PROJMGNT 7047OL - Systems Fundamentals

Online - Quadmester 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 7047OL
    Course Systems Fundamentals
    Coordinating Unit Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation & Innov Centre
    Term Quadmester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s Online
    Units 3
    Contact Approximately 4 hours per week over 10 weeks (interaction & preparation)
    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

    Project Management
    Name: Associate Professor Indra Gunawan
    Email: indra.gunawan@adelaide.edu.au


    Teaching Staff:

    Term 2 Online
    Name:
    Professor Vernon Ireland
    BE, BA, MEngSc, PhD, FIEAust, EngExec

    Short Bio:
    From 1991-1996 Vernon was Corporate Development Director of Fletcher Challenge Construction, responsible for people and
    business systems improvement in the USA, NZ, Australia, the Pacific and Asian businesses. He then became CEO of the Australian Graduate School of Engineering Innovation, an advanced engineering centre.

     Prior to this he was Dean of the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney. He was also Chair of the Building Services Corporation of NSW from 1987 to 1990 reporting to both Labor and Coalition Ministers. While an academic he completed his PhD in project management. After graduation he practised as a structural engineer for seven years.

    Vernon initiated and completed the proposal to Congress and Council of Engineers Australia to establish CELM and was Deputy
    Chair of the National Board for five years.

    He was also President of the Sydney Division of Engineers Australia in 2004.

    Vernon Ireland is currently Director of Project Management and Industry Programs for the Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation
    and Innovation Centre of The University of Adelaide. He is based in Sydney.

    Vernon has received three medals:
    ·        The Silver Magnolia Medal awarded by the Shanghai Government for contributions to Chinese overseas relations;
    ·        The Rotary International Gold Medal for contribution to vocational Education;
    ·        Engineers Australia’s Medal for contribution to engineering.

    Vernon has conducted four sets of international benchmarking studies, comparing Australia’s project management performance with that of the USA, the UK, Canada, Germany, Sweden and New Zealand for two Royal Commissions.

    He has recently edited a volume of the Australian Journal of Civil Engineering on the business, leadership and management of
    civil engineering.

    He has been named by the Shanghai Government as one of the world 100 experts on Infrastructure.

    Email: vernon.ireland@adelaide.edu.au

    Phone: +61 411 153 861

    Term 4 Online
    Name: Associate Professor Indra Gunawan

    Associate Professor Indra Gunawan 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

    Phone:
    +61 (8) 8313 3255
    Course Timetable

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

    Monday 11th April to Sunday 19th June 2016

  • 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
    Additional Support References are:
    Week 1 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;

    Week 2
    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.

    Week 4 Andriani, P. & Mckelvey, B., (2011a),Using scale free processes to explain punctuated change in management-relevantphenomena, 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, LosAngeles, 254-273;
    Week 5 van Eijnatten, F. M.(2004a). Chaordic SystemsThinking: SomeSuggestions fora Complexity Framework to Informa Learning Organization. The Learning Organization, 11(6), 430-449. van Eijnatten, F. M. (2008). A Toolkit for Phase Transitions. Proceedings of EuropeanChaos and Complexity in Organisations Network (ECCON) Annual Meeting, 17-19 October. Bergen-Ann-Zee. Zhu, Z.(2007). ComplexityScience, Systems Thinkingand Pragmatic Sensibility. SystemsResearch andBehavioural Science,24(4), 445-464.
    Week 6 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;
    Week 8 Bosch, O., C.N. Nam, T. Maeno, & T.Yasui, Managing Complex Issues through Evolutionary Learning Laboratories,Systems Research and Behavioural Science, 2013.
    Week 9 Meadows, D., (2008), Dancing with Systems,Donella Meadows Institute,http://www.donellameadows.org/archives/dancing-with-systems/
     

    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.  


    Online Learning

    LEARN is the University of Adelaide’s platform for dedicated online delivery. LEARN is a customised version of Moodle, and houses all course requirements including the course profile, announcements, additional course materials (beyond the prescribed text), assessment items, discussion forums, grading, feedback, links to various university and course resources, an internal website email system, a technical assistance facility, etc. LEARN is only accessible once the URL and a password have been provided to the student on enrolment. Students are given access to the course prior to the start date to familiarise themselves with the operational aspects and functionality of the website.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is offered in online mode.
    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.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Content Readings Activities
    1
    • 1 What is a complex system Reductionism General systems theory a.     Why are systems complex and why does this make them more difficult to manage than hierarchic systems? b.    Nominate a number of forms of complexity and describe what is complex and why? c.     Does inclusion of a significant influence by people in a project make it complex?
    See course notes 4.2 Answer Discussions questions Week 1


    a.     Why
    are systems complex and why does this make them more difficult to manage than
    hierarchic systems?

    b.    Nominate
    a number of forms of complexity and describe what is complex and why?

    Does
    inclusion of a significant influence by people in a project make it complex?
    2


    • Requisite
      variety

      Examples
      of complex systems

      ·        
      The Air Operations Centre

      ·        
      Supply chains

      ·        
      Federated Governments

      ·        
      United Nations

      Families
    Notes 4.2 and 4.3 Answer discussion qiuestions W2


    a.     Discuss
    how examples of complex systems operate, including software driven examples
    such as the Air Operations Centre, an enterprise, a coalition government and a
    federation such as Australia or the USA, and a long terms close relationship
    between two people

    b.    What
    are the differences between a relationship developed through a legal basis and
    a relationship based on agreement between people, such as in a family or a
    friendship?

    Discuss
    autonomy and belonging in a close personal relationship.
    3


    • Ashby’s requisite variety

      Emergence

      Complicated and complex systems

      Self-organization

      Edge of chaos

      Chaordic
      systems
    Discussion questions week 3

    a.     What
    is requisite variety? What are its advantages and disadvantages?

    b.    Why
    is there more innovation possible on the edge of chaos?

    Discuss
    chaordic systems and how they operate;
    4
    5
    6
    7
    8
    9
    10
  • 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
    Week Content Readings Activities
    1
    • What is a complex system

      Reductionism

      General
      systems theory
    See course notes 4.2 Discussion questions
    a. Why are systems complex and why does this make them more difficult to manage than hierarchic systems?

    b. Nominate a number of forms of complexity and describe what is complex and why?

    Does inclusion of a significant influence by people in a project make it complex?
    2
    • How complex systems operate

      Examples of complex systems
      ·  Directed, Acknowledged,
      collaborative, Virtual

      · Families

      · Federated Governments

      · United Nations
      · Supply chains

      The Air Operations Centre
    Notes 4.2 and 4.3 Discussion questions
    a. Discuss how examples of complex systems operate, including software driven examples such as the Air Operations Centre, an enterprise, a coalition government and a federation such as Australia or the USA, and a long terms close relationship between two people

    b. What are the differences between a relationship developed through a legal basis and a relationship based on agreement between people, such as in a family or a friendship?

    Discuss autonomy and belonging in a close personal relationship.
    3


    • Ashby’s requisite variety

      Emergence

      Complicated and complex systems

      Self-organization

      Edge of chaos

      Chaordic
      systems
    Notes 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 5.1-5.8 Discussion questions


    a.     What
    is requisite variety? What are its advantages and disadvantages?

    b.    Why
    is there more innovation possible on the edge of chaos?

    Discuss
    chaordic systems and how they operate;
    4


    • Fractal and power laws

      Scale free behavior

      Paretian
      statistics
    Notes 5.9 and 5.10 Discussion Questions

    a.     How
    do fractals operate?

    b.    What
    is scale free behavior and is it important?

    Why
    is it important to recognize the difference between Paretian and Gaussisn
    statistics

    Discussion questions
    a.     Whatis the relevance of Per Bak’s model of failure and how can we apply it? b.    Whatis systemic risk and how does it occur? Whatis cascading risk? Provide examples of a failed system cascading into another?

    Assignment 1 In no more than 1500 words: Analyze one of the following examples andreport: 1.   Why the situation is complex; 2.   How you would you identify what theissues are;3.   How would you coordinate action;4.   What tools would you use from the setprovided in this course Examples to choose from: a.             The Air Operations Centre of the USDoDb.            A dispute between two warring nationsc.             Managing climate change in a majorgroup of countries;d.            Security at a G20 meetinge.            Adaptive learning of Australianmilitary forces in Afghanistanf.               Pre-potential disaster preparation bycommunitiesg.              Addressing corruption in tradeh.             A close long-term personalrelationship. Grading Criteria:·          Recognition that a reductionist, or PMBOK,approach will not address the key aspects of the system, project or problem;·          recognition that different tools andapproaches are required;·          recognition that the problem context is veryimportant;recognition that multiple systems could be interacting, includingpolitical, economic, social issues and traditional ways of behaving,technology, legal and environmental.
    5

    Panarchy
    and cycles of change

    Tiny
    initiating events

    Importance
    of context and the environment driving system structure
    Notes 5.11 Discussion questions



    a.     Comment
    on Panarchy and provide examples of displaying cycles of change;

    b.    Name
    and discuss organisations at various points of the panarchy cycle;

    c.     What
    are implications for change management and organizational transformation?


    6

    Self-organised criticality

    Systemic
    and cascading risks behavior
    Notes 5.12, 5.17 Discussion questions



    a.     What
    is the relevance of Per Bak’s model of failure and how can we apply it?

    b.    What
    is systemic risk and how does it occur?

    What
    is cascading risk? Provide examples of a failed system cascading into another?
    7

    Phase space

    Path history

    Attractor cages

    Fitness
    landscape
    Notes 5.14, 5.20-5.22 Discussion questiona



    a.     What
    is phase space and what are attractor cages?

    b.    Why
    does path history affect attractor cages?

    What
    is the use of the concept of fitness landscape and how could it be measured?
    8

    Systems dynamics

    Bosch approach

    Sense making

    Leverage
    points
    Notes 5.24, 5.25 Discussion questions



    a.     Discuss
    strengths and weaknesses of System Dynamics; provide examples, with
    explanations, of when it should have been used?

    b.    Why
    is sense making an issue in complex systems?

    Discuss
    how leverage points are located?
    9

    Complexity leadership

    How leaders of complex organisationsthink

    Dancing with systems

    Systems
    intelligence
    Notes 5.23, 5.27, 5.29 Discussion questions



    a.     What
    contributions do concepts of complexity bring to an understanding of
    leadership?

    b.    How
    do leaders differ in their thinking from more junior staff? How important is
    vision?

    What
    essentially does Dancing with Systems contribute?
    10 Nil Nil Discussion questions Nil



    Assignment 2
    In a minimum of 10,000 words, and submit as a group of 4, choose a difficult issue that the world is
    facing. An example could include those provided in assignment 2,

    a.              
    The current and recent ISIS invasion of Iraq
    & Syria;

    b.              
    Solving disputes between warring nations;

    c.              
    Reduction of corruption;

    d.             
    A problem with a personal friend and partner
    (F:F, M:M, M:F);

    e.              
    Analyse the systems that affect teenage
    development? How can a parent manage it?

     

    Alternatively, groups may choose another
    issue and describe it, in terms of the systems operating, the context of the
    issue, and other relevant aspects.

     

    Describe how your group would manage the
    project, system, problem or issue both by considering the approaches used in
    this course and any other approaches proposed.

     

    A coordinated group response is required with
    components by named group members, of at least 3000 words each.

     

    ID
    recommendations:

    Week
    1 – groups assigned?

    Week
    3-4 – select topic and submit for approval

    Week
    5-6 – submit outline and references for feedback

    Week
    8-9 – submit draft for feedback

    Week
    10 – final draft and presentation

     

    Grading
    Criteria?

    Recognition
    of:

    ·          
    the inability of
    reductionist and with models to deal with such complex issues;

    ·          
    the role of major systems
    interacting, including political, economic, social and traditional ways of
    life, technology, legal, environmental, and possibly others;

    ·          
    systemic failure of one
    system and possibly cascading into another;

    perceptive
    use of course material in dealing with the project, system or problem
    described.


    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.

    Submission

    All text based assignments must be submitted via Drop Box in LEARN

    There are a few points to note about the submission of assignments:

    • Assignment Submission: Assignments should be lodged via Drop Box in the LEARN system. Please refer to individual assignment tasks for specific submission details relevant to each task. Note that assignments may be processed via TURNITIN, which is an online plagiarism prevention tool.
    • Cover Sheet: As part of your assignment, please add the completed University of Adelaide Assessment Cover Sheet to your assignment, 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. Where applicable, also include the word count excluding title pages and references.
    • 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 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. Assignments handed in after 14 days from the due submission date will fail even if a 100% mark is granted for the work.
    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.

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    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.

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