PROJMGNT 7047 - Systems Design for Projects

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021

The content of the course focuses on exploration of complex systems and the key aspects of these and the benefits for managing complex projects appropriately. There is recognition of reductionist thinking and its benefits and disadvantages; General Systems theory is discussed; Checkland's soft system methodology and Senge's system dynamics provide a context and specific skills. Major topics addressed include Network of essentially parallel systems; Emergence; Self-organisation; Inhabiting the complexity space between order and chaos; Power laws and Paretian behaviour; Scale free and fractal behaviour; Self-organised criticality; Tiny initiating events; Prigogine's dissipating structures theory; Kauffman's fitness landscape; the Environment driving system scope and structure; Dynamism; Attractor cages & Phase space; Path history; Systemic and cascading risk and black swan events; Sense making and common meaning; Identifying leverage points; Systems intelligence.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PROJMGNT 7047
    Course Systems Design for Projects
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive: 36 to 40 hours
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Course Description The content of the course focuses on exploration of complex systems and the key aspects of these and the benefits for managing complex projects appropriately. There is recognition of reductionist thinking and its benefits and disadvantages; General Systems theory is discussed; Checkland's soft system methodology and Senge's system dynamics provide a context and specific skills. Major topics addressed include Network of essentially parallel systems; Emergence; Self-organisation; Inhabiting the complexity space between order and chaos; Power laws and Paretian behaviour; Scale free and fractal behaviour; Self-organised criticality; Tiny initiating events; Prigogine's dissipating structures theory; Kauffman's fitness landscape; the Environment driving system scope and structure; Dynamism; Attractor cages & Phase space; Path history; Systemic and cascading risk and black swan events; Sense making and common meaning; Identifying leverage points; Systems intelligence.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Indra Gunawan

    Program Director Contact Details:Project Management
    Name: Associate Professor Indra Gunawan
    email: indra.gunawan@adelaide.edu.au
    Teaching staff
    Semester 1
    Name:
    Prof Stephen Cook
    email: stephen.cook@adelaide.edu.au
    Researcher Profile: https://researchers.adelaide.edu.au/index.php/profile/stephen.cook

    Trimester 2

    Name: Dr Nam Nguyen
    Email: nam.nguyen@adelaide.edu.au
    Directory: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/directory/nam.nguyen

    Trimester 3
    Name: Diana Shah
    Email: diana.shah@adelaide.edu.au

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1 Identify what a complex system is and how they differ from simple and complicated systems;
    2 Use key aspects of complex systems and the benefits of particular approaches in managing complexity;
    3 Recognise whether a proposed system or project should be primarily in a controlled space or in the innovation space on the edge of chaos in order to gain the benefits;
    4 Recognise the benefits of system dynamics and its use in identifying leverage points in systems;
    5 Apply these advanced and uncommon skills to address societal problems;
    6 Investigate international best practice.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1-3
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1-5
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1-6
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1-6
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1-6
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1-6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    The University’s preferred textbook supplier is Unibooks:http://www.unibooks.com.au/

    Text book:
    There is no text book required for this course.
    Recommended Resources
    Course Notes, Readings and PowerPoint Slides
    These are all available electronically for enrolled students by download from MyUni.

    Library Resources
    The University of Adelaide’s Barr Smith Library provides a range of learning resources including texts, journals, periodicals, magazines, and access to online databases and information services. It also offers a virtual library which is accessible via the University’s website. Access to the Library's electronic resources.

    Other resources: Project Management Institute
    If you are a member of the PMI you will “gain exclusive access to PMI publications and our global standards*, networking options with our chapters and online communities of practice, and leadership and volunteer opportunities. You’ll also receive discounts on certification exams and renewals, as well as our professional development offerings.” Student membership details

    * Log in to access complimentary read-only PDFs of all of PMI's published standards or take advantage of discounts on paperback editions.

    Online Learning
    MyUni is the University of Adelaide's online learning environment. It is used to support traditional face-to-face lectures, tutorials and workshops at the University. MyUni provides access to various features including announcements, course materials, discussion boards and assessments for each online course of study.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is offered in blended learning mode with the face-to-face component offered as intensives.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    As a guide, a 3 unit course comprises a total of 156 hours work (this includes face-to-face contact, any online components, and self directed study).
    Learning Activities Summary

    This is a draft schedule and is a guide only. The timetable may be changed during the course delivery if necessary.

    Session
    Content
    Welcome and Introduction: Getting to know each other. Course expectations.
    1 Why learn about systems and complexity?
    The rapid, inexorable increase in system complexity; complexity science and systems practices; some example of complex projects. SE as an approach to tackle complexity.
    2 The rise of systems approaches: Historical journey through the prevailing worldviews over the last 3000 years and how these reflected and informed the rise of the systems movement and systems approaches to problem solving.
    3 Introduction to complex systems: Reductionism, General Systems Theory, identifying complex systems. Examples of complex systems.
    4 Implications of Complex Systems: Nature of SoS; implications of SoS; requisite variety; examples of complex systems
    5 Classifying system challenges
    6 A framework for complex systems ideas
    7 Complex systems propositions 1: Emergence, self-organisation, edge of chaos, chaordic systems, double-loop learning
    8 Complex systems propositions 2: Fractals, scale-free behaviour, power laws
    9 Recap on first Intensive block
    10 Introduction to methodologies
    11 Contemporary system engineering
    12 Panarchy & cycles of change
    13 Soft system methodology
    14 Systemic risk
    Tiny initiating events
    Systemic and cascading risks
    15 Norman’s Complex System Engineering
    Assessment 5 – Individual Presentations
    16 Phase space: Phase space, path history and attractor cages
    17 Evolutionary Learning Labs
    Systems dynamics
    Leverage points
    Tools for complex systems
    18 Complexity Leadership
    19 Course Wrap-up
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    #Assessment TaskTask TypeLengthWeightingLearning Outcomes
    1 Short report #1 Individual 1,500 words max 15% 1-3
    2 Short report #2 Individual 1,500 words max 15% 1-3
    3 Project plan Group 1 person 5,000 words min
    2 people 7,000 words min
    3 people 10,000 words min
    30% 1-6
    4 Report Individual 3,000 words max 30% 5
    5 Class presentation Individual 5-10 Slides; 3 min presentation 10% 1-6
    Total 100%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students should attend all classes in order to pass the course. There is considerable experiential learning during classes that build your knowledge and thus enable you to be successful in this course.

    Course results may be subject to moderation by the Assessment Review Committee.

    Appropriate use of the sources in assignments
    Avoiding plagiarism is not just referencing sources used within an assignment. It is taking the source information and critically evaluating it against other sources, your own views and original research on the matter, and how that fits the hypothesis of your assignment topic. It is plagiarism when there is little or no original content in the assignment, regardless of citing sources.

    For more information, review the resources at the University’s Writing Centre to assist in appropriate referencing and avoiding plagiarism.

    Or complete the Academic Integrity module found within any MyUni course, under the Assignment Help tab. It is important you do not breach the University’s Academic Integrity Policy as penalties will be applied to your grade.

    Plagiarism detection software Turnitin is used to check assignments. Make sure you familiarise yourself in how to review reports. Turnitin Quick Start Guides
    Assessment Detail
    Short report #1
    Students are required to research and argument why we study “complexity” when, potentially, a reductionist approach offers a simpler alternative. In this assignment examples illustrating the implications / consequences when we do not recognize complexity is required. Specifics criteria will be available in MyUni.

    Short report #2
    Students are required to select one of the various problem examples provided in MyUni. An analysis of the complexities of the problem situation as well as the major challenges that will need to be overcome to achieve a successful outcome is required. Students should describe the methodologies, tools and techniques used in in the management of this system.

    Project plan
    Students are required to form groups and select a complex system problem. The outcome of this assessment is a project plan describing the system or problem in detail covering political, economic, social, cultural, technological, legal and environmental aspects. Specifics criteria to the plan will be available in MyUni.

    Report
    Reflect on what you have learned from this course by identifying four topic areas and discussing how your newly-acquired knowledge of these areas will help you in dealing with complex system problems.

    Presentation
    Select any topic from this course and present a PowerPoint session.
    Submission

    All text based assignments must be submitted via MyUni:

    • Assignment Submission: Assignments should not be emailed to the instructor; they must be lodged via the MyUni Course site (unless specified to do both).
    • Cover Sheet: Please include in the assignment a completed University of Adelaide Assessment Cover Sheet (found in MyUni, under Modules) providing details of yourself and your team members (if applicable), your assignment, the course, date submitted, etc. as well as the declaration signed by you that this is your (your team’s) work. Note that the declaration on any electronically submitted assignment will be deemed to have the same authority as a signed declaration.
    • Backup Copy of Assignments: You are advised to keep a copy of your assignments in case the submitted copy goes missing. Please ensure that all assignment pages are numbered. If your assignment contains confidential information, you should discuss any concerns with the Course Lecturer prior to submission.
    • Assessment extensions request: An application for Assessment Extension should be made before the due date of the assignment to the Course Lecturer. Normally, extensions will only be granted for a maximum of two weeks from the original assignment submission date. Extensions will only be granted in cases of genuine medical, compassionate or extenuating circumstances. See sections 3 and 7a) i. in particular on assessment extensions in the Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment (MACA) Policy.
    • Failure to submit: Failure to submit an assignment on time or by the agreed extension deadline may result in penalties and may incur a fail grade. Note that a late penalty of 5% of the total available marks for that assessment item will be incurred each day an assignment is handed in late (Unless otherwise stated in 'Assessment Related Requirements' or 'Assessment Detail' above). Assignments handed in after 14 days from the due submission date will fail even if a 100% mark is granted for the work.
    • Resubmission: of an assignment after reworking it to obtain a better mark will not normally be accepted. Approval for resubmission will only be granted on medical or compassionate grounds.
    • Appealing a mark or grade: If you are dissatisfied with your mark or grade, you may request a review or re-mark. There must be academic or procedural reasons for your request, so you can’t simply request a re-mark because you are disappointed with your result. For more information on the process see Assessment Grievance: Appealing a mark or grade
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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