PROJMGNT 7047NA - Systems Fundamentals

Ngee Ann Academy - Trimester 2 - 2016

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 7047NA
    Course Systems Fundamentals
    Coordinating Unit Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation & Innov Centre
    Term Trimester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s Ngee Ann Academy
    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

    Teaching Staff
    Name: Associate Professor Indra Gunawan

    Short Bio:
    Indra Gunawan is an Associate Professor in the Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre at the University of Adelaide.  He received his PhD in Industrial Engineering and MSc in Construction Management from Northeastern University, USA.  Prior to joining the University of Adelaide, he was a program coordinator for Maintenance and Reliability Engineering at Monash University.  Previously he has also taught in the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand and worked as the Head of Systems Engineering and Management program at Malaysia University of Science and Technology (in collaboration with the MIT, USA). 

    His current research interests include system reliability modelling, maintenance optimisation, project management, applications of operations research, and operations management.  He is actively involved in the Asset Management Council, a technical society of Engineers
    Australia.

    Email: indra.gunawan@adelaide.edu.au
    Course Timetable

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

    Singapore timetable

    Opening intensive:

    Friday 27 May 2016 7pm-10pm
    Saturday 28 May 2016 1pm-8pm
    Sunday 29 May 2016 9am-4pm


    Closing intensive:

    Friday 1 July 2016 7pm-10pm
    Saturday 2 July 2016 1pm-8pm
    Sunday 3 July 2016 9am-4pm
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    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 Recognise the benefits of ‘Dancing with Systems’ rather than top-down management
    6 Apply these advanced and uncommon skills to address societal problems
    7 Investigate international best practice
    8 Demonstrate continued learning and personaldevelopment through continued investigation of development in the discipline.
    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)
    1-8
    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
    1-6, 8
    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
    3, 6-8
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1,2,3,6,8
    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
    2,3,5,6,7,8
    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
    2,7,8
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    No Textbook required
    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. The University Library web page is: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/ 
    From this link, you are able to access the Library's electronic resources.

    Other resources
    If you are a member of the PMI (http://www.pmi.org/Membership.aspx) 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 is USD$40 to join and USD$30 to renew.

    * Log in to access complimentary read-only PDFs of all of PMI's published standards or take advantage of discounts on paperback editions
    http://www.pmi.org/PMBOK-Guide-and-Standards/Standards-Library-of-PMI-Global-Standards.aspx
    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 (see: https://myuni.adelaide.edu.au)
  • 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 session dates are a guide only. The timetable may be changed during the course delivery if necessary.

    Intensive
    day
    Content Readings/Activities
    1 What is a System.
    Reductionism
    General systems theory
    What is a complex system
    - complicated vs complex
    Requisite variety

    Examples of complex systems

    Kurtz, C. F., & Snowden, D. J. (2003). The new dynamics of strategy: Sense-making in a complex and complicated world. IBM Systems Journal, 42(3), 462-483.

    Norman, D. & Kuras, M. (2006)  Engineering Complex Systems in Complex Systems (C10) (2006), in Complex Engineered Systems, edited by Dan Braha, Ali Minai and Yaneer Bar-Yam, Springer;


    2 Complexity
    looking at systems of systems thinking,
    implications of autonomy and independence - 
    Emergence and Self-organization
    rules and influence on the system

    Andriani, P. (2011), Complexity and Innovation, in Allen, P, Maguire, S. & McKelvey, B., [Eds], (2011), SAGE Handbook of Complexity and Management, Los Angeles, 454-470;

    Andriani, P., & B. McKelvey. (2010). Using Scale-free Theory from Complexity Science to Better Management Risk. Risk Management, An International Journal, 12(1): 54-82.

    Andriani, P. & Mckelvey, B., (2011a), Using scale free processes to explain punctuated change in management-relevant phenomena, International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management, Vol 1, No 3, 211-249;

    Andriani, P. & Mckelvey, B., (2011b), From Skew Distributions to Power Law Science, in Allen, P, Maguire, S. & McKelvey, B., [Eds], (2011), SAGE Handbook of Complexity and Management, Los Angeles, 254-273;
    3

    Emergence, Chaos and Chaords
    Ashby’s requisite variety
    self organisation
    the nature of chaos
    chaordic systems
    holons
    stability levels

    van Eijnatten, F. M. (2004a). Chaordic Systems Thinking: Some Suggestions for a Complexity Framework to Inform a Learning Organization. The Learning Organization, 11(6), 430-449.

    van Eijnatten, F. M. (2008). A Toolkit for Phase Transitions. Proceedings of European Chaos and Complexity in Organisations Network (ECCON) Annual Meeting, 17-19 October. Bergen-Ann-Zee.

    Zhu, Z. (2007). Complexity Science, Systems Thinking and Pragmatic Sensibility. Systems Research and Behavioural Science, 24(4), 445-464.


    4 Fractals and Phases
    fractals and scale free behaviour
    Phase space, path history and attractor cages
    fitness landscapes


    Phase space
    Attractor cages
    Sense making
    Systems dynamics
    Leverage points
    Tools for complex systems
    Bak, P. & Chen, K., (1991), Self-Organised Criticality, Scientific American. January;

    Helbing, D. (2013), Globally networked risks and how to respond, Nature, vol. 497, no. 7447;

    Meadows, D., (2008), Dancing with Systems, Donella Meadows Institute, http://www.donellameadows.org/archives/dancing-with-systems/

    Bosch, O., C.N. Nam, T. Maeno, & T. Yasui, Managing Complex Issues through Evolutionary Learning Laboratories, Systems Research and Behavioural Science, 2013.




    5-6 Complex Systems Variables
    adaptive tension and virtual stability
    Panarchy
    cycles of change
    dissipative structures and stability
    system changes and cycles
    Tiny initiating events
    Kira, M., & van Eijnatten, F. M. (2008). Socially sustainable work organizations: A chaordic systems approach. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 25(6), 743-756.

    Holling, C., & Gunderson, L. H. (2002). Resilience and Adaptive Cycles. In C. Holling, & L. H. Gunderson (Eds.), Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems (1st Edition ed.). Washington: Island Press.
  • 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

    An overview of the course assessment appears in the following Table. Details appear in the following section:

    #AssessmentLengthWeightingDue DateLearning Outcomes
    1 Individual short report 1,500 words max 15% See MyUni 1-4
    2 Individual short report 1,500 words max 15% See MyUni 4, 5
    3 Group project plan 1 person 5,000 words min
    2 people 7,000 words min
    3 people 10,000 words min
    30% See MyUni 1-8
    4 Individual report 2,000 words max 30% See MyUni 1-8
    5 Class presentation 5-10 Slides 10% See MyUni 1-8
    Total 100%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Attendance.
    Students should attend all classes in order to pass the course. There is considerable experiential learning in workshops during the intensive classes that build your knowledge and thus enable you to be successful in this course, and due to the interactive nature of the learning and the requirement for ongoing group work attendance at lectures is an essential pre-requisite for learning from the course. The final group grade for each student will be calculated as (Final grade x N/9) where N = the number of sessions attended.

    Course results are subject to moderation by the ECIC Board of Examiners

    Appropriate use of the Internet in assignments

    The purpose of this document is to assist students with appropriate use of the material they have accessed on the Internet in assignments. The Internet is a wonderful source of information and sometimes students are not aware of how to use it properly. For example, a recent case had over 70% of words copied from over 20 other sources. Furthermore, many students think this is the appropriate use of the Internet.

    IT IS NOT.

    However pertinent to the course, it is your role to integrate the points made in any paper you access on the Internet and the thoughts they assist you to form, into yourargument rather than just copying large passages. Of course this takes more work but this is what tertiary education requires and, in the end, it makes students into better thinkers and more able to express their ideas in their assignments.Due to an increasing number of students infringing the University’s Academic Dishonesty Requirements within the Master of Applied Project Management, a more rigorous method of checking assignments is used.

    There is a hierarchy of penalties, the lowest of which is the loss of some assignment marks and the student’s name being placed on the Faculty’s Academic Dishonesty Register for six months. This only occurs if I believe this occurred through error. The second level penalty is more significant which is loss of all marks for the assignment and being placed on the University’s Academic Dishonesty Register for the remainder of their time at the University. Even higher penalties can involve the University deciding the student should not graduate. This has occurred in the Master of Project Management.

    Appropriate use of the Internet is to include all directly copying of sections of other reports in ‘inverted comas’, as a quotation, and note the source of the quote. To include a group of words without use of inverted commas and without noting where the words came from is an example of academic dishonesty.

    Students may not be aware that the University has use of an international database called Turnitin in which all direct use of other material can be traced.
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1: Individual Assignment 1a
    Weighting: 15%
    Submission Details: Online through MyUni

    Task:

    Analyse one of the following examples and report:
    1. Why the problem situation is complex;
    2. What are the major challenges that will need to be overcome to achieve a successful outcome?
    3. What methodologies, tools and techniques might you use from the set provided in this course to assist in the management of this system?

    Examples to choose from:
    a. An example of a complex system of your own choosing (discuss with the lecturer)
    b. A dispute between two warring nations
    c. Managing climate change in a major group of countries
    d. Security at a G20 meeting
    e. Dealing with traffic congestion in a major city
    f.  Pre-potential disaster preparation by communities
    g. Addressing corruption in trade

    Length and Presentation:
    1500 words max in report format.

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:

    The standards by which the assignment will be assessed include understanding of principles and referencing these.

    Given the word limit on these questions, assessment will reward content included. There will be penalties for exceeding the word limit. Quotations do not count in the words counted.

    The objective of these questions is for the participant to consider the theoretical material supplied and attempt to apply it to a real project example. Therefore evidence of having read and understood the material is important.

    Marks will be given for the comprehensiveness of the content, evidence of additional reading, referencing these readings in the answer, and application.

    In answering these questions try and state principles as well as detail. please do not just reproduce material by cutting and pasting diagrams - it will not be taken as rigorous work



    Assessment 2: Individual Assignment 1b
    Weighting: 15%
    Submission Details: Online through MyUni

    Task:
    a. Why do we study complexity when a reductionist approach offers a simpler alternative?
    b. What are the consequences if we do not recognize complexity? Provide two examples to illustrate your points.
    c. Comment on the use of systems techniques to address the following problems:
        i.  Reduction of corruption;
        ii. Acquiring a large tract of land for a new facility

    In addressing the question:
    · Describe the problem context
    · Analyse and comment on why the issues is complex
    · Discuss your recommended choice of methods to understand the issue better
    · Choose tools to manage the issue  and how you would operate these
    · Describe how the project manager exercises governance

    Length and Presentation:
    1500 words max in report format.

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:

    The standards by which the assignment will be assessed include understanding of principles and referencing these.

    Given the word limit on these questions, assessment will reward content included. There will be penalties for exceeding the word limit. Quotations do not count in the words counted.

    The objective of these questions is for the participant to consider the theoretical material supplied and attempt to apply it to a real project example. Therefore evidence of having read and understood the material is important.

    Marks will be given for the comprehensiveness of the content, evidence of additional reading, referencing these readings in the answer, and application.

    In answering these questions try and state principles as well as detail. Just reproducing material is not enough!



    Assessment 3: Group project plan
    Weighting: 30%
    Submission Details: Online through MyUni
    An electronic copy of this report is required. Just send one copy for the group but ensure all names are clear.
    Preferably any documents created under Excel or Microsoft Project should be included in the Word version of the electronic copy.

    Task:
    Form groups and select a complex system problem. (Note: Make sure it conforms to the definition of ‘complex system’ given in this course.)

    Describe the system or problem in detail covering political, economic, social, cultural, technological, legal and environmental aspects. Outline the context of the problem including its interactions with external systems and the major characteristics that will impact your choice of methodologies, methods, tools, techniques and processes.

    Develop an approach to managing this system or problem using concepts and methodologies taught in this course and other relevant
    approaches. Prepare the outline of a project plan that describes how you propose to implement improvements to the system of interest in order to achieve your desired outcomes.

    Scope:
    This assignment will assess your understanding of relevant systems and their interactions.

    Length and Presentation:
    Minimum length:
    1 person – 5,000 words
    2 people – 7,000 words
    3 people – 10,000 words.

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:
    This assignment will be assessed upon how well you are able to present a project plan that meets the requirement defined in the Task (above).

    A clear statement is required on the material you generated for the sake of this assignment and the work generated, by you or others, for the project.



    Assessment 4: Individual
    Weighting: 30%
    Submission Details: Online through MyUni
    An electronic copy of this report is required. Preferably any documents created under Excel or Microsoft Project should be included in the Word version of the electronic copy.

    Task:
    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.

    It is useful to illustrate your learning with examples. You can use one example problem context for all four (or more) or a
    different one for each concept.

    Length and Presentation:
    2,000 Words Maximum
    Please ensure you add page numbers to your assignment and it is advisable to add your name and student number in the footer or header. I am comfortable with you including material developed by others (eg schedule), provided you make clear what you developed and what was developed by others.

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:
    This assignment will be assessed upon how well you are able to identify and articulate the concepts.

    A clear statement is required on the material you generated for the sake of this assignment and the work generated, by you or others, for the project.



    Assessment 5: PowerPoint Presentation
    Weighting: 10%
    Due Date: Presentation in class
    Submission Details:   Online through MyUni. An electronic copy only of this presentation is required.

    Task:
    You are to select any topic from Systems Fundamentals and present a PowerPoint session of 5-10 slides

    Scope:
    This assignment will assess your understanding of your choice of one of the course topics.

    Length and Presentation:
    5-10 PowerPoint slides, presentation 5 minutes

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:
    In preparing these presentation slides please consider the following:
    • The material must be suitable for presentation to a workplace level team meeting in the early stages of initiating and planning an intervention (or a project).
    • Focus on what is important, not on basic definitions or background information.
    • Do not attempt to provide too much detail – the role of these slides is to support a hypothetical, short (5 minute) presentation.
    • It is recommended that the presentation should only make two (2) or three (3) major points.
    • You must only use your own words in this presentation. Direct quotes from other sources are not acceptable in this case.
    • Any diagrams, graphics or figures must be your own work. You are not to “cut and paste” any material from any other sources.
    Submission
    All text based assignments must be submitted via MyUni.
    Please refer to step by step instructions: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni/tutorials/files/AssignmentStudentSubmission.pdf

    There are a few points to note about the submission of assignments:
    • Assignment Submission:  Assignments should not be emailed to the instructor; they must be lodged via the MyUni Course site (unless specified to do both). Note that assignments may be processed via TURNITIN, which is an online plagiarism prevention tool.
    • Cover Sheet:  Please submit, separate to your assignment, the completed University of Adelaide Assessment Cover Sheet 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.
    • Extensions of Time:  Any request for an extension of time for the submission of an assignment should be made well 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 extenuating circumstances and proof, such as a doctor’s certificate, may be required.
    • 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 & Remarking

    Resubmission of an assignment for remarking 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.
    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.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.