Is there a way I can get a numeric quantifier for the complexity of a project? Such as something similar to a risk assessment matrix.

  • why there is need to "measure" complexity of whole project? can you explain the background Aug 14, 2017 at 15:29

2 Answers 2


That is quite a tricky question, usually metrics of other related past project can help you to build a complexity assessment.And the technical & business specificities makes it hard to find online a template.

If you are just fresh starting and have no past metrics:

I recommend to take a look to this http://searchcio.techtarget.com/magazineContent/Project-Expert-Taking-the-Measure-of-Project-Complexity introducing the technical and business parameters in order to build up this assessment.

And the other link answering to the question How the project complexity is defined ? with some slight "numeric quantifiers" in example : https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/project-complexity-determine-rigor-9874

Hope it helps !


There are many factors that must be considered to conclude if project is complex.

  1. Size/duration of project : Any project (Software/construction/infra.) which is going beyond 18 months for its completion is good hint to indicate complex nature
  2. Technology maturity : If project is using a niche technology with low maturity of the technology itself, then there will be lot of "learning curve" involved for project people.
  3. Cross functional diverse team : for sure project communication will be super complex if there 5 or more cross functional teams are involved. All of them needs to be in "sync" for project to succeed.
  4. Risks : in case if project technology is relatively less matured, the "unknown" risks will be far more. Also, there will be risk of people attrition if they are not comfortable with project technology

These are of course few points and there can be few more that can be added based on "your" project structure. Then you can give them some score.

For example : if Project duration is less than 3-months, complexity is simple, 3-12 months, complexity is medium, 12-month or more - complex. Likewise you keep "ranking" each factor (such as risk, technology) to draw appropriate conclusion.

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