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A Complexity Science Based Approach to Programme Risk Management

By N.J. Smith, D.A. Bower and B. Aritua


Programme management has rapidly gained acceptance as a vehicle for achieving organisational strategic objectives and as a means of aligning projects with the overall strategy of the organisation. Managing programme risk poses challenges which are different from those in project management. Attempts to modify and apply project risk management techniques to programme risk management have experienced difficulties. The implications of the challenges of programme risk management extend beyond the tools and techniques. Recent research shows that that programme management is neither an extension, nor a scaled up version of project management. Philosophically, a paradigm shift from the predominantly mechanistic and reductionist mindset to a more appropriate paradigm based on complexity science and the theory of complex adaptive systems is required. This leads to the conclusion that the classic event based view of risk is inappropriate in modelling and analysing programme risk which need to be treated as holistic and dynamic

Year: 2008
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