Skip to main content

Boosting the Project Management Body of Knowledge (enhancing)

Traditional engineering approaches to project management have a strong focus on the iron triangle of scope, cost and time. These variables form the context for the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), a popular reference for project management methods, as implemented by government and corporate organizations. PMBOK has proven useful in the planning and delivery of simple or complex projects but has been less effective in projects and programs that experience an evolution of key parameters. PMBOK methodologies are necessary but not sufficient to manage in complex environments.



Complex project leadership


person on cylinder

Organization Project Method

person on cylinder

System Engineering Project Management

person on cylinder

Logistics and Supply Chain Project Management

person on cylinder

Complex Project Leadership

Knowledge, skills and techniques
to meet project requirements

Leadership, systems thinking, creativity, adaptability

Large and complex projects—those that feature uncertainty, ambiguity, dynamic interfaces and significant political or external influences—are more challenging for traditional project managers because they demand highly developed leadership competencies. The experience of organizations delivering large and complex projects indicates that the project leader is a determining factor in delivering successful outcomes. To achieve this result, project leaders use systemic skills to positively engage and influence stakeholders, build high-performing teams, effectively manage subcontractor relationships, measure performance in a changing environment, find innovative solutions that are in the best interest of the organization as a whole and establish and effectively work within a project governance framework.

The Master of Business in Complex Project Leadership is a specialist masters program with coursework that complies with the International Centre Complex Project Management (ICCPM) “Competency Standard for Complex Project Managers. This Australian based organization has received international recognition for its expertise in Complex Project Management.

The MBCPL program is for experienced program and project managers aimed at helping them become program delivery leaders and for senior procurement and commercial managers who are responsible for managing contracts for the delivery of large and complex programs.

This program allows project and program managers and industry executives to work alongside each other for most of the program. Participants are challenged to reflect on themselves and on how others perceive them and to engage within an integrated learning framework to build their skills in the areas of leadership, problem-solving, risk management, innovation, stakeholder management and governance. The program equips participants with the skills needed to deliver the expected benefits to all the stakeholders by mastering the leadership success factors presented in the program—emotional intelligence, cognitive flexibility and systemic thinking.

The design of the MBCPL program incorporates three streams, delivered as an integrated whole. The streams are

  • Coursework (MBCPL curriculum) including a workplace projects and an international study tour
  • Personal development, including one-on-one peer learning and mentoring
  • Expanding horizons, which aims to broaden the participant’s frames of reference through experiential activities, including role-play and critical reflection. Participants explore leadership, wisdom and courage in very challenging themed sessions using drama and role-play to develop emotional responses to organizational issues, demonstrate behaviours that allow them to expand their repertoire and practise new behaviours.


Pie chart: Telfer MBCPL Award Course - Expanding Horizons - Personal Development and Coaching

© 2020 Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa
Policies  |  Emergency Info

alert icon