In the realm of consultants and projects, one of the more interesting mistakes that people can make is assuming complexity equals length, and length equals complexity.
It’s like an archetypal Venn diagram:
The problem with assuming project length and complexity have a perfect 1:1 relationship is that you start inventing problems, such as:
- Adding unnecessary complexity to a lengthy project (making a long, simple project complex);
- Trying to reduce length when there’s insufficient complexity (making a long, simple project shorter because it’s ‘not hard’);
- Reducing the perceived complexity of a project because it looks ‘too long’ (under-budgeting a short, complex project).
Many of the projects we deal with are already both long and complex, but that doesn’t mean they all have to be. A long simple project, and a complex short project are both things to be enjoyed, not to be railed against.