University of Technology Sydney

31247 Collaborative Business Processes

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2021 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Information Technology: Information, Systems and Modelling
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 31266 Introduction to Information Systems


This undergraduate subject allows students to explore a problem and work through an end-to-end problem solving process. It introduces methods that can be used by agile teams to support the creativity, critical thinking and design that characterise innovation, and ways to apply these to real world problems. Starting from scoping a chosen problem, students develop a deeper understanding, supported by data and evidence. The subject introduces the support tools that allow teams to collaborate across distance and ways to adapt social networking for knowledge sharing and innovation. Students apply various tools to understand the problem and generate effective solution(s), such as design thinking, process modelling, systems thinking, business modelling, etc. It encourages students to share knowledge and quickly develop solutions that address current and emergent issues in society or business.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Analyse the roles of collaborative processes in problem solving, in the context of contemporary challenges.
2. Collaboratively synthesise multiple viewpoints, and evaluate ideas to formulate “wicked problems”.
3. Apply appropriate collaborative process toolsets to solve the selected problem(s).
4. Evaluate formulations and solutions of peers to inform optimal outcomes.
5. Use reflection strategies to enhance students’ personal contributions to the workplace.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

  • Socially Responsible: FEIT graduates identify, engage, interpret and analyse stakeholder needs and cultural perspectives, establish priorities and goals, and identify constraints, uncertainties and risks (social, ethical, cultural, legislative, environmental, economics etc.) to define the system requirements. (B.1)
  • Design Oriented: FEIT graduates apply problem solving, design and decision-making methodologies to develop components, systems and processes to meet specified requirements. (C.1)
  • Technically Proficient: FEIT graduates apply abstraction, mathematics and discipline fundamentals, software, tools and techniques to evaluate, implement and operate systems. (D.1)
  • Collaborative and Communicative: FEIT graduates work as an effective member or leader of diverse teams, communicating effectively and operating within cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural contexts in the workplace. (E.1)
  • Reflective: FEIT graduates critically self-review their performance to improve themselves, their teams, and the broader community and society. (F.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

Collaborative Business Processes is run as three-hour sessions by a combination of classes, discussions, individual immersion activities, group collaborative project activities based on case studies. The predominant delivery will include workshop environment, and the class will have elements of studio subject.

The subject will revolve around students’ group projects. Generally, topics covered during a week become pre-work for the following project sessions.

During the workshop, face-to-face / online topic presentations (as deemed relevant based on level of social distancing required), individual and group activities will take place.

The key theme running the class is project work. As part of project, students will be required to consider selected real and hypothetical case-based scenarios, which they can extend and add colour and value to.

The students will ease into the class using an individual task, which is based on immersion and literature search. While this would remain at the ndivid level, the idea is this task would dovetail into the project that would follow the individual task. In order to make as much of individual work useful to collaborative project and increase the learning from collaboration, individual works assigned will also be part of the collaborative project.

During the subject of the session, several students will be randomly selected to answer those questions in the class. Some of the tasks from the assessment items will need to be submitted periodically, and thre is a need get feedback from peers.

The group presentation will be organised as a competition among all the groups in the subject.

Content (topics)

Understanding and Formulating Problems

  • Purpose and Need of Collaboration
  • Solving the right problems vs solving problems right way
  • Defining and communicating a problem clearly
  • Developing appropriate evaluation criteria
  • Researching the problem and supporting with relevant data and evidence
  • Modelling the problem and its context
  • Stakeholder Analysis

Overview of Key Collaborative Processes

  • Agile Project Process
  • Design Thinking and Systems Thinking
  • Participatory Modeling
  • Introduction Knoweldge Elicitation and Facilitation Processes


  • Brainstorming
  • Creative thinking tool
  • User stories and user experiences

Modelling to Represent and Understand Problems (spread throughout the subject)

  • Process Diagrams
  • Causal loop Diagram
  • Customer Journey Maps
  • Empathy Map and Persona
  • Enterprise Social Network (ESN) diagram
  • Rich Picture Models
  • Role of Simulation Models in Collaborations
  • Business models


  • High Fidelity / Low Fidelity
  • Interface design (where applicable)
  • Fitness for purpose
  • Disciplined change/improvement


Assessment task 1: Collaborative Project Part 1 Problem Formulation and Understanding the Domain through Literature and Data Review


To formulate problem, and also to understand the problem domain, tools and limitations clearly and deeply before generating ideas or solutions


This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2 and 3

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

B.1, C.1 and E.1

Type: Project
Groupwork: Group, individually assessed
Weight: 35%

Maximum 4000 words

Assessment task 2: Collaborative Project Part 2 Solution Development, Prototyping, Proposal Development


To demonstrate the application of tools taught by collaboratively formulating problem, providing solution, and developing a proposal based on that.


This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

B.1, C.1, E.1 and F.1

Type: Project
Groupwork: Group, individually assessed
Weight: 40%

Maximum 8000 words

Assessment task 3: Collaborative Project Evaluation and Reflection


To reflect on the effect of whole experience associated with peer review and evaluation of work of peers to oneself.


This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

B.1, C.1, D.1 and E.1

Type: Reflection
Groupwork: Group, individually assessed
Weight: 25%


Minimum requirements

To pass this subject, a student must achieve an overall mark of 50% or greater.

Recommended texts

There is no prescribed text for the course. A recommended list will be provided on UTSOnline and will include a

reading list of articles and books. The resources are available online. These are some starters:

  • Tsai, M., Yang, Y., & Huang, M. (2012). Design & thinking (Educational license.). San Francisco: Muris Media.
  • Design Thinking: New Product Development Essentials from the PDMA, Abbie Griffin, Scott Swan, Michael G. Luchs, Michael I. Luchs, and Scott Swan
  • Voinov A. (1999). Simulation Modeling. Online Course.


  • Ackoff, R.A. "Re-creating the Corporation: A design of Organizations for the 21st Century", Oxford University Press, 1999
  • Burkus, D. "The Myths of Creativity, The truth about how innovative companies and people generate great ideas", Jossey-Bass, Wiley Brand, 2014
  • Clegg, S., Kornberger, M. and Pitsis, T. "Managing and Organisations: an introduction to theory and practice", London, SAGE, 2008.
  • Davenport, T. "Thinking for a living : how to get better performance and results from knowledge workers", Imprint Boston, Mass, Harvard Business School Press, 2005.
  • Gaddis, E., Falk, H., Ginger, C., Voinov, A., & Gaddis, E. (2010). Effectiveness of a participatory modeling effort to identify and advance community water resource goals in St. Albans, Vermont. Environmental Modelling & Software,
  • 25(11), 1428–1438.
  • Hawryszkiewycz, I. 'Agile Business System Design: Using Information Technology to Creat Business Value', e-book, 2012
  • Hawryszkiewycz, I. 'Knowledge Management: organizing knowledge based enterprises', Palgrave Macmillan, UK, 2010
  • Laudon K.C. and Laudon J.P. "Management Information Systems, Managing the Digital Firm", 13th Edition, Pearson Education Ltd.
  • Meadows, D.H. "Thinking in Systems: A Primer", Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008
  • Marcelo Makoto Higuchi. (2017). Agile Design: A Combined Model Based On Design Thinking And Agile
  • Methodologies For Digital Games Projects. Revista de Gestão e Projetos, 8(2), 109–126.
  • Osterwalder, A. and Peigner, Y. "Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers" 2010.
  • Parker, G.G., Van Alstyne, M.W. and Choudary, S.P. "Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets are Transforming the Economy And How to Make Them Work for You" WW New York, NY: Norton & Company.2016
  • Pradhan, S, Beetson, S, Gordon, G & Ford, J 2019, 'Building a Digital Entrepreneurial Platform through Local
  • Community Activity and Digital Skills with Ngemba First Nation Australia', The International Indigenous Policy Journal.
  • Qualman, E., "Socialnomics: how social media transforms the way we live and do business", Wiley, 2011.
  • Surowiecki, J., "The Wisdom of Crowds", Anchor Books, New York, 2005.
  • Tapscott, D. and Williams, A.D. "Wikinomics: how mass collaboration changes everything", Atlantic Books, 2006.
  • Thiel, P. "Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future" Crown Publishing Group, 2014.
  • van der Pijl, P., Lokitz, J. and Solomon, L.K. "Design a Better Business: New Tools, Skills and Mindset for Strategy and Innovation" Wiley 2016.
  • Yee, J., Jefferies, E. and Tan, L. "Design Transitions: Inspiring stories, Global viewpoints, How design is changing", 2013.

More references will be listed in the subject notes.

Other resources


Subject announcements, assignments, lecture slides, handouts, readings for the workshops, topic discussion boards and other online communications will be available in this website. Please check regularly this site for the latest information on the subject.

Due dates and further guidelines about the assessment items are provided in the subject website on UTSOnline. from UTS Library site: