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BUS5150 Project management - Semester 2 , 2008

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Unit leader :

John Betts

Lecturer(s) :


  • John Betts

Tutors(s) :


  • TBA


Unit synopsis

This subject enables students to acquire knowledge on techniques, methodology and tools of project management. It aims to provide students with an understanding of how to apply the knowledge, in different project settings, to maximize the satisfaction of all stakeholders in their projects. The subject also provides an overview of the processes of project management and offers formal approaches to handle them. The subject is also designed to equip students with the skills in the use of project management software commonly used in the Industry and an awareness of the limitations of such a tool.

Topics covered:

  • Scope management, time management, cost management, quality management, communication management, human resource management, risk management and team formation.
  • Project evaluation techniques
  • Factors affecting the success of projects
  • Project communication and reporting
  • Project planning, tracking, control and implementation
  • Project investment decisions. 
  • Learning outcomes

    On completion of this subject, students will have knowledge of:

    • Project management methodology and techniques in critical areas such as scope management, time management, cost management, quality management, risk management, communication and human resource management
    • The scientific tools and techniques (both qualitative and quantitative) which project managers can use to improve the chances of success in their projects
    • Common project management software tools used by professionals in the Industry
    • Terms used in project management environment.

      Gain understanding of:

    • How the knowledge in project management areas should be applied and the relationship exist between them
    • Factors that contribute to a successful project
    • Factors contributing to effective communication among project stakeholders
    • Difficulties in the handling of human resources in project management.

      Acquire skills for:

    • Using project management techniques and methodology effectively to ensure project outcomes satisfy both the specified and the expected requirements of the project stakeholders
    • Using a project management software tool to management projects
    • Identifying problems that occur during the implementation phase of a projects and developing strategies to address the situation
    • Effective communication with project managers, project team members and other stakeholders.

      Have developed attributes which allow students to:

    • View project management in its totality
    • Develop their own framework to assist them in the interaction with their colleagues and other stakeholders towards the success of all future projects in which they may be involved
    • Act professionally in managing or assisting in the handling of projects.


     Weekly workload commitments are:

    • two-hour lecture
    • one-hour tutorial (laboratory session)
    • 9 hours on assignment work and private study.

    Unit relationships


    Before attempting this unit you must have gained entry to the Master of Business Systems or an equivalent Masters program, and completed 12 points of postgraduate level Faculty of Information Technology units.


    BUS5150 is an elective unit in the Master of Business Systems. You may not study this unit and MBA9052, GCO5807, BUS4540, BUS5001 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

    Unit staff - contact details

    Unit leader

    Dr John Betts
    Senior Lecturer
    Phone +61 3 990 55804

    Lecturer(s) :

    Dr John Betts
    Senior Lecturer
    Phone +61 3 990 55804

    Tutor(s) :

    Teaching and learning method

    The unit will be conducted as one two-hour lecture and one one-hour tutorial or laboratory session per week.

    Lectures will provide students with the knowledge of fundamental theories and concepts. The tutorials will provide students with an opportunity to apply the concepts through case studies and practical exercises.

    Tutorial allocation

    On-campus students should register for tutorials/laboratories using Allocate+

    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 Key dates
    1 Introduction to Project Management Week 1
    2 Network Diagrams, Scheduling, Compression Week 2
    3 Network Diagrams, Scheduling, Compression Week 3
    4 Financial and Profit Calculations Week 4
    5 Activity Duration Estimation and Statistical Techniques Week 5
    6 Net Present Value and other Project Selection Techniques Week 6
    7 Net Present Value and other Project Selection Techniques Week 7
    8 Human Resource Management Week 8
    9 Quality Management and ISO9000 Standards Week 9
    10 Contract Law and Contract Administration Week 10
    11 Project Life Cycle, Risk Management Week 11
    Mid semester break
    12 The Project Management Body of Knowledge Week 12
    13 Revision Week 13

    Unit Resources

    Prescribed text(s) and readings

     Schwalbe, K., Information Technology Project Management 5e, Thomson Course Technology, 2007, ISBN 1-4239-0145-2

    Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

    Recommended text(s) and readings

     Rachel Biheller Bunin, New Perspectives on Microsoft Office Project 2007 Introductory, Cengage Learning, 2008, ISBN 1-4239-0594-6

    Gido, J. and Clements, J.P., Successful Project Management 2e, Thomson South-Western, 2003, ISBN 0-324-07168-X

    Meredith, J.R. and Mantel, S.J., Project Management: A Managerial Approach, 4th Edition, John Wiley, 2000

    Required software and/or hardware

    There is no software requirement. Students will develop proficiency in the use of Microsoft Project 2003 or latest edition.

    Equipment and consumables required or provided

    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. You will need to allocate up to 6 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

    Study resources

    Study resources we will provide for your study are:

    Lectures are based on the prescribed textbook, and on Martin, R. L., Project Management Lecture Notes, which is available for download from MUSO.

    Tutorials are based on: Martin, R. L. and Jantavongso, S., Microsoft Project Tutorial Exercises, available for download from MUSO.

     Students will be able to download:

    • Weekly lecture slides in pdf format as well as associated examples and data files,
    • Tutorial notes, data files and sample solutions,
    • Sample examination papers and suggested solutions,
    • Unit outline,
    • Assignment specfications.

    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 MUSO (Monash University Studies Online). Blackboard is the primary application used to deliver your unit resources. Some units will be piloted in Moodle. If your unit is piloted in Moodle, you will see a link from your Blackboard unit to Moodle (http://moodle.monash.edu.au) and can bookmark this link to access directly. In Moodle, from the Faculty of Information Technology category, click on the link for your unit.

    You can access MUSO and Blackboard via the portal: http://my.monash.edu.au

    Click on the Study and enrolment tab, then Blackboard under the MUSO learning systems.

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

    For example:

    • Blackboard supported browser
    • Supported Java runtime environment

    For more information, please visit: http://www.monash.edu.au/muso/support/students/downloadables-student.html

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

    For further contact information including operational hours, please visit: http://www.monash.edu.au/muso/support/students/contact.html

    Further information can be obtained from the MUSO support site: http://www.monash.edu.au/muso/support/index.html


    Unit assessment policy

    To pass this unit, a student must obtain :

    • 40% or more in the unit's examination and
    • 40% or more in the unit's non-examination assessment
    • an overall unit mark of 50% or more

    If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination assessment then a mark of no greater than 44-N will be recorded for the unit.

    Assignment tasks

    • Assignment Task

      Title : Assignment 1

      Description :

      Students will complete a number of hand in questions on numerical topics including: project scheduling, project crashing, financial analysis of projects and project selection.

      Weighting : 15%

      Criteria for assessment :

      Due date : 3rd September 2008

    • Assignment Task

      Title : Project Management Case Study

      Description :

      Students will find a sample project from the literature, or industry. Students will then prepare typical business reports, including the business case and financial analyses, and develop a hypothetical project plan which they will set up in MS Project. Students will submit a final report that summarises their work.

      Weighting : 15%

      Criteria for assessment :

      Due date : 1st October 2008


    • Examination

      Weighting : 70%

      Length : 2 hours

      Type ( open/closed book ) : Closed book

    Assignment submission

    Assignments must be handed in to the Unit Tutor or the Unit Lecturer before the due date and time.

    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.

    Requests for extensions must be made to the unit lecturer at your campus at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

    Late assignment

    Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 5% per day, including weekends. Assignments received later than one week (seven days) after the due date will not normally be accepted. In some cases, this period may be shorter if there is a need to release sample solutions.

    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 http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/assessment/

    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. 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.