Members of a group, team or organization have different views on the goals of the project and how to achieve them. The governance, management style and approach to project management depend on the degree of convergence. Some projects are very sure of the possible goals and how they can be achieved, but there is less consensus on the most important goals. This can be illustrated by a project manager who is struggling to develop a business case that is acceptable to multiple stakeholders who have different views on value. Where there is little consensus and little certainty, anarchy can reign. Individuals and organizations sometimes resort to prevention, but such situations cannot always be avoided. Strategies are needed to deal with these situations if they occur. Projects that are far from safe must provide something new and innovative (or at least new for the host organization leading the project). Often, cause-effect relationships are unclear. The experience of the past is useless if you are trying to plan.
In this area of the matrix, one can collect data from the past that can be used to predict the future. Construction and engineering projects usually have a plethora of technical data that allows them to be well given and planned before the start of delivery work. The work is controlled by monitoring using detailed plans. Projects are close to certainty when cause-and-effect relationships are known and similar projects have been carried out in the past. It is then usually possible to extrapolate from previous experiences in order to predict the outcome of a new project. Techniques such as parametric and analog estimation depend on this information. The Stacey matrix has a lot in common with other complexity-based models. For example, a project in zone 1 is probably the same as a type A project in the WHOW model. Similarly, zone 2 projects of this model are similar to those of type B, etc. This area covers an area where the combination of low compliance or low security makes the project a complex management issue. This is the field that often triggers poor decision-making practices when what it really needs is a high level of creativity, innovation, and freedom in the face of previous restrictions to create new solutions.
The art of management and leadership is to have a number of approaches and know when to use which approach. Ralph Stacey proposed a matrix to support this art, identifying management choices in two dimensions: the degree of security and the degree of convergence. Projects may have a high degree of agreement on the desired objectives, but not much certainty about the cause-effect links that lead to the desired objectives….