Critical and Systems Thinking engages with the analytical thinking abilities required in deciding and communicating management strategy for complex large-scale projects. The unit develops skills in making basic critical judgments on complex problem situations involving uncertainty, incomplete information and dynamically interacting technical and non- technical systems and contexts. There is a particular focus on the ability to articulate a critical, reflected and well- reasoned response at a level that contributes usefully to project strategy discussions. In addition the unit also equips students with knowledge and communication competencies of immediate relevance to the academic structure. Students engage with theoretical frameworks and concepts in order to practice robust methods of questioning and argument. A central element of content is linking theory to practice with students' experience as the focal point. The unit is pitched at the level of Associate to Practitioner (Levels 2 to 3) on the Project Management Learning Progression Table, addressing the critical thinking and systems thinking dimensions of Project Communication and Project Development. At this level, you are not necessarily expected to produce fully researched and optimised solutions to the problems posed, but you do need to be able to clearly define the main problem at hand, organise and filter relevant evidence and issues, identify and evaluate logical connections, recognise critical assumptions and uncertainties, reach well-reasoned conclusions, develop and reflect on your own personal views and present critical arguments in a constructive manner to colleagues and supervisors. These abilities are essential for an understanding of the relevance of epistemological and ontological considerations in relation to the broader, more thoroughgoing analysis of complex system dynamics to be developed in other advanced Project Management units.
Seminars, Workshops, Project Work
Refer to the assessment table in the unit outline.