Postgraduate Course: Project Management in Business Analysis (CMSE11452)
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||In this course, in line with the Project Management Body of Knowledge guidelines issued by the Project Management Institute, we introduce the project management lifecycle and we compare selected state-of-the-art lifecycle models for effective project management, such as traditional, agile and extreme project management.
Students will engage in a small sized project and develop hands-on experience of managing a project life cycle. In addition, they will develop team management and leadership skills.
Project management and business analysis represent two elements that are key to the success of any business endeavour. Project managers are in charge of ensuring that a project is completed on time and within the planned budget. Business analysts must focus on the product of the project ensuring that it meets the needs of the key stakeholders.
In this course, we introduce the project management life cycle and we compare selected state-of-the-art life cycle models for effective project management, such as traditional, agile and extreme project management; we also introduce selected state-of-the-art tools for effective project management, such as PERT and CPM.
In addition, we provide an overview of selected business analysis activities that are encountered throughout the life of a project, these include stakeholder analysis, requirement analysis, risk analysis, business process and data analysis. For these, we introduce a toolbox of state-of-the-art business analysis tools such as user story mapping, use case diagrams, business process diagrams etc.
Operating within a given budget necessarily imposes choices in terms of which stakeholder requests should be given priority. Project managers and business analysts must therefore coordinate their plans to ensure that budget is not exceeded, and key stakeholders are satisfied.
Furthermore, as the project progresses, delays and other unforeseen events may impose a sudden re-planning of on-going activities. The exact nature of this re-planning should also be defined in concert. In some cases, reaching a consensus in the project team may constitute an extremely challenging task. To deal with these issues, we illustrate the basics of group dynamics and strategies that a team can adopt to work together effectively.
The objective of this course is then to:
1. provide an introduction to established project management and business analysis techniques, such as traditional, agile and extreme project management;
2. illustrate selected state-of-the-art tools typically adopted in the context of project management and business analysis;
3. illustrate group dynamics issues typically encountered in the context of project management. Introduce a number of established techniques and inventories that can be used to analyse and deal with these issues;
4. let students familiarize with the above project management and business analysis tools and techniques in the context of a relatively small-scale project that will be developed by teams of 4 to 5 people in a short time frame of 6 weeks. The topic of the project is open and it must be agreed at the beginning of the course. Lecturers will provide a portfolio of possible projects, but students may decide to develop their own project independently. It should be emphasized that group work in this course represents an 'end'. The outcome of the project is not important per se - in principle the project may even not succeed - what will be assessed is the ability of a team to manage a project life cycle.
5. let students individually analyse group dynamics that emerged during the project and strategies put in place to avoid or manage conflicts.
Beside the 20 hours of content delivery, students will spend approximately 97 hours working on a project in groups of 4/5 people; up to 6 of these hours will be supervised by a lecturer. During these 6 hours, which may take the form of short coaching sessions of 20 or 30 minutes, one of the lecturers will join the group and will provide feedback on specific issues raised or on group activities.
We expect students to spend approximately 50 hours on preparatory readings before their lectures. They will also have to spend 25 hours preparing for a written exam.
There are a number of aspects in the structure of this course that are meant to enhance students' experience.
First, the subject of the group work will be chosen independently by students to promote both engagement and autonomous learning (Harvey et al., 2006). Of course, this choice has to be discussed with the lecturer in order to make sure that the subject would be suitable for achieving the intended learning objectives.
Second, we are aware of the importance of collaboration among students in the learning process. This is captured in the concept of learning community (Tinto, 2003). Group work plays a fundamental role in the learning process. Cox (Cox, 2009) points out that a case study approach to learning encourages students to share knowledge and information through group work and discussions. Backx (2008) suggests that the benefits of a case study approach include: improved information retention, improved communication skills, improved attendance and development of interpersonal skills. The pivotal role played by group work in this course is in line with suggestions from these recent works in the academic literature on education.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| Available to Business School students only. Students with previous project management experience (both theoretical and practical) are advised not to take this course, as it is an introductory course, not an advanced one.
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||50% coursework (group) - assesses course Learning Outcomes 2, 4, 5
50% exam (individual) - assesses course Learning Outcomes 1, 3, 4, 5
||Formative: feedback will be provided:
- during group activities performed in the lectures
- during project group meetings with the lecturer (1 to 6 hours per group depending on group progress)
- during a formal group presentation to the class
- during a supervised computer laboratory tutorial
Summative: feedback will be provided at the end of the courses for the group report, and for the final exam.
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)||Project Management in Business Analysis (CMSE11452)||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Define what a project is and critically discuss the project management life cycle.
- Identify key trade-offs faced by project managers and business analysts: cost, time, quality, scope, resources.
- Classify project management life cycle models in terms of clarity of goals and solutions: traditional, agile, extreme and Emertxe.
- Apply state-of-the-art techniques for managing the project management life cycle of small/medium sized projects.
- Describe and critically discuss the rationale behind frameworks such as Leary's rose and Kolb's learning cycle, as well as their potential applications in the context of team management.
Robert K. Wysocki, Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme, Wiley, 7th ed., 2014, ISBN-13: 978-1118729168; Chap 1-12
Jeff Butterfield, Illustrated Course Guides: Problem-Solving and Decision Making - Soft Skills for a Digital Workplace, Cencage, 2009, ISBN-13: 978-1439041147; Unit D: Group Decision Making and Problem Solving
Before attending the first lecture of the course students should read Butterfield's Unit D: Group Decision Making and Problem Solving; they should also read Chap. 1 of Wysocki's textbook.
Kottler & Englar-Carlson, 'Learning Group Leadership: An experiential approach,''Sage, 2009, ISBN-13: 978-1412953719 - Chap 3-4
Harold R. Kerzner, 'Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling,' 11th Edition, 2013 ISBN-13: 978-1118022276
Howard Podeswa, 'The Business Analyst's Handbook,' Delmar, 2009 ISBN-13: 978-1598635652
Perdita Stevens, 'Using UML,' Second Edition, Addison Wesley, 2006 ISBN-13: 978-0321269676
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Communication, ICT, and Numeracy Skills
After completing this course, students should be able to:
Convey meaning and message through a wide range of communication tools, including digital technology and social media; to understand how to use these tools to communicate in ways that sustain positive and responsible relationships.
|Course organiser||Dr Roberto Rossi
Tel: (0131 6)51 5239
|Course secretary||Ms Emily Davis
Tel: (0131 6)51 7112