Projects are undertaken in all science, engineering, and technology fields to achieve strategic and tactical goals. It is evident from the literature that projects are becoming more complex day by day, making project complexity a domain for current research. The objective of this
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Projects are undertaken in all science, engineering, and technology fields to achieve strategic and tactical goals. It is evident from the literature that projects are becoming more complex day by day, making project complexity a domain for current research. The objective of this study is to evaluate project complexity using a systematic, comprehensive, and widely accepted definition that can capture the multidimensional nature of project complexity and its impact on project success. Therefore, an integrative systemic framework has been selected to define project complexity considering seven key dimensions: context, size, diversity, autonomy, connectivity, emergence, and belonging. The study employed structural equation modeling to analyze project complexity, its dimensions and their relationship with project success for complex engineering projects. After an extensive literature review, a validated questionnaire was developed and used to obtain responses from different countries (Pakistan, China, UAE, UK, USA, and others) in the engineering fields of aerospace, design, manufacturing, oil and gas, IT, and construction. The work shows that project complexity has a negative impact on project success for complex engineering projects. Further, analyses examined the relationship between project success and the seven dimensions of project complexity. The significance of this study lies in its evaluation of project complexity using a systematic and comprehensive definition which is different from previous studies and brings more clarity and understanding of the underlying mechanisms and causal relationships between project complexity, project success and their related factors. The findings suggest that careful consideration of these dimensions and their factors can help project managers better understand and navigate project complexity and ultimately improve project success rates.