Using complexity and volatility characteristics to guide hybrid project management

Costantini, Silvana; Hall, Jon G. and Rapanotti, Lucia (2021). Using complexity and volatility characteristics to guide hybrid project management. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 14(5) pp. 1135–1162.



Purpose: The paper aims to provide methodological support for hybrid project management, in which the discipline of predictive methodologies combines with the flexibility of adaptive ones. Specifically, the paper explores the extent complexity and volatility dimensions of organisational problems inform choices of PM methodologies both theoretically and in current practice, as a first step towards better methodological support for hybridisation.

Design/methodology/approach: The paper takes a mixed method approach, including both secondary research and primary research with practitioners. Primary research consists of a small scale survey (n = 31) followed by semi-structured interviews, with findings triangulated against secondary evidence.

Findings: The paper provides empirical insights on how complexity and volatility of organisational problems can inform hybrid project management practices. Specifically, it suggests a mapping between volatility and complexity dimensions and predictive and adaptive risk controls as a first step towards the systematisation of hybrid combinations in projects.

Research limitations/implications: Due to the small participant sample, the research results may lack generalisability.

Practical implications: The paper includes implications for the development of methodological support for setting up hybrid projects in practice.

Originality/value: The paper addresses a gap acknowledged both in the literature and by practitioners.

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