and enabling leadership.

It means administrative leadership can be effective to implement and manage administrative or bureaucratic practices for successful operations in this complex project (Cook-Davies, 2011).

At the same time, adaptive leadership is significant to respond on time and effectively to the changes in the business environment and bring the agile and innovative behavior in this project.

A better hierarchical organizational structure in administrative leadership can be effective to engage the team members and facilitate more interactions among them with greater autonomy to perform the GERD project activities (Hussein et al., 2013).

So, for this complex project, it is required to adopt enabling leadership that comprises of the administrative and adaptive leadership. Enabling leadership is effective to integrate the adaptive leadership for facilitating the speed, agility, and innovation to handle the dynamics.

At the same time, it is effective to integrate the administrative leadership for handling complexity related to social structure and interrelationships by maintaining the required discipline and control throughout the project.

Leadership through values, vision, and principles:

In addition, leadership through values, vision, and principles can be significant to reduce the complexity of the GERD project (Cook-Davies, 2011).

The principle-based leadership is effective to provide proper direction to the team members as they utilize the available resources efficiently to reduce the complexity through better decision making.

Apart from this, guiding principles are useful to convey the security and confidence among the team members as they could perform their roles and responsibilities efficiently to reduce the project complexity.

This may also help to handle the unknown means it is crucial to address the complexity related to the uncertainty and unpredictability.

Systems, processes and ways of doing things:

Moreover, systems, processes and ways of doing things can be a better way to manage the complexity of the GERD project (Ireland et al., 2012).

These systems and processes should present the proper standards for behavior and action that leads to the proper management of the project as well as its complexity by addressing stability and predictability issues of the project.

It is because the improvement in the systems and processes can be significant to handle the changes in the business environment and also reduce the unpredictability in the GERD project. System thinking:

Additionally, system thinking can be useful to develop awareness of the project team members about the limitations and contradictions present in the GERD project (Azim, 2010).

This different thought process is beneficial for the complex project manager to involve disciplined systems thinking with awareness and sensitivity to the assumptions in this project.

Through this, the project manager can find innovative ideas to handle the project complexities. According to the complexity leadership theory, it is important to determine what people need and respond to the work environment to deliver the outcomes.

Administrative leadership is significant to establish the stability and clarity in processes and procedure (Cook-Davies, 2011).

It is helpful to establish the values, boundaries and operating principles that are useful to make better decisions and maintain better relationships among the team members to reduce the project complexity.


From the above discussion, it can be summarized that project complexity in the GERD project can be managed by adopting effective leadership and better systems and processes.

Enabling leadership can be significant to integrate administrative and adaptive leadership to handle the complexity of the project.


Azim, S. W. (2010). Understanding and managing project complexity (Doctoral dissertation, University of Manchester).

Cook-Davies, T. (2011). Aspects of Complexity: Managing Projects in a Complex World. USA: Project management institute.

Hussein, B. A., Silva, P. P., & Pigagaite, G. (2013, September). Perception of complexities in development projects. In Intelligent Data Acquisition and Advanced Computing Systems (IDAACS), 2013 IEEE 7th International Conference on (Vol. 2, pp. 537-542). IEEE.

Ireland, V., Rapaport, B., & Omarova, A. (2012). Addressing wicked problems in a range of project types. Procedia Computer Science12, 49-55.

Rose, K. H. (2012). Aspects of Complexity: Managing Projects in a Complex World. Project Management Journal43(3), 77-77.

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