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Systems engineering – Systems life cycle processes

Written Assessment

Task Description
Your task is to consider the contents of:-
• Kerzner (2013)
• AS/NZS 15288 Systems engineering – Systems life cycle processes
• Full Final Report from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling
• Chapter 5: Overarching Failures of Management of the Chief Counsel’s report from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling
• Other material as you feel appropriate
Then you must write an essay describing how these contents address the questions they pose and that explain the relevance of systems thinking to a project and an organisation by using the theories and ideas related to:-
• General systems management
• Organisational structures, forms and culture
• Engineering risk, risk management,
• Portfolio alignment
• Business value
• Portfolio management process cycle
• Organisational maturity.

You should illustrate your arguments by identifying what different systems thinking tools and techniques might aid project managers solve project problems, such as what occurred with Texas City and Deepwater Horizon.


The primary purpose of this assessment item is to help you to be able to define systems thinking and classify the tools and techniques related systems thinking. The secondary purpose of this assignment is to give you the opportunity to enhance your analysis, critical thinking and written communication skills; particularly in the areas of argument development and essay writing.


Your essay should be a properly constructed academic essay of 2,000 words.

It should contain an effective introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction should introduce the essay and include your argument. The body should present the evidence you have collected to support your argument, and the conclusion should restate your argument, summarise the evidence and make a conclusion regarding your argument. The essay should contain a coherent, but necessarily restricted review of the academic literature on the topics in question. The literature review should be integrated into the essay, not a separate section. Do not include an executive summary or an abstract. A reference list formatted in the prescribed APA style is compulsory. Do not include a bibliography.

This assessment item involves researching your assigned topic to enhance your understanding of project management concepts and utilisation of academic literature. Whilst you use the recommended textbooks you may also refer to relevant peer reviewed, academic journal articles. You will be expected to present information and evidence from, and cite, at least twenty (20) times from the prescribed unit material and you also are encouraged to use other PEER REVIEWED sources. The assessment submission must be made online through the unit web site.

Assessment Criteria

Your assignment will be assessed on the extent and quality to which it meets each of the following criteria.
1. A description of the theories and ideas specific to general systems management, organisational structures, forms and culture, value management, engineering risk, risk management, systems engineering and an assessment of the linkages between these? (30%)
2. A demonstration of thorough knowledge and application of relevant project and portfolio management principles, concepts, methods and theories in a systems context? (20%)
3. Appropriate and well structured, concise and clear expression of systems engineering arguments in response to the assessment task? (10%)
4. A clear flow of thought throughout the paper with a clear purpose described in the introduction and a comprehensive conclusion? (10%)
5. A critical review and integration of relevant academic and professional literature (cited at least twenty (20) times from six (6) separate reference sources)? (15%)
6. Clarity of expression, grammar and spelling? (5%)
7. Strict conformity to CQUniversity Australia APA Referencing Guide? (5%)
8. Appropriate presentation format and presented within (±10%) of the word limit: 2,000 words? (5%)

Referencing Style

• American Psychological Association (APA)

Submission Instructions

The file submitted must be a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) document.

Learning Outcomes Assessed

• Identify different systems thinking tools and techniques to aid project managers solve project problems.
• Assess the relevance of systems engineering to project cases.
• Describe how systems engineering concepts and methodologies can help a project, program and portfolio managers organise a project.
• Explain the importance of appropriate selection of project management (PM) application systems in regards to meeting the internal and external objectives of a project.
• Describe how the use of project management (PM) application systems can lead to effective PM knowledge management and decision making.
• Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of different manual and electronic project, program and portfolio (PPPM) application systems within each PPPM knowledge area over the life cycle of a project, program or portfolio.
• Propose appropriate project, program and portfolio (PPPM) application systems to support successful project, program and portfolio execution in different industry domains.
• Discuss contemporary developments in the use of project, program and portfolio (PPPM) application systems.
Graduate Attributes
• Knowledge
• Communication
• Cognitive, technical and creative skills
• Research

Last Updated on February 10, 2019

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