SYST 530 - Systems Management and Evaluation Revision 1

Fall 2005




Dr. Philip Barry


Assignment Submission:

WebCT usage is required in the class; instructions are below.


Work Phone:

(703) 983-7826  (with voice mail)



(703) 993-1706 (SEOR Office)




GMU:  Science and Technology II - Room 317

Mailbox Location:  Science & Technology 2, Room 111


Office Hours:

By appointment



Stephen Szurgyi


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:

Thursday 7:20 to 10:00 p.m. Innovation Hall 134



Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling, 8th edition (2003); Harold Kerzner. John Wiley and Sons ISBN 0471225770


Disabilities Statement:

If you are a student with a disability and you need academic accommodations, please see me and contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) at 993-2474.  All academic accommodations must be arranged through the DRC.



35% - group case studies



25% - paper



20% - midterm



20% - final

How To Access WebCT?


         Go to


         Enter WebCT ID and password:

Students need a WebCT ID and password to login. Their WebCT ID is their Mason mail user name (e.g. the WebCT ID for would be jdoe);   Starting August 16, 2004, all initial passwords for new student WebCT accounts will be a four digit number representing the student's birth month and birth day. Example: a student's birthday is January 8; their initial WebCT password is 0108.


         If you do not know your Mason mail user name, go to and click on “Activating My Account” icon, follow the steps.


         All assignments have due dates and submissions after the due date/time will not be possible, since WebCT will automatically block “submit my homework” option.


         From time to time, WebCT works too slowly. Especially from a dial-up internet connection, WebCT access may not be so efficient all the time; students are encouraged to submit their work earlier than the deadline.


         If you experience any problem while accessing/using WebCT, please


         . send an e-mail to

Additional Resources

Additional Sources:  There is a wealth of quality literature available on the subject matter of this course.  A few of my favorites are:


            INCOSE Insight (informal and short, but educational articles)

INCOSE Systems Engineering Journal

Harvard Business Review (super for the leadership and management portion of the course)

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). 



Group Case Studies

The Group Case Study is the focal point of student effort within this course.  The group case study tracks one notional project throughout the semester, requiring students to develop relevant artifacts from the lectures.  Groups of 4-5 people will form during the second meeting of the class.  Each week the group will be given an assignment to develop an artifact that would be used to manage the case study.  Groups can meet during class time, but preparation will be expected outside of the classroom.  Weekly assignments will not be graded.  At the end of the semester the group will be required to turn in one notebook that contains all of the work products assigned during the semester. 

·        Status Reports – The groups will be expected to give status reports during the semester.  The status reports are part of the grade for the case study.  Everyone in the group is expected to present part of the status report.  Students should use the status reports to gain concurrence on weekly assignments.

·        Final Presentation – The final presentation will be made in class to a panel of outside experts.  The presentation will provide a broad overview of the work products and the strategy adopted during the semester.

Lessons Learned from Previous Classes:

·        Document Lessons Learned During the Course of the Semester – This will be one of your assignments for the final binder

·        Don’t get behind on your weekly group assignments – these will pile up and make the end of the semester very unpleasant if you do ignore them

·        If you have questions, ask the professor for guidance either informally (e-mail) or formally during a status brief.  Document the guidance given in your binder.

·        Set up a Yahoo Discussion group, blog site or some other way to communicate electronically

·        Frequent communications within the group are essential

·        Some previous groups have appointed roles to group members with good success



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 an annotated outline for the paper which will not be graded but is highly recommended..  The second deliverable is the final paper that will be due 17 Nov 05.  The final paper must be at least 12 pages, 1 1/2 spacing, with at least 15 references.  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.  Students are expected to use a recognized technical format for the paper (e.g., ACM, IEEE).  The paper is expected to be conference quality; misspellings, poorly formed sentences, unsubstantiated assertions and first person prose are unacceptable.


Two exams:  The first will be in-class and will cover the first part of the semester.  The final will be in-class and will cover the second part of the semester.  Exams are open book and open note. 


Late Papers

Late papers will not be accepted and will be returned ungraded.  If business travel or other reasons prevent you from coming to class, e-mail your assignment or post it to WebCT by the time it is due in class and send me an e-mail explaining what you have done. 




Week 1>

1 Sep

¨      Introductions

¨      Discuss syllabus

¨      Course Introduction

¨      Lecture 1 – Systems Engineering Overview




Week 2>

8 Sep

¨      Lecture: Chapter 2 - Project Management Growth: Concepts and Definitions

¨      Form Groups

¨      Group Assignment 1 - Foundations

¨      In-Class Exercise




Week 3>

15 Sep

¨      Lecture: Chapter 3 – Organizational Structures

¨      Introduction of Case Study

¨      Group Assignment 2 – Organizational Structure

¨      In-Class Exercise




Week 4>

22 Sep

¨      Lecture: Chapter 4 - Organizing And Staffing The Project Office And Team

¨      Group Assignment 3 - Staffing

¨      Group Presentation(s)




Week 5>

29 Sep

¨      Lecture: Chapter 11 – Planning

¨      Group Assignment 4 - WBS

¨      Group Presentation(s)




Week 6>

6 Oct

¨      Lecture: Chapter 12 – Network Scheduling

¨      Group Assignment 5 – Networked Schedule

¨      Group Presentation(s)

¨      Annotated Outlines Recommended Due Date




Week 7>

13 Oct

¨      Lecture: Chapter 14 – Pricing and Estimation Techniques

¨      Group Assignment 6 - Pricing

¨      Group Presentation(s)




Week 8>

20 Oct

¨      Semester Midterm Exam




Week 9>

27 Oct

¨      Lecture: Chapter 16 – Trade-Off Analysis

¨      Review Exam

¨      Group Assignment 7 - Trades

¨      Group Presentation(s)




Week 10>

3 Nov

¨      Lecture: Chapter 17 – Risk Management

¨      Group Presentation(s)




Week 11>

10 Nov

¨      Lecture: Chapter 20 – Quality Management

¨      Group Presentation(s)

¨      Final Binder Guidance




Week 12>

17 Nov

¨      Lecture:  Chapter 21 -Contracts and Procurement

¨      Group Assignment:  Professor Challenge 1

¨      Group Presentations(s)

¨   Final Papers Due! – No LATE PAPERS!




Week 13

24 Nov





Week 14>

1 Dec

¨      Semester Final Exam

¨      Group Assignment:  Professor Challenge 2




Week 15>

8 Dec

¨      Exam Review

¨      Lecture:  Personnel Issues

¨      Optional Group Assignment




Week 16>

15 Dec

¨      Final Presentations– No LATE PAPERS!