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PMGT6891: Risk Dynamics and Resilience (2020 - Semester 2 Block Mode)

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Unit: PMGT6891: Risk Dynamics and Resilience (6 CP)
Mode: Block Mode
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: Project Management
Unit Coordinator/s: Afzal, Fatima
Session options: Semester 2 Online, Semester 2 Block Mode
Versions for this Unit:
Site(s) for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Prohibitions: PMGT5891.
Brief Handbook Description: Projects are inherently uncertain as they require planning in the present for action to be taken in the future. Such uncertainty gives rise to both risk and opportunity. This unit of study provides a broad and contemporary coverage of the dynamic nature of risk and the need for project and organizational resilience to deal with risk and benefit from opportunity. Against a background of risk management theory, industry standards and practice, students will be provided with opportunities to reflect upon and share their experiences as a basis for developing their skills in identifying and dealing with project risk and making informed decisions aligned with organizational strategy and risk appetite. Integrated qualitative and quantitative approaches for identification, analysis, prioritization, mitigation, monitoring and response to risk will be covered. Assessment will include opportunities to draw upon work based examples.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Lecturer/s: Ainsworth, Harold
Timetable: PMGT6891 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 E-Learning 10.00 2 3
2 Workgroup 4.00 2 3
3 Independent Study 6.00 13

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
• documenting the process for risk management used in a case study situation
• present on the adequacy of risk approaches used in several public domain or private case study situations
Project Development (Level 4)
• identify and respond to risks in a case study situation
• presenting their understanding of the impacts of these risks on the project, organization and planned outcomes
• reflection on learnings applied to their own work environment
Project Delivery (Level 4)
• modeling of risk contingency plans and their impact on budgets and schedule allowances for a case study provided Project Methods (Level 4)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Project Management Learning Progression Table 2019.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Project Methods (Level 4)
1. Ability to simulate the potential effects of risks on schedule, cost and other performance dimensions using various techniques.
Project Delivery (Level 4)
2. Ability to track, monitor & control risks & actions to achieve project objectives & the business case.
3. Ability to close risks for an optimal outcome.
Project Development (Level 4)
4. Ability to establish risk management plans, policies & integrate them with other project plans, organisation & align them to the business case.
5. Ability to understand the sources of potential risks (including but not limited to political, organisational, psychological and technical risks) and to use risk management tools & techniques to identify, assess, evaluate, & prioritise risks
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Assignment 1 * Yes 25.00 Week 7 1, 4, 5,
2 Assignment 2 * Yes 25.00 Week 13 1, 2, 3,
3 Assignment 3 * No 38.00 Week 13 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
4 Discussion forums - 3 Yes 12.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
Assessment Description: * means this assessment must be repeated or will be replaced with a different assessment if missed due to special consideration

Assignment 1 is team based and is designed to provide you with experience in developing contingency reserves for the budget utilising a case study provided.

Assignment 2 is team based and utilises a case study to develop schedule contingency and also consider responses to different types of risk, and monitoring and reporting on them throughout the life cycle.

At the end of each of the 2 team assignments perform a confidential on-line evaluation of the contribution of the other team members.

Assignment 3 is individual work and is part reflection on the course and part your assessment of one of your own cases and in depth analysis of how risk and opportunities were managed and how this could be improved or replicated.

To obtain a pass grade or better in this unit it is necessary to be part of team and submit 2 team assignments and also submit a personal Reflective Learning Report.

Discussion Forums - Based on cases provided or your own case groups will present their finding about how risk and opportunities were managed and suggested lessons to be learned. There will also be a number of group class presentations (not assessable) on various topics such as risk allocation between parties, use of risk tools and techniques etc.

Assignments submitted electronically are due at 11:59pm on the submission day. Assignments more than 10 days late get 0 (except in special consideration circumstances). Late submissions will incur a penalty of 5% per day late.

IMPORTANT: There may be statistically defensible moderation when combining the marks from each component to ensure consistency of marking between markers, and alignment of final grades with unit outcomes
Assessment Feedback: By email to students
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.
Online Course Content: Please see course material on Blackboard prior to class start. Login at
Note on Resources: Student should be familiar with the PMBoK guide and AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 Risk Management Standard

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 A detailed schedule will be available prior to the start of semester. The topic areas to be covered are:

Overview of tools used in risk management. Interviews, questionnaires, scoring models, checklists, FMEA, Delphi, PERT, decision stress, sensitivity analysis, Monte Carlo, Intro to probability.

Introduction to Risk Standards: AS/NZS ISO 31000 and PMBoK.

Definitions, Terminology, process, RBS, Risk Plans, Basics of Risk Management.

Contingency reserves

Approaches to dealing with risk in projects.

Contingency Plans (& fallback plans).

Psychological errors in estimating (Kahneman and Tversky et al).

Opportunity management.

Problem with scoring models - ways to improve

Calibration of estimators, Critical Chain scheduling, Value of additional data.

Modeling - decision trees, PERT, Delphi, Monte Carlo technique

Utility theory and the organisation' s risk appetite.

Allocation of risk between parties.

Risk reporting, Risk contingency usage, risk triggers.

Capturing lesson learned.

Unknown unknowns - and Black Swans or the extreme unpredictable events.

Alternative approaches for dealing with major uncertainties and complexity around projects

Project escalation. Risk tools and Frameworks.
Week 7 Assessment Due: Assignment 1 *
Week 10
Week 13 Assessment Due: Assignment 2 *
Assessment Due: Assignment 3 *

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Graduate Diploma in Project Leadership 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
Master of Project Leadership 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
Graduate Certificate in Project Leadership 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
Graduate Diploma in Project Management 2016, 2017, 2018
Master of Project Management 2016, 2017, 2018
Master of Project and Program Management 2019, 2020, 2021

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Project Communication (Level 4) No 0%
Professional Practice (Level 4) No 0%
Project Leadership (Level 4) No 0%
Project Methods (Level 4) Yes 26.65%
Project Delivery (Level 4) Yes 36.65%
Project Development (Level 4) Yes 36.65%

These goals are selected from Project Management Learning Progression Table 2019 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Project Management Learning Progression Table 2019 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.