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PMGT3856: Sustainability & Knowledge Management (2019 - Semester 1)

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Unit: PMGT3856: Sustainability & Knowledge Management (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Senior
Faculty/School: Project Management
Unit Coordinator/s: Taborda, Louis
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: The concepts of sustainability and corporate responsibility are gaining importance in our globalised economy. They have been increasingly influencing business and project objectives and it is becoming imperative that they are incorporated into the practice of project management.

This unit of study embraces this new reality by providing students with an expanded understanding of value creation and how this is delivered through projects. The emphasis is on using projects to deliver value not only in terms of economic capital but also developing social capital and preserving natural capital. These will be underpinned by an appreciation of the standards, principles and frameworks that exist, both in Australia and internationally, to govern the preservation of the environment and increase the development of social capital.

Case studies will be used to create learning processes as students consider and confront the dilemmas that project managers face as they strive to deliver shareholder value, whilst considering social and environmental impacts these projects may have. Cases discussed in this UOS will allow students to explore both the opportunities and pitfalls companies and non-government organisations face in targeting sustainability issues and how their values and core assumptions impact their business strategies.

Concepts such as corporate responsibility, the triple bottom line, the business case for sustainability, supply chain management and responsible purchasing and knowledge management will be discussed and students will consider how these influence project delivery.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Lecturer/s: Mrs Mullins, Jessica
Timetable: PMGT3856 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Workshop 2.00 1 12
2 Independent Study 6.00 1 12

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 Development (Level 3)
1. Contribute to complex project work, within a clear framework, with an emphasis on the incorporation of sustainability principles in project management.
2. Work in a team to prepare planning documentation for complex projects that incorporate sustainability principles, frameworks and objectives. Relevant planning documentation includes project proposals, procurement plans and business cases.
Project Methods (Level 3)
3. Contribute to the tailoring and selection of project delivery approaches based on the context and objectives of the project. This will include the clear articulation of project objectives and approaches to ensure that benefits are realised.
Project Communication (Level 3)
4. Interpret and communicate complex material and concepts in a logical, clear and compelling manner, including the identification of aligned reference sources.
Professional Practice (Level 3)
5. Make competent, thoughtful use of project management language, models and processes.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Short Essay* No 15.00 Week 5 4, 5,
2 Class test - Quiz* No 20.00 Week 10 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
3 Individual Report* No 25.00 Week 8 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
4 Sustainable Project Plan/Tender Yes 30.00 Week 12 1, 3, 4, 5,
5 Participation & Discussion Boards No 10.00 Week 13 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.

Short Essay - Academic Essay style - based on the weekly readings - 500 words

Individual Report - Academic Essay style - 1500 words

Quiz - Multiple choice and short answer questions

Sustainable Project Plan/Tender

Team activity, written project management deliverable approx. 5000 words excluding appendices and attachments. In teams of 4 to 5 you will be given a real project case study and prepare an innovative tender submission for a development plan. It will incorporate a detailed Sustainability Management Plan outlining the sustainability objectives, methods, scope, deliverables and benefits to ensure project outcomes are aligned with the overarching business strategy and corporate values. The Project Management Plan needs to include the project objectives and success measures which clearly include economic, social and natural capital concepts. The 30% includes 10% for a marketing pitch/presentation of your ideas.

Participation - will be marked based on students involvement in the presentations, discussions, interaction with guest lecturers and activities held during tutorial time.

Late submissions will incur a penalty of 5% per day starting directly after the cut off time. This means 5% will be deducted even if submitted on the due day but after the cut-off time. After 10 days, assessments will no longer be marked and receive a 0 mark.

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.
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.
Library e-Reserve: Please check the Library e-Reserve site for additional course resources.
Note on Resources: There is no prescribed text book for this Unit of Study. Students will be required to conduct readings and research from a broad base of publications and papers. The following is a list of useful reference books that you may like to purchase and share amongst your team members.

In addition, readings will be prescribed each week and available on the eLearning site for the unit. Students are expected to read these before each lecture and tutorial.

Standards. The following Australian and International Standards are also useful for students of this unit and highly recommended. You can download these for free by going to the library or using the links provided in the eLearning environment. You will need to take in the full details of the standards and a memory stick to download a softcopy which needs to be printed within 24 or 48 hour. Alternatively, you can purchase any of these standards online via the Standards Australia website – or

• Risk Management Companion HB4360-2004

• Risk Management Standard AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009

• Project Quality Standard AS ISO 10006

• Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility ISO 26000

• Guidance on Project Management ISO 21500

• Energy Management Systems (EnMS) ISO 50001

• Principles of Quality Management ISO 9001

• Environmental Management Systems (EMS) ISO 14000 Family of Standards. 14001: Environmental Management Systems. 14004: EMS General Guidelines. 14010: Guidelines for Environmental Auditing. 14011: Guidelines for Auditing of an EMS. 14012: Auditing - Qualification criteria. 14064: Greenhouse Gases.

Useful Online Resources - Green Project Management organisation - United Nations Global Compact – universal principles for enlightened global business - International Society for Sustainability Professionals - Green Building Council of Australia – Green Star Rating Frameworks - National Australian Built Environment Rating System - Responsible Purchasing Network - Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, water, Population and Communities - Australian Government Sustainable Procurement Guidelines - Australian Government National Waste Policy - The Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility - Resources and Studies on Corporate Social responsibility in Australia - Australian Human Rights Commission Corporate Social Responsibility - St James Ethics Centre website of responsible business practices in Australia - St James Ethics Centre – interesting ethical dilemmas - Engineers Australia – website of the Australian Institute of Project Management – website of the Project Management Institute – website of the Sydney chapter of the PMI - project management knowledge sharing site - PMBOK project management templates – website of Agile techniques – official website of Prince2 - PMI’s Agile development tool box – website of the Australian Organisation for Quality – website of Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma tools – Project Management Guidelines (Tasmanian Government) – Project Management Methodology (Queensland Government) - Project Management Templates (Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads)

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

Week Description
Week 1 Tutorial: Introduction to Subject - Sustainability Concepts; Sustainability in Project Management
Week 2 Tutorial: Sustainability frameworks, standards and guidelines; The Value of sustainability
Sustainable Tender Assignment discussion and Guest Lecture
Week 3 Tutorial: Understanding the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Week 4 Tutorial: Social Impact Assessments
Corporate Social Responsibility
Week 5 Tutorial: Aligning project objectives to corporate values and business strategy; Value creation – Economic Sustainability
Assessment Due: Short Essay*
Week 6 The Ethical Organisation - PMI Code of Ethics
Week 7 Lecture: Sustainability in construction projects
Tutorial: Guest Lecture - Construction Specialists
Week 8 Easter Break - No Workshop
Other: Online material, please see Canvas
Assessment Due: Individual Report*
Week 9 Tutorial: Disaster PM activities
Lecture: PM & Disaster Management - Guest Lecture
Week 10 Lecture: Sustainable Organisations through HR
Assessment Due: Class test - Quiz*
Week 12 Tutorial: Tender Assignment Presentations
Assessment Due: Sustainable Project Plan/Tender
Week 13 Tutorial: Tender Assignment Presentations
Assessment Due: Participation & Discussion Boards

Course Relations

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

Course Year(s) Offered
Electrical Engineering / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Electrical Engineering (Power) / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Chemical & Biomolecular / Project Management 2016, 2017, 2018, 2015
Civil / Project Management 2016, 2017, 2018, 2015
Electrical / Project Management 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2015
Software / Project Management 2016, 2017, 2018, 2015
Mechanical Engineering (Biomedical) / Project Management 2012
Mechanical Engineering / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechanical Engineering (Space) / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechatronic Engineering / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechatronic Engineering (Space) / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Software Engineering / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Bachelor of Project Management- Built Environment Major (Table A) 2019, 2020
Aeronautical Engineering / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Aeronautical Engineering (Space) / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Biomedical Engineering / Project Management 2013, 2014
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Aeronautical/ Project Management 2019, 2020
Aeronautical / Project Management 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Aeronautical (Space) / Project Management 2015
Biomedical/ Project Management 2019, 2020
Biomedical / Project Management 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Chemical & Biomolecular/ Project Management 2019, 2020
Civil/ Project Management 2019, 2020
Electrical/ Project Management 2019, 2020
Electrical (Computer) / Project Management 2015
Electrical (Power) / Project Management 2015
Electrical (Telecommunications) / Project Management 2015
Mechanical/ Project Management 2019, 2020
Mechanical / Project Management 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Mechanical (Space) / Project Management 2015
Mechatronic/ Project Management 2019, 2020
Mechatronic / Project Management 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Mechatronic (Space) / Project Management 2015
Software/ Project Management 2019, 2020
Bachelor of Project Management/Bachelor of Arts 2016, 2017
Bachelor of Project Management (Built Environment) 2017
Bachelor of Project Management (Built Environment) Mid-Year 2016, 2017, 2018
Bachelor of Project Management- Construction Major (Table A) 2019, 2020
Bachelor of Project Management (Civil Engineering Science) 2017
Bachelor of Project Management (Civil Engineering Science) Mid-Year 2016, 2017, 2018
Bachelor of Project Management (Software) Mid-Year 2016, 2017, 2018
Bachelor of Project Management (Software) 2017
Bachelor of Project Management- Table S Major 2019, 2020

Course Goals

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

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Project Development (Level 3) No 29.5%
Project Delivery (Level 3) No 0%
Project Methods (Level 3) No 18.5%
Project Communication (Level 3) No 26%
Project Leadership (Level 3) No 0%
Professional Practice (Level 3) No 26%

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.