BUS9530 Business systems B - Semester 2 , 2007

Unit leader :

Damminda Alahakoon

Lecturer(s) :


  • Damminda Alahakoon


  • Dengsheng Zhang


Welcome to BUS9530 B. BUS9530 B is a core unit in the Master of Business Systems and Master of Business Systems Professional degrees. The unit prepares students with high level understanding of complex business systems, how to do dynamic system modeling and process modeling. Techniques of probabilistic and quantitative analysis of a system will also be introduced.

Unit synopsis

Business Systems B, in combination with Business Systems A, serves as an introduction to Business Systems and hence forms both a solid base and framework from which to view the discipline.

The unit introduces students to the fundamentals of systems dynamics and business process modelling. Students are also introduced to the fundamental techniques for quantitative analysis of business data presented in the context of the business processes they have already studied in this unit. The application of techniques such as descriptive statistics, basic time series analysis, forecasting, regression and financial analysis are presented as a means of more precisely analysing and understanding business processes and strategic management of the organisation.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this unit students should have acquired:
  • Understand of complex business systems
  • Be able to do dynamic system modeling
  • An understanding of the interaction between business processes and hence an overview of how they integrate to serve enterprise wide goals.
  • Skills in using common diagrammatic techniques for representing business processes.
  • A working knowledge of the most common, fundamental techniques for quantitative business data analysis.


Off-campus students generally do not attend lecture and tutorialsessions, however, students should plan to spend 8 hours workingthrough the relevant resources and participating in discussion groups each week.

Unit relationships


Before attempting this unit you must meet the entry requirement for the Masters of Business Systems or equivalent Masters program.


BUS9530 is a core unit in the Master of Business Systems and Master of Business Systems Professional degrees. It is a prerequisite/corequisite for a number of Post Graduate courses. You may not study this unit and BUS5530, BUS9001, BUS9002, BUS9003, BUS9004 in your degree.

Continuous improvement

Monash is committed to ‘Excellence in education' and strives for the highest possible quality in teaching and learning. To monitor how successful we are in providing quality teaching and learning Monash regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. Two of the formal ways that you are invited to provide feedback are through Unit Evaluations and through Monquest Teaching Evaluations.

One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through Unit Evaluation Surveys. It is Monash policy for every unit offered to be evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys as they are an important avenue for students to "have their say". The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

Student Evaluations

The Faculty of IT administers the Unit Evaluation surveys online through the my.monash portal, although for some smaller classes there may be alternative evaluations conducted in class.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to http://www.monash.edu.au/unit-evaluation-reports/

Over the past few years the Faculty of Information Technology has made a number of improvements to its courses as a result of unit evaluation feedback. Some of these include systematic analysis and planning of unit improvements, and consistent assignment return guidelines.

Monquest Teaching Evaluation surveys may be used by some of your academic staff this semester. They are administered by the Centre for Higher Education Quality (CHEQ) and may be completed in class with a facilitator or on-line through the my.monash portal. The data provided to lecturers is completely anonymous. Monquest surveys provide academic staff with evidence of the effectiveness of their teaching and identify areas for improvement. Individual Monquest reports are confidential, however, you can see the summary results of Monquest evaluations for 2006 at http://www.adm.monash.edu.au/cheq/evaluations/monquest/profiles/index.html

Improvements to this unit

9 online study guides have been prepared to help students understanding related topics. Solutions to most of the tutorial tasks have been provided in addition to the previous selected tasks.

Unit staff - contact details

Unit leader

Dr Damminda Alahakoon
Senior Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 59662

Lecturer(s) :

Dr Damminda Alahakoon
Senior Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 59662
Dr Dengsheng Zhang
Senior Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 26772
Fax +61 3 9902 6879

Contact hours : 11:00am

Teaching and learning method

Lectures will provide the theoretical framework and introduce students to many example systems in the form of case studies and system walk throughs.

Tutorials will include a number of practical exercises which will complement the lecture material and hence contribute to the overall objectives.

Material throughout the unit will be presented in the context of a common theme, tracking the life cycle of a business transaction through a typical business. Students will hence spend most of the course studying and getting to know a single integrated business operation.

Tutorial allocation

For DE students, although you are not required to attend tutorial class, however, you need to complete the tutorial tasks WEEK by WEEK independently and faithfully.

Off-campus distributed learning or flexible delivery

The unit will be offered as distance learning unit, students have the flexibility to learn it anywhere and anytime around the world through the unit website on MUSO.

Communication, participation and feedback

Monash aims to provide a learning environment in which students receive a range of ongoing feedback throughout their studies. You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This may take the form of group feedback, individual feedback, peer feedback, self-comparison, verbal and written feedback, discussions (on line and in class) as well as more formal feedback related to assignment marks and grades. You are encouraged to draw on a variety of feedback to enhance your learning.

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem that is affecting your study. Semesters are short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Unit Schedule

Week Topic References/Readings Key dates
1 Introduction to Business Enterprise Chapter 1, 2 and 4 in Sandoe's  
2 Role of Business IT: Business Integration and Business Engineering Chapter 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 in Sandoe's  
3 Systems Thinking and Systems Concepts Chapter 2&3 of Daelenbach's  
4 Business Systems and Business Objectives Modelling Chapter 3 of Clemen's  
5 Business Systems Dynamics - Part 1 Chapter 1&5 of Sterman's  
6 Business Systems Dynamics - Part 2 Chapter 6 of Sterman's 25 August (A1 Due)
7 Business Process Modelling - Part 1 Chapter 7 of Davis's “Business Modelling with ARIS” and Building Simulation Models With Vensim  
8 Business Process Modelling - Part 2 - EPCs Chapter 7 of Davis's “Business Modelling with ARIS” and ARIS 6.1 Introduction  
9 Logistics, Accounting and HR Systems Chapter 12 and 13 of Sandoe's  
10 Process Measurement: Presenting Data in Tables and Charts Chap 2 of Levine's  
Mid semester break
11 Process Measurement: Summarising and Describing Numerical Data Chapter 4 of G. Keller's 5 October (A2 Due)
12 Process Measurement: Statistical Forecasting Methods Forecasting.pdf  
13 Time Value of Money Financial Modeling in Chapter 6 of Reader  

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings

Kent Sandoe, Gail Corbitt and Raymond Boykin, Enterprise Integration, John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2001, ISBN: 0-471-35993-9.

Text books are available from the Monash Gippsland Bookshop, email Ros.Gaunt@general.monash.edu.au, phone (03) 5122 1771, fax (03) 5122 1211.

Recommended text(s) and readings

  • Hans G. Daelenbach, “Systems and Decision making, A management Science Approach” , John Wiley & Sons 1994.
  • Robert, Clemen, “Making Hard Decisions, with Decision Tools”, Duxbury/Thomson Learning 2001.
  • R. Davis, "Business Process Modelling with ARIS: a Practical Guide", Springer, 2001.
  • A.-W. Scheer, “Business Process Engineering: Reference Models for Industrial Enterprises”, Springer-Verlag, 1998.
  • U. Gelinas, S. G.Sutton, A. E. Oram “Accounting Information Systems”, fourth edition, Nelson ITP, 1999.

Required software and/or hardware

  • Microsoft Excel 2003
  • Vensim PLE
  • Microsoft Visio or SmartDraw 7

Software may be:

  • downloaded from http://www.smartdraw.com/exp/sof/home/; http://www.vensim.com; http://www.microsoft.com/office/visio/prodinfo/trial.mspx
  • purchased at academic price at good software retailers

Equipment and consumables required or provided

On-campus students may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook.

Study resources

Study resources we will provide for your study are:

  • A printed Unit Book/Reader containing Study Guides from 6 related chapters sent from CeLTS
  • This Unit Information outlining the administrative information for the unit
  • Required software online download web sites
  • The BUS9530 web site on MUSO, where lecture slides, weekly tutorial requirements, assignment specifications and sample solutions will be posted
  • Newsgroups that can be linked to from the Unit Homepage

Library access

The Monash University Library site contains details about borrowing rights and catalogue searching. To learn more about the library and the various resources available, please go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

Monash University Studies Online (MUSO)

All unit and lecture materials are available through the MUSO (Monash University Studies Online) site. You can access this site by going to:

  1. a) https://muso.monash.edu.au or
  2. b) via the portal (http://my.monash.edu.au).

Click on the Study and enrolment tab, then the MUSO hyperlink.

In order for your MUSO unit(s) to function correctly, your computer needs to be correctly configured.

For example :

  • MUSO supported browser
  • Supported Java runtime environment

For more information, please visit


You can contact the MUSO Support by: Phone: (+61 3) 9903 1268

For further contact information including operational hours, please visit


Further information can be obtained from the MUSO support site:



Unit assessment policy

The unit is assessed with two assignments and a three hour closed book examination. To pass the unit you must:

  • attempt both assignments and the examination
  • achieve no less that 40% of the possible marks in the exam
  • achieve no less than 50% of possible marks

 Final grade = min(A+10, E+10, E*R+A*(1-R)) where:

  • A=overall assignment percentage
  • E=examination percentage
  • R= exam weighting (0.7)

Assignment tasks

  • Assignment Task
    Title :
    Assignment 1
    Description :
    Assignment 1
    Weighting :
    Criteria for assessment :

    AssessmentValue: 15% of overall mark

    Due date :
    25th August, 2007
  • Assignment Task
    Title :
    Assignment 2
    Description :
    Assignment 2
    Weighting :
    Criteria for assessment :

    AssessmentValue: 15% of overall mark

    Due date :
    5th October, 2007


  • Examination
    Weighting :
    Length :
    3 hours
    Type ( open/closed book ) :
    Closed book

Assignment submission

Gippsland and off-campus students must submit to


Assignment coversheets

University and Faculty policy on assessment

Due dates and extensions

The due dates for the submission of assignments are given in the previous section. Please make every effort to submit work by the due dates. It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. Students are advised to NOT assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course.

Late assignment

Late assignment will be accepted using the following sliding scale:

Days Late  %of Grade Allocated

1                          80%
2                          60%
3                          40%
4                          20%
5                             0%

Return dates

Students can expect assignments to be returned within two weeks of the submission date or after receipt, whichever is later.

Assessment for the unit as a whole is in accordance with the provisions of the Monash University Education Policy at:


We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.

Plagiarism, cheating and collusion

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/about/committees-groups/facboard/policies/studrights.html) and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.

Register of counselling about plagiarism

The university requires faculties to keep a simple and confidential register to record counselling to students about plagiarism (e.g. warnings). The register is accessible to Associate Deans Teaching (or nominees) and, where requested, students concerned have access to their own details in the register. The register is to serve as a record of counselling about the nature of plagiarism, not as a record of allegations; and no provision of appeals in relation to the register is necessary or applicable.

Non-discriminatory language

The Faculty of Information Technology is committed to the use of non-discriminatory language in all forms of communication. Discriminatory language is that which refers in abusive terms to gender, race, age, sexual orientation, citizenship or nationality, ethnic or language background, physical or mental ability, or political or religious views, or which stereotypes groups in an adverse manner. This is not meant to preclude or inhibit legitimate academic debate on any issue; however, the language used in such debate should be non-discriminatory and sensitive to these matters. It is important to avoid the use of discriminatory language in your communications and written work. The most common form of discriminatory language in academic work tends to be in the area of gender inclusiveness. You are, therefore, requested to check for this and to ensure your work and communications are non-discriminatory in all respects.

Students with disabilities

Students with disabilities that may disadvantage them in assessment should seek advice from one of the following before completing assessment tasks and examinations:

Deferred assessment and special consideration

Deferred assessment (not to be confused with an extension for submission of an assignment) may be granted in cases of extenuating personal circumstances such as serious personal illness or bereavement. Special consideration in the awarding of grades is also possible in some circumstances. Information and forms for Special Consideration and deferred assessment applications are available at http://www.monash.edu.au/exams/special-consideration.html. Contact the Faculty's Student Services staff at your campus for further information and advice.