MIS40670 – Managing Systems Development Syllabus

Course Title: Managing Systems Development
Lecturer: Allen Higgins,

CITO: Centre for Innovation, Technology & Organisation
Rm Q223, Quinn Building
UCD School of Business
University College Dublin
Belfield, D4

Logistics: Classes are held on Tuesdays in D104.
FT class 10:00 to 12:30
PT class 18:00 to 20:30
Blog: http://managingsystemsdevelopment.blogspot.com/.

Room D104, D Building, Blackrock

Slides and readings are posted in the course page in UCD’s Blackboard at elearning.ucd.ie (login required).

Module Description
Systems development is the innovation engine of the ICT-enable organisation. However collaborative production and delivery of robust systems presents significant challenges and team issues. This module provides an understanding of approaches used by professionals in this vital function, from the perspective of managers who supervise systems developers or liaise with them during innovation projects.
Our focus is on techniques and processes used for managing systems development to deliver value. We cover current issues of the management of software production ranging from traditional sequential engineering approaches through to agile and lean methods. We consider how lifecycles and methodologies are employed to balance the tension between requirements for orderly production and the need to respond to change.
We will study management techniques, practices, lifecycles and frameworks for systems development projects. I hope to integrate these diverse concepts and theories of software systems development in order to translate them into personal, team, and management practice.
Topics range over: the requirements process; deployment strategies; methodologies such as CMMI, RUP, XP, Scrum, & Lean; understanding knowledge, communication, and performance in teams.
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this module we should be able to:

  • Describe and discuss aspects of current and emerging management approaches to development.
  • Identify the key characteristics of software production and the systems development lifecycle through processes of joint development and assurance.
  • Competently analyse, assess and apply systems development processes and practices to problematic situations.
  • Critically evaluate and formulate processes, activities, and practices necessary for development.

Compulsory Book Reading
Tracy Kidder, (1981) The Soul of a New Machine (e.g. ISBN 0316491977, search link)
n.b. Background article on the book: Flight of the Eagle: The Birthing and Life of a Super-Minicomputer. (Faughnan & Stevanovic, 1996; link)

Assessment – Summary. Note: Grades provided during term are provisional and subject to the exam board process.

  1. Group case analyses. Formative in-class feedback (required but not graded).
  2. (20% : letter grade: personal learning journal blog posts and 4 page report) Individual: A link to your own blog which will act as a learning journal – comprised of regular posts of your own comments, reflections and learning related to the subject. Culminating in a summative (4 page) report submitted at the end of the course
  3. (30% : letter grade: ~5,000 word term paper submitted at the end of week 10) In Pairs: Research Project: Comprised of a Term-Paper and video-presentation to the class.
  4. (50% : letter grade) Individual: Final Exam.

Course Material. Course material consists of slides, case studies, readings, videos, and practical group exercises. The organisation of the course will be subject to on-going revision.
Participation. Students will abide by the provisions of the UCD Student Code.
All deliverables, whether individual or group, must comply with UCD policies on Academic Integrity and Plagiarism. Communication should be respectful, professional, and comply with the school protocols.

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