George Mason University
School of Information Technology and Engineering
Department of Systems Engineering and Operations Research
SYST530-001 Spring 2006
Tuesday 7:20 to 10:00 p.m.  -  Location:
Enterprise 274
January 24, 2006 to May 2nd 2006

Professor: Dr. Tan N. Nguyen
Telephone: (703) 993-1670 (GMU) or (703) 338-7935 (C)
Office Hours: By appointment
Home Page:  (public)
and (for SYST530 registered students only)

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.  Case studies of some current U.S. Federal governmental or commercial enterprises are presented. In addition, the professor will discuss topics related to "real-life" project management, enterprise architecture, enterprise integration, systems engineering, enterprise engineering, and some practical issues with solutions from his experience in large scale systems development, operating systems, data communications, computer networks, and distributed systems integration.

WebCT usage is required in the class:  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).  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 Dr. Tan Nguyen,

Honor Code
Honor Code procedures will be strictly adhered. Students are required to be familiar with the honor code. You must not utilize unauthorized material or consultation in responding to your tests, homework, and assignments.  There are several web sites that publish homework solutions, project assignment programs, etc. Numerous professors used the homework solutions from the textbook as their standard grading keys and also published the solutions on the Internet. You may use those solutions as references but you are not allowed to copy them directly. Violations of the honor code will be reported. Obvious honor code violations (exact copy of work, etc) will be graded as 0/100 (zero percent).


  • Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling, 8th edition (2003); Harold Kerzner. John Wiley and Sons ISBN 0471225770
  • Other assigned materials will be made available on the GMU web site and other WWW locations.



10% - homework


25% - group project


20% - research paper


20% - midterm


25% - final

There will be 4 homework assignments, a group project, an individual research paper, a midterm exam, and a final exam.  The midterm exam will be a take home exam, and the final exam will be both take-home and in class (open book). There will be an individual term research paper assignment and a group project assignment.   Students will pick a topic from a list of research paper’s topics or project topics provided by the professor or from their own topics.  The number of students per group is 1 to 3.  Each group will submit project deliverables and present an in-class presentation for about 20 minutes.

The following table is used to convert the final numerical grade to a letter grade:  

Grade G 

 Letter Grade


A+ or A










[0, 50) 


IMPORTANT NOTEIt requires an exceptionally challenging performance to earn 92% or greater


Week 1

24 January

Background; Introduction


Week 2

31 January

. Lecture: Chapter 1:  Overview (43 pages)


Week 3

7 February

. Lectures: Chapter 2: Project Management Growth: Concepts and Definitions (70)

Chapter 3: Organizational Structures (48)


Week 4

14 February

. Lecture: Chapter 4:  Organizing And Staffing The Project Office And Team (75)

. Group project meetings

. HW 1  Release

Week 5

21 February

. Lecture: Chapter 5:  Management Functions (64)

. Research paper discussion

. Group Project meeting


Week 6

28 February

. Lectures: Chapter 6: Time Management (20) Chapter 7: Conflicts  (13) Chapter 8: Special Topics  Chapter 9: The Variables For Success (18)

. HW 2 Release – HW 1 due


Week 7

7 March

Lecture: Chapter 10 - Working with Executives (9)

Chapter 11 - Planning (55)

Group project meeting


Week 8

14 March

Spring break:  No Class


Week 9

21 March

Special Topics in Cost Estimating

HW 3 release – HW 2 Due

Semester Midterm Exam Release

Week 10

28 March

Lecture: Chapter 12 - Network Scheduling Techniques (23)

Chapter 14 - Pricing and Estimating (22)

Midterm Exam DUE


Week 11

4 April

Lecture: Chapter 15: Cost Control (60)

Chapter 16 - Trade-off Analysis In A Project Environment (7)

HW 4 release – HW 3 due

Week 12

11 April

Lecture: Chapter 17: Risk Management (33) Chapter 18: Learning Curves (15)

Chapter 19: Modern Developments In Project Management (12)

Chapter 21: Contracts and Procurement (50)

Week 13

18 April

Group Presentation

HW 4 due

Week 14

25 April

Semester Reviews

Partial Final exam release

Week 15

2 May

Final Exam