Managing IS Projects: People & Politics

Subject ISYS90037 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 02-Mar-2015 to 31-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Mar-2015
Census Date 31-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

An enrolment quota of 50 students applies to this subject this year. Students applying to complete this subject will be ranked based on their overall average mark, and their marks in ISYS90050.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours over the semester (block mode)
Total Time Commitment:

200 hours


Students who are enrolled in the two year 200 point Master of Information Systems must have completed 50 points of study to enrol in this subject.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Sean Maynard



Subject Overview:


In this subject students practice the processes of information systems project management with a focus on people in the presence of organisational politics. The first half of the semester discusses eight of the nine knowledge areas of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) - scope, cost, time, human resources, risk, quality, communication and integration management. The second half of this subject focuses on developing skills necessary to manage projects within an organisational setting and discusses topics including project management processes; teamwork; stakeholder behaviour; conflict; change management; politics; and project success factors.

A key feature of the subject is the use of a case that spans all assignments and enables students to engage with stakeholders through an LMS forum. The case provides the vehicle for students to initiate, plan and recover a project. Student teams also have the opportunity to meet with a manager from the case’s ‘project office’ to review their work and obtain guidance prior to report submission.

Indicative Content

Content includes: the techniques as discussed in the (PMBOK) as developed by the Project Management Institute: Myers-Briggs (MBTI) Personality Type as applied to project managers; and various organisational theories applicable to change management, group and team work, staff motivation, conflict management and negotiation.

Learning Outcomes:

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)

Having completed this unit the student is expected to:

  1. Be capable of applying the foundations of project management practice including processes, tools and techniques as represented in the Project Management Institute’s Project management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and in the general management literature
  2. Be familiar with various project organisations and processes which are contingent upon the technology, organizational structures and IS methodology being used
  3. Have an understanding of a number of advanced and related topics including, project success and failure factors, project manager influence and power
  4. Have confidence in identifying problems including if a project is ‘off the rails’ and solving such problems
  • Class participation (10%). Addresses Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) 1-4.
  • A group assignment, in groups of 3-4, of 1500 words, due before mid-semester break (10%), requiring approximately 13-15 hours of work per student. Addresses ILOs 1 & 2.
  • A group assignment, in groups of 3-4, of 5000 words, due after mid-semester break (25%), requiring approximately 33-37 hours of work per student. Addresses ILOs 1 & 2.
  • A group 20-minute presentation and slides, in groups of 3-4, including a Powerpoint presentation of 15-20 slides, due at the end of semester (25%), requiring approximately 33-37 hours of work per student. Addresses ILOs 1-4.
  • One take-home examination in the examination period (30%). Addresses ILOs 2-4.
Prescribed Texts:

Schwalbe, K. 2010 Information Technology Project Management, Course Technology: Boston.A reading pack for this subject is available from the bookroom and contains support materials and articles related to the lectures.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • Analytical and decision making skills through examination of case scenarios
  • Team-work, collaboration through group work and assessment
  • Problem solving skills related to project management, project risk assessment, project resource utilization and project communication management
  • Communication skills including report writing and presentation skills to both technical and managerial audiences
Links to further information:

Learning and Teaching Methods

Teaching methods include:

  • Lectures, Class Case Studies and Exercises
    The subject is delivered over a number of day sessions. The sessions include lectures drawing on the project management literature, the actual experiences of the presenters and the experiences of other students. Class case studies and exercises occur throughout the sessions and enable students to apply knowledge.
  • Readings
    The readings include selections from various text books, practitioner literature and journal articles. The Reading Pack compliments the prescribed text by Schwalbe (2010) and provides information on subjects outside of the Project Management Body of Knowledge.
  • Case Study Assignments and Project Management Office Reviews
    A case study spans all three major assignments. Students develop a Project Charter, a Project Plan and finally have to rescue the project as consultants when it is off-the-rails. The assignments are designed to simulate the real world. Students must question stakeholders (through a forum), to gather project information. Students consult with the “Project Management Office” to obtain interim reviews of assignments. These review sessions enable students to be coached and buddied individually.
  • Class Participation
    Class discussion provide students with an opportunity to put forward opinions, offer arguments and ask dumb questions – all of which are useful skills for project managers.
  • Presentation Assignment
    The final presentation provides an opportunity for students to experience presenting to a steering committee in a formal setting.

Indicative Key Learning Resources

A reading pack is supplied on CD-ROM which includes key articles on project management and organisational behaviour, to supplement class slides.

Careers/Industry Links

This subject is relevant to aspiring program and project managers as well as team leaders who may be part of a project team. The subject is delivered by practitioners who consult on projects and manage projects.

Related Course(s): Master of Information Systems
Master of Information Systems
Master of Information Systems
Master of Philosophy - Engineering
Master of Science (Information Systems)
Ph.D.- Engineering
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: MIS Professional Specialisation
MIS Research Specialisation

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