Definitions, characteristics and measures of IT Project Complexity: a systematic literature review

Stefan Morcov, Liliane Pintalon, R.J. Kusters

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Web of Science)


As the world of Information Technology (IT) engineering becomes more complex every day, the formal study of project complexity becomes more and more important for managing projects effectively, to avoid poor performance and failure. Complexity is not yet clearly understood nor sufficiently defined and the terminology itself is being overloaded and over-used. This paper is a systematic literature review that attempts to identify and classify proposed definitions and measures of IT project complexity. The results include a map of the identified approaches and definitions, a list of classifications of project complexity, a set of proposed measurement tools and complexity measures available to practitioners. The paper contributes to establishing a common language when discussing complexity, as well as to a better understanding of project complexity andits implications to practical IT engineering projects.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)5-21
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Information Systems and Project Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • project management
  • structural complexity
  • uncertainty
  • complex projects
  • information technology
  • RISK


Dive into the research topics of 'Definitions, characteristics and measures of IT Project Complexity: a systematic literature review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this