Article | International Journal of Project Management | Forthcoming

Project Complexity and Systems Integration: Constructing the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Games

by Andrew Davies and Ian Mackenzie

Abstract

Our study of the London Olympics 2012 construction programme showed that systems integration is one of the major challenges involved in delivery of a complex "system of systems"—or array—project. Organizations cope with complexity by decomposing a project into different levels of systems integration with clearly defined interfaces and buffers between levels and individual component subsystems. At the "meta systems integration" level, an organization has to be established with the capabilities to understand the total system of systems, manage external interfaces with the multiple stakeholders, and coordinate the integration of its component parts. At the "systems integration" level, efforts are made to manage each individual system as a loosely coupled, relatively self-contained subsystem with defined interfaces to coordinate interdependencies with other parts of the overall array. Establishing processes to maintain stability whilst responding dynamically to uncertain and changing conditions is one of the most challenging aspects of systems integration.

Keywords: Integration; Construction; Complexity; Sports; Projects; Construction Industry; Sports Industry; London;

Citation:

Davies, Andrew, and Ian Mackenzie. "Project Complexity and Systems Integration: Constructing the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Games." International Journal of Project Management (forthcoming).