SYST 530 - Systems Management and Evaluation


Fall 2003



Professor:   Dr. Philip Barry


Work Phone: (703) 883-7826


FAX:   (703) 993-1706


E-mail:  or

Office: GMU:  Science and Technology II


Mailbox Location:  Science & Technology 2, Room 111


Office Hours:  By appointment


Course Description:

Provides the necessary techniques for evaluating the cost and operational effectiveness of system designs and systems management strategies. Performance measurement, work breakdown structures, cost estimating and quality management are discussed. Configuration management, standards, and case studies of systems from different applications areas are discussed.


Course Hours:  Tuesday 7:20 pm– 10:00 pm, Innovation Hall 206


Text:   Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling  and Controlling, 8th edition (2003); Harold Kerzner. John Wiley and Sons ISBN 0-471-22578-9 – Paperbacks are available.


Grades:                40% - group case study

                              30% - paper

                              25% - midterm

                                5% - class participation


Class Website: TBD





Grade Element Discussion

SYST 530 - Systems Management and Evaluation

Fall 2003



Group Case Study  - 40%


The Group Case Study is the focal point of student effort within this course. Groups may meet during class time, but individual preparation may be expected outside of the classroom. There will be groups of several people self-formed during the second meeting of the class.  On the assigned weeks, a different group will be assigned as the discussion leader for the case study.  The group lead is responsible for sending out the presentation materials for the case study to the class and the instructor two days prior to presentation.  For more detail please see the page entitled Case Study Guidance in this packet.


Paper - 30%


Each student will be required to write a paper on an area pertinent to this class (e.g. leadership, performance measurement, etc.). There will be two deliverables for this paper. The first deliverable will be a summary of the paper including an annotated outline for the paper.  The final deliverable will be due near the end of the semester.  The final deliverable must be at least 10 pages long, using 1 1/2 line spacing, with at least 10 different references other than SYST530 lecture notes and the text book.  The paper will be graded based on the original contribution of the author.  It will not be satisfactory to just document leadership styles, for example. The author would be expected to compare and contrast leadership styles and give an opinion on the subject. You will be expected to use a professional format such as one used in an IEEE journal.  Do NOT turn in 10 pages of uninterrupted prose.


Midterm – 25%


The exam will be in-class and will cover relevant material in the course.  The exam will be in-class and open book.


Class Participation – 5%


This class is very interactive.  This portion of your grade will be based on your active participation in class discussions.


                                           Description of Case Study


We will be tracking two case studies throughout the semester.  The case studies will explore various facets of elements we will discuss in the lecture segment.  Students will form into groups and will be responsible for weekly assignments that explore the aspects of the case study.  The weekly assignments will be collected in a case study notebook that the students will maintain and turn in at the end of the semester.  The professor will also provide problems within the case study that will require the students to use the techniques discussed in class to best learn the tools and techniques of project management.

Students will also be required to make several presentations in class.  The presentations will focus on the homework assignments given in the previous week.  The students will be required to present the problem, identify all of their relevant assumptions, discuss the approach taken, identify elements of uncertainty, and explain why their approach is the best approach that can solve the problem.  The students will then lead a discussion with the rest of the class to solicit the views of their colleagues and explore angles that perhaps were not considered during their analysis of the problem.


There will be two case studies examined during the semester.  Half of the groups in the class will work the first case study while the other half of the students will work the second case study.   The students will be required to periodically bring their case study notebook to class. Each member of the group will be required to participate in the oral presentations.  Part of your class participation grade will depend on your participation in the oral presentations.  Additionally, on the final day of class all groups will make a presentation of their case study.  Obviously, differing approaches to the problem are expected in that there is in fact no right answer.  However solid engineering approaches based upon the lectures that we have discussed in class will be expected.  We will talk more about the final presentations as the semester progresses.  The professor will handout the outlines of the case studies next week in class.


Additional Sources



Additional Sources:  There is a wealth of quality literature available on the subject matter of this course. 


§         Harvard Business Review (super for the leadership and management portion of the course) and an excellent source of case studies

§         INCOSE Insight (informal and short, but educational articles)

§         INCOSE Systems Engineering Journal

§         PMI Project Management Journal

§         PMI PM Network

§         IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics

§         IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management

§         IEEE Engineering Management Review

§         DSMC Systems Engineering Fundamentals (

§         EIA/IS 731 Systems Engineering Capability Model (


Note that there are three main bodies of knowledge that intersect in this course:  systems engineering (INCOSE, IEEE), leadership and management (Harvard Business Review), and project management (PMI).