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Unit outline_

PMGT5898: Complex Project Leadership

Semester 1, 2021 [Block mode] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit offers students an innovative way of looking at projects and programs and treating them as complex adaptive systems. Applying the principles of complexity and systems thinking assists project and program managers and leadership teams in formulating approaches to leadership of challenging and large-scale initiatives. The expected outcomes of this unit include development of: ability to diagnose complexity on a wide range of projects types; understanding of how systems thinking and complexity theories can be used to find new, creative ways to think about and lead complex projects and programs; ability to select and apply a range of systems thinking and management modelling tools and techniques to understanding, management and leadership of complex business problems; ability to reflect upon your own practice and develop self awareness as a key to leadership in the face of complexity.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Project Management
Credit points 6
Prerequisites
? 
None
Corequisites
? 
None
Prohibitions
? 
WORK6130
Assumed knowledge
? 

None

Available to study abroad and exchange students

Yes

Teaching staff

Coordinator Lynn Crawford, lynn.crawford@sydney.edu.au
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation group assignment Team Assignment
Presentations to Client 'Board' - refer Canvas for details
25% Multiple weeks
Due date: 16 Apr 2021 at 16:00

Closing date: 21 May 2021
10 minute presentations (2)
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO1 LO2
Assignment Activity Portfolio
Survey and Discussion Forum activities in Canvas
15% Multiple weeks Various
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO4 LO5 LO3 LO2
Assignment Enabling conditions
Presentation, report and peer review
15% Week 08
Due date: 30 Apr 2021 at 16:00

Closing date: 07 May 2021
Various
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3
Assignment Respond to the environment
Presentation, report and peer review
15% Week 10
Due date: 14 May 2021 at 16:00

Closing date: 21 May 2021
Various
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Exercise Personal Mastery
Competency portfolio
15% Week 12
Due date: 28 May 2021 at 09:00

Closing date: 28 May 2021
Fit for purpose
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Engage collaboratively
Presentation, report and peer review
15% Week 13
Due date: 28 May 2021 at 16:00

Closing date: 04 Jun 2021
Fit for purpose
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Team Assignment:  teams will work on a brief for a real complex project challenge provided by a client.  They will make two presentations to a client ‘Board’, the first focusing on diagnosing the complexity of the project and the second applying systems thinking approaches as a basis for providing advice on leadership response. 
  • Activity Portfolio:  a number of survey, discussion and other activities based on activities provided in Canvas.
  • Exercise Personal Mastery:  a reflective portfolio of evidence of competence of personal qualities for leadership in complexity.
  • Enabling conditions:  an example of provision of conditions to enable decision making and action in complex endeavours comprising a brief presentation to peers, a short written report and a peer review.
  • Respond to the environment:  an example of response to the environment comprising a brief presentation to peers, a short written report and a peer review.
  • Engage collaboratively: an example of collaborative engagement in complex endeavours comprising a brief presentation to peers, a short written report and a peer review.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found in Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range

Description

High distinction

85 - 100

 

Distinction

75 - 84

 

Credit

65 - 74

 

Pass

50 - 64

 

Fail

0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction and overview Independent study (8 hr) LO6
Introduction and overview Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO6
Week 02 Understanding and categorizing complexity Independent study (8 hr) LO1 LO2
Understanding and categorising complexity Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6
Week 03 Complexity theory overview Independent study (8 hr) LO1 LO2
Client briefing Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 04 Thinking holistically: Systems thinking Independent study (8 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Thinking holistically: Systems thinking Online class (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 05 Thinking holistically: Systems thinking and modelling (Public Holiday) Independent study (10 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 06 Thinking Holistically: Systems thinking and modelling Independent study (8 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Team Assignment Presentation 1 Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 07 Provide conditions to enable decisions and action Independent study (8 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6
Provide conditions to enable decisions and action Online class (2 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 08 Provide conditions to enable decisions and action Independent study (8 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6
Provide conditions to enable decisions and action Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 09 Respond to the environment Independent study (8 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6
Respond to the environment Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 10 Respond to the environment Independent study (8 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Respond to the environment Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 11 Engage collaboratively Independent study (8 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Team Assignment Presentation 2 Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 12 Engage collaboratively Independent study (8 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Engage collaboratively Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 13 Finalise assignments Independent study (8 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Finalise assignments Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

Attendance and class requirements

Learning materials and activities will be available online in Canvas for each week of semester and should be completed prior to the weekly 2 hour workshop held from 4-6pm on Fridays.

2 hour workshops will be held online in in all weeks of Semester except Week 5 which is the Easter Public Holiday.  In the following Weeks there will be an option to attend the Workshop on campus – location provided in Canvas: Weeks 3, 6, 8,9,11.

All students are required to complete weekly activities in Canvas.  

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

GAPPS Guiding Framework for Leadership in Complexity – available to download from www.globalpmstandards.org

Refer to Canvas for recommended reference material and specific readings for each week of Semester. 

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand the basic principles of complex adaptive systems and selected complexity theories and apply this understanding to management and leadership of projects
  • LO2. use categorisation techniques to diagnose levels of management complexity on projects as a guide to assessing risk and determining management approaches
  • LO3. select and use systems thinking approaches and modelling tools to assist in formulating responses to complex projects and organisational phenomena
  • LO4. recognise the difference between use of models as devices for design and implementation vs sense-making and learning
  • LO5. draw upon understanding of multiple perspectives when dealing with management complexity
  • LO6. critically reflect on practice and increase self-awareness in order to improve team and leadership effectiveness.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
GQ1 GQ2 GQ3 GQ4 GQ5 GQ6 GQ7 GQ8 GQ9

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Changes to content and assessments have been made to align with and incorporate the newly released GAPPS Guiding Framework for Leadership in Complexity.

Disclaimer

The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.