Note: The course is aimed at MSc and PhD students who can enroll themselves. However, BSc students in the last year could also be enrolled; please, contact course organizers in this case.
Formal course description
A formal course description that includes the objective, learning goals, etc. are available online in the following Web pages:
Tools: Moodle, Zoom
On-line meetings with the teachers:
Dates: TBD, preliminary each second Friday. (If Friday is a holiday the meeting is moved to the next Friday):
Time: TBD, preliminary 12:00-14:00
Informal course description
This course is devoted to modeling an enterprise as a system functioning in its business environment that consists of customers (including potential), partners, competitors, regulators, etc. Besides depicting the environment, an enterprise model also reveals the internal structure of the enterprise, which includes various activities completed inside and outside it, as well as actors participating in the activities, equipment and tools used to complete activities (including IT-systems), etc. It also reveals the connection between different activities that makes an enterprise function as a whole, i.e. as a system. We will be using three different modeling techniques to depict enterprise and its activities: Fractal Enterprise Model (FEM), Viable System Model (VSM) and ArchiMate. They represent different views on the functioning of the enterprise. FEM gives a resource-related view that shows how company gets and manages its resources, which includes customers, partners, equipment, workers, information, money, etc. VSM gives a cybernetic view on the company as a system in the environment. It describes the components the enterprise needs to have to survive and prosper in the dynamic business environment of today. ArchiMate gives a detailed view on the IT related part of the enterprise that plays more and more important role as time goes.
This is a totally on-line course given on the master level. It presumes the students working on their own while reading materials, studying video materials and completing project assignments under the guidance of the teachers. There will be online meetings with the teachers each second week. To make the most from these meetings we use the ideas borrowed from the concept of flipped classroom. This means that the students are supposed to study the materials related to the topic before coming to the meeting bringing a lot of questions to the meeting. It does not matter if you fail to grasp all material via individual study. The main thing is to have a good try to understand the material that might be conceptually difficult for some. Here, we follow another pedagogical principle – Learning by Failing (LbF), which means the deepest level of knowledge is obtained through trying and failing before doing it right.
Though much of the teaching material for the course consists of articles from academic publishers, the course is in no way a theoretical one. The main learning objective of the course is to obtain knowledge that can be deployed in practice. This objective is to be achieved via a course project of building various models related to the same enterprise called Harmony Inside. This is a fictional enterprise, which, however, has a real-life prototype – a small Swedish company founded by two entrepreneurs. What is more, there is no textual description of the company. We use yet one more pedagogical idea called Apprenticeship Simulation (AS). The enterprise is described via a diverse set of multimedia resources, like interviews and web-based sources from which the students need to extract the information for building their models. Though the interviews have been conducted for an educational purpose, these are real interviews with real people with questions similar to the ones that would be posed in a real consulting practice. The same can be said about web-based resources, some of them are real, others are fictional, but they reflect the real sites.
The examination in the course consists of two parts – one part is the project completed in groups, and the second part is an individual exam assignment for everybody to be completed at designated date and time. The assignment will be of the same type as a project, you will be given a business description and you will be building three different models from it. However, the description will be textual, not as a set of multimedia sources. We believe that the students who worked in full on the project assignments find no difficulty to complete the exam assignments.
The knowledge obtained in the course could be useful in completing a MSc thesis project, especially if you want to have a topic connected to your current or future workplace.