PROJMGNT 2002 - Systems Thinking and Projects

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2022

This course introduces students to general systems theory and systems thinking in the context of project management and practice. The course goes on to explore complex systems and some key aspects including system evaluation and optimisation. It also looks at the benefits in managing complex projects appropriately.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PROJMGNT 2002
    Course Systems Thinking and Projects
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites PROJMGNT 1001, PROJMGNT 1002
    Restrictions Available only to B.Project Management & Project Management Minor students
    Course Description This course introduces students to general systems theory and systems thinking in the context of project management and practice. The course goes on to explore complex systems and some key aspects including system evaluation and optimisation. It also looks at the benefits in managing complex projects appropriately.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Indra Gunawan

    Program Director Contact Details: Project Management
    Dr Tracey Dodd 

    Teaching Staff
    Name: Assoc. Prof. Indra Gunawan
    Researcher Profile:
    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. Display knowledge of general systems theory and approaches
    2. Explain how systems thinking can assist with project management problems
    3. Describe the characteristics of complex project management
    4. Draw from systems methodologies and tools to communicate project situations and resolutions
    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1, 3

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    2, 4

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

    2, 4

    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    2, 3

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    No textbook required
    Recommended Resources
    Mo Jamshidi, (2009) "System of Systems – Innovations for the 21st Century", Hoboken, John Wiley.

    Gorod, A., B. White, V. Ireland, J. Gandhi, and B. Sauser. (eds.) (2014) “Case Studies in System of Systems, Enterprises, and Complex Systems Engineering”, New York, NY: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis.

    De Neufville, R. (1989) "Applied Systems Analysis", Mc-Graw Hill Companies.

    It is also useful to read relevant project management journal articles. In particular:
    • International Journal of Project Management
    • Project Management Journal
    • International Journal of Project Organisation and Management

    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.

    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 taught on-campus via face-to-face lectures and tutorials. The objective of the course is to provide students with broader thinking in respect to how to manage projects and complex situations. Note that course materials are provided online via MyUni so that students can refer to learning materials in their own time.

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

    Students are expected to attend lectures and tutorials as scheduled.
    Furthermore, students should prepare for lectures and revise post lecture to improve understanding of each week’s course module.

    As a general guide, a 3 unit course requires:
    Total contact hours: 3 Hrs per week x 12 weeks = 36 Hrs
    Total self-guided study: 10 Hrs per week x 12 weeks = 120 Hrs
    Total workload hours: 156 Hrs
    Learning Activities Summary
    This course will present systems approaches in the context of project management to enhance student perspectives and bolster knowledge and skills gained in other courses. The course will show that systems applications can in many instances provide clarity and simplify project problems.
    The weekly lecture schedule is structured as follows:
    Week 1 Course Introduction
    Week 2 General Systems Theory
    Week 3 Introduction to Methodologies
    Week 4 Systems Evaluation
    Week 5 Systems Optimisation
    Week 6 Introduction to Complex Project Management
    Week 7 Case Studies - Complex Project Management
    Week 8 Risk Management of Complex Systems
    Week 9 Modelling and Simulation
    Week 10 Problem Solving – System Dynamics
    Week 11 Problem Solving – Dynamic Programming
    Week 12 Course Review and Feedback
  • 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 TaskTypeLengthWeightDue DateLearning Outcomes
    1 General Systems Essay Individual 1500 words 30% 3rd week 1
    2 Applied Systems Essay Individual 2000 words 40% 8th week 2, 4
    3 Complex PM Report Group 1500 words per student 30% 12th week 3
    Total 100%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students should be aware that considerable knowledge and skills will be taught at lectures and tutorials. Hence, students should attend all classes in order to pass the course.

    Course results may be subject to moderation by the Assessment Review Committee.
    Assessment Detail
    General Systems Essay: the writing of this individual essay will require students to research the fundamentals of systems theory and respond to the assessment requirements as directed. The learning outcomes will be assessed on this assignment by each student displaying their understanding of recognised general systems concepts and approaches.

    Applied Systems Analysis:the second assessment will be an individual effort by students. This task will place particular emphasis on students reporting on the application of systems thinking and methodologies to various project management situations providing some practical simulation and developing student skills in this area. Student learning will be gauged by the analysis conveying an understanding of how to apply systems thinking in respect to solving project management and industry problems.

    Complex PM Report: this assignment will be formatted in report structure and be undertaken by small student groups. The report will centre on complex project management ideology which will be used to address a project or industry based situation. All students must equally contribute to the report. The learning outcomes from the report will be judged on student proficiency in utilising complex project management thinking and applying it to the given case.

    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 ( 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

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