Complexity Management

  • Glenn Parry
  • Valerie Purchase
  • John Mills
Part of the Decision Engineering book series (DECENGIN)


This chapter explores the nature of complexity that arises in high value contracts between large organisations. To develop a framework, a detailed case study was undertaken to identify the factors that create complexity. The case studied was the availability contract to provide depth maintenance and upgrade on Tornado aircraft between BAE Systems and the MOD. The contract, named ATTAC, is worth ~£1.3bn and the MOD engaged with BAE Systems precisely to enable them to more cost effectively manage the complex enterprise of over 22 organisations or business units that deliver this service. The work explores the operation from a range of perspectives, interviewing managers from across the organisations involved. The factors contributing to complexity are described in context and a framework is presented which clusters them into six key areas. It is proposed that this framework may then be used as a tool for analysis and management of complexity.


Service Operation Emergent Behaviour Core Category Service Enterprise Contract Complexity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to acknowledge and thank their sponsors within BAE Systems, Louise Wallwork and Jenny Cridland, and especially John Barrie for his support and direction. We would also like to thank the ATTAC team from both BAE Systems and RAF/MOD for their full engagement with our work. This research was supported by BAE Systems and the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council via the S4T project.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited  2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bristol Business School, Frenchay CampusUniversity of the West of EnglandBristolUK

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