PRM70002 Leading Complex Projects
Assignment 1: Literature Review
All students are to write a literature review of 1200 words (+ 10%) on the topic:
What is project complexity? What are the different elements of project complexity – how is it defined and categorised, and how does it impact successful delivery.
The literature review will involve a critical evaluation of relevant existing literature on the above topic. You should use at least 7 articles, 5 of which must be articles from good quality sources such as peer reviewed academic journals and books. Your work must be referenced throughout and full references given in Harvard style at the end of the review. Details of Harvard referencing formats are given on the Swinburne Library’s research site at: http://www.swinburne.edu.au/lib/researchhelp/harvard_system.htm
Learning Objectives for Assignment
- Through assessing the academic literature understand what elements contribute and define complex projects and how project complexity impacts the successful delivery of a project.
- Show familiarity with significant research in the area
- Develop critical thinking skills, through identifying, analysing, evaluating and developing arguments which illustrate thoughtful appreciation of the management of complex projects
To review something implies that you should examine a subject critically. This means that you need to present a number of issues, evaluate those issues, compare and contrast different perspectives on those issues, give a range of information, evidence and informed opinion, and thus develop a well-balanced, well-informed argument that is supported by reference to the appropriate relevant, quality literature. You should identify common themes that appear in a number of articles, and also look for divergent viewpoints.
What do we mean by ‘relevant, quality literature’?
Relevant, quality literature is likely to be peer-reviewed (or subject to some form of quality control), and published in reputable journals. (Note: When using many of the electronic databases in the library, you often get an option when searching to select “peer-reviewed” articles only.) Very few of the short articles available on the Internet are subject to any review process. They may be very interesting and helpful and one advantage is that they contain very recent data. The challenge lies in trying to establish the quality of the article.
- Does the article present empirical data or someone’s opinion?
- Are the ideas/views/issues presented relatively objective?
- Is the writing academic/professional in nature, or ‘consultant-speak’?
- Is the article published in a reputable publication?
In some cases you may wish to refer to more recent data, but be careful to justify its use. You should not have more than 15% of short, Internet publications that are not quality controlled in your references (this includes Wikipedia).Further information on how to write a literature review is given on the unit Blackboard site.
Criteria that will be used to assess your literature review are:
- Relevance to the chosen topic
- Coverage of the topic
- Evidence of suitable research and wider reading
- Evidence of thoughtfulness, insights and critical reflection on the readings undertaken
- Assertions and arguments made are grounded in literature and supported by evidence
- Evidence of an ability to distinguish between legitimate academic sources of quality material as opposed to more ‘popular’ sources
- Structure and coherence of the writing
- Referencing done according to appropriate tertiary standards
- High standards of literacy