Complexity management?


“…it does appear that the way that uncertainty is managed in projects (through risk and opportunity management) could be broadened to complexity management. Uncertainty is only one type of complexity, and there are well-developed approaches for this. Beyond simply assessing and understanding the complexity of a project, the active management of complexity is worth exploring. An assessment of the complexities could result in some of the indicators being actively managed.”

Geraldi, Joana, Harvey Maylor, and Terry Williams. “Now, let’s make it really complex (complicated): a systematic review of the complexities of projects.”International Journal of Operations & Production Management 31.9 (2011): 966-990.

DfE press notice 5 Mar 2013

Department for Education press notice

The floor standard will go up from 2014 – primary schools where fewer than 65 per cent of pupils achieve the expected level (Level 4) in the 3Rs, and which do not achieve above average progress in these subjects, will be below the floor. The current floor standard requires schools to have 60 per cent of their pupils at level 4 or above in English and maths, plus the progress measures.

New data will be published by the Department for Education showing the proportion of primary children who achieve a “good” Level 4 in the 3Rs – those who are truly “secondary ready”. This will be until the current system of levels is removed from 2016.

Schools judged by Ofsted to be neither good nor outstanding, and who are not closing the gap between their disadvantaged pupils and their other pupils, will be ordered to draw up action plans – alongside experts – on how they will spend their pupil premium money.

Summer school programme – which helps children make the transition from primary to secondary school – to be repeated this year.

Projects integrating Sustainable Methods

PRiSM™ (Projects integrating Sustainable Methods)

One of the most significant of PRISM’s features is the concept of the Sustainability Management Plan. This is a set of controls that govern aspects of a project to consider five measurable elements (People, Planet, Profit, Process, and Product) and how they relate to the delivery of projects. Each of these elements are measured individually and in total to give a 360 degree perspective.

Another important aspect of PRiSM is the method of analyzing the impacts of a project. This is a new method for calculating risk as it measures the impact on five levels (as opposed to the traditional “three triple constraints”) and takes into account the output of the project from cradle to grave rather than from initiation/pre-project to close/hand-off.

Ethical approval

The requirements for ethical approval of research by my MSc students have been tightened up this year. The note here draws together the various strands of guidance.

International Journal of Stress Management

According to Wikipedia “the International Journal of Stress Management is a peer-reviewed academic journal published by the American Psychological Association on behalf of the International Stress Management Association. The journal was established in 2003 and covers research on “the assessment, management, and treatment of stress and trauma”. The current editor-in-chief is Sharon Glazer (University of Maryland.)

LEGO maturity & capability model

Abstract of The LEGO maturity & capability model approach: “Maturity model (MM) (based on Crosby’s original idea) has been one of the main buzzwords over the past 20 years. A variety of MMs have been created in several application domains, from Software Engineering to Contract Management. Despite several models intending to cover the same domain, their PRMs (Process Reference Models) typically have different scopes, do not always cover the same set of processes, or have different levels of depth, or do not express the same level of granularity when describing concepts. Thus some important questions from the MM users’ viewpoint arise: how to choose the right models for our needs? After selecting those models, how to build a new, tailored MM based on several sources and customized to a specific domain? This paper motivates these important questions and proposes a way to choose, combine and adapt the contents from multiple MMs within a generic-domain approach we call ‘LEGO’ (Living EnGineering prOcess), based upon the well-known kids’ toy that stimulates creativity through combining different bricks. We present three case studies, one of them based upon the development of the Medi SPICE model, illustrating how the proposed approach may be used to develop MCM (Maturity & Capabilty Models) in this context.”

Risk management capability model

Abstract of Risk management capability model for the development of medical device software: “Failure of medical device (MD) software can have potentially catastrophic effects, leading to injury of patients or even death. Therefore, regulators penalise MD manufacturers who do not demonstrate that sufficient attention is devoted to the areas of hazard analysis and risk management (RM) throughout the software lifecycle. This paper has two main objectives. The first objective is to compare how thorough current MD regulations are with relation to the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI®) in specifying what RM practices MD companies should adopt when developing software. The second objective is to present a Risk Management Capability Model (RMCM) for the MD software industry, which is geared towards improving software quality, safety and reliability. Our analysis indicates that 42 RM sub-practices would have to be performed in order to satisfy MD regulations and that only an additional 8 sub-practices would be required in order to satisfy all the CMMI® level 1 requirements. Additionally, MD companies satisfying the CMMI® goals of the RM process area by performing the CMMI® RM practices will not meet the requirements of the MD software RM regulations as an additional 20 MD-specific sub-practices have to be added to meet the objectives of RMCM.

Value-added medical-device risk management

Abstract from Value-added medical-device risk management: “The assessment of overall residual risk is the primary objective of performing risk-management activities and is required by ISO 14971:2000-Application of Risk Management to Medical Devices. Despite this requirement, much confusion remains among medical-device manufacturers and the various regulatory-approval bodies as to what is required. Today, many medical-device manufacturers do not formally address the subject. This paper will address the following questions: 1) What is overall residual risk? 2) Why is overall residual risk the most important measure of safety throughout the product life cycle? 3) How can overall residual risk be estimated? 4) What is an acceptable level of overall residual risk? 5) How can the concept of overall residual risk be used to manage safety after the product has been released? This paper will provide practical ideas that will allow medical-device manufacturers to begin assessing the overall residual risk of their products, and may also be helpful to regulatory bodies in formulating and communicating a consistent set of expectations. The concepts developed in the paper should be applicable to evaluating the safety of a wide variety of products as well.”

Mission-critical and safety-critical development

Abstract from Mission-critical and safety-critical development: “The concern in mission-critical and safety-critical systems is that you develop them thoughtfully and carefully. They need traceable evidence for every detail. Like a good journalist, you and your team must establish the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” in everything you do. Development of mission- and safety-critical systems requires a temporal progression, regardless of the development model. Generally, there are five phases to development. These are: concept; planning and scheduling; design and development; controlled release; commercial release. Another issue in mission- and safety-critical system is people. People make processes work or not work. Good, disciplined people can struggle, even under wretched conditions, and produce good results. Add reasonable processes, and these same people can produce great results. Unfortunately, outstanding processes cannot rescue a project from unruly and undisciplined people.

Health & safety advice

The Department for Education published health & safety advice in December 2012. The document summarises the existing health and safety law relevant to schools and explains how it affects local authorities, governing bodies, headteachers and other school staff. It covers activities that take place on or off school premises, including school trips.
This advice document replaces a number of guidance documents on health, safety and security in schools, including Health and Safety: Responsibilities and Powers (2001) and Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits (HASPEV 1998).

The following policy statement from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is also relevant: ‘School trips and outdoor learning activities: Tackling the health and safety myths’.