MGT 5904 Systems Management Capstone
Term Dates – May 13 – July 26, 2024
Systems Management

Instructor: Dr. John Lorentz
Business: 252-435-4450
Email: jlorentz@fit.edu

Course Text: Textbooks Required:

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (Paperback)\

Edition: 7TH 20

Author: American Psychological Association

ISBN 13: 978-1-4338-3216-1  

ISBN 10: 1-4338-3216-X  

Publisher: American Psychological Association - APA


Involves a team-based consulting activity for an outside client organization. Requires a project, written report and presentation assessed for synthesis of learned competencies in oral and written communication, critical thinking and systems management. Acts as the capstone for the master's program in systems management. 3.000 Credit Hours
SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT CAPSTONE PROJECT. Involves a team-based consulting activity for an outside client organization. Requires a project, written report and presentation assessed for synthesis of learned competencies in oral and written communication, critical thinking and systems management. Acts as the capstone for the master's program in systems management. 3.000 Credit hours
Note: This course includes systems science and general system theory; strategic concepts and process management; systematic decision-making and technical disciplines; and communications theory. Recommended for the graduating semester. May serve as the capstone for certain majors.

Course Objectives: This course is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to enhance their understanding of different systems engineering and management disciplines and strategies. The course presents both systems engineering and the traditional process improvement disciplines that deal with technology and technical (human-made) entities. The focus of traditional engineering is on technical design of the entities in human-made systems, whereas systems engineering concentrates on what the entities are intended to do (functional design) before determining what the entities are. Traditional engineering focuses on technical performance measures, whereas systems engineering considers all requirements of the client, system owner, and/or the user group, as well as the effects on related systems. This particular focus course is focused on practical application of systems management theory in a client environment.
Course Description: Summative capstone course experience involves a team-based consulting activity designed to address an identified systems management problem from an outside client organization. Students will demonstrate competencies in oral/written communications, critical thinking, and systems management. This course is intended for completion during the final semester. The objective for this course is for the student to demonstrate a synthesis of prior learned competencies in oral/written communications, critical thinking, and systems management into a final capstone project that involves a team-based outside consulting activity. Specific learning objectives are:

LO#1. Student will evaluate effective systems management policies and procedures in a private, public, or governmental organization.
LO#2. Students will identify ineffective or outdated systems management policies for impact in a private, public, or governmental organization.
LO#3. Students will write a team-based capstone report to analyze the components of the “As Is” systems management process and tools.
LO#4 Students will propose several approaches to improving the outcomes of the systems management process for an outside client organization.
LO#5 Students will down select an approach based on identified outcome and feasibility priorities.
LO#6. Students will (orally) present a team-based proposal to solve an identified systems management problem.
LO#7. Students will synthesize feedback from client based organization from team-based consultations to an identified systems management problem.
LO#8. Students will recommend solution(s) to a client based organization based upon team-based consultation to an identified systems management problem.

No special materials are needed.

This is the capstone course. MGT 5904 Systems Management Capstone should be taken as your last class or at least in your last term for the MS degree.


#1. Capstone project (oral and written) proposal for an outside client organization 25% #2. Capstone final (oral and written) project/report for an outside organization 50% #3. Participation in team-based consulting activity to an outside organization (peer evaluation) 25% Total = 100% There are no exams and an exam proctor is not required. Grading: A = 90 - 100 B = 80 - 89 C = 70 - 79 D = 60 - 69 F = 59 The grade of "I" is not automatic and is only given in circumstances beyond the student’s control. See below under "General Information" for more details. Late Assignments: Extensions for extreme and extenuating circumstances are at my discretion and must be arranged in advance. Any work submitted after midnight (EST) of the due date will incur a 50% reduction in the grade. In no case, can an assignment be delayed more than one week and all work must be submitted by the conclusion of Week 11 to receive a grade. I will not accept the Final Project late. Please plan accordingly.

No Exams. Project based learning.

Distance learning through Canvas and coordination among team members for project work

Virtual Chat: Virtual Chats will be determined during the first week of class. These will be likely be mandatory because of the dialogue required to develop your projects and prepare for your final project. I understand the difficulties of online education and different time schedules / time zones. We will work through these issues. Virtual Chats or conference calls are expected to not exceed one hour in length.

The following is the planned schedule. It is subject to change as the term progresses. Unlike more structured study, the independent project nature of the capstone format may result in diverse project progress across the class cohorts. The Summer of 2024 Semester Breaks and Milestones are as follows:

Week of: Subject Assignment

May 13 – 1 - Introductions, overview of course requirements, standards, expectations
Establish Candidate Clients and Process Discussion. 

2 Team Formation / Team Building / Team Guidelines / Team Live Chat (Instructor)

May 20 - 3 Identify potential outside client organization for consulting activity

May 27 - Holiday Memorial Day - Monday - NO CLASSES

May 28 - 4 Initial meeting/introduction to target outside client organization for consulting activity / Client Agreement Document / Team Live Chat (Client)

5 Develop consultation plan to address client organization's identified systems management problem. 

June 03 – 6 Collect data/information from the outside client organization / Team and Client

7 Assemble/organize data from outside client organization.

June 10 – 8 Present oral and written proposal to course instructor to address/solve client organization's systems management problem / Team Live Chat (Instructor)
Midterm Project Deliverables are due (at a minimum this will include a Client Consultation Plan and Initial Data Set or Data Collection Plan).

June 17 – Research

June 19 – Holiday Juneteenth – No Classes

June 24 - 9 Present initial oral findings to client organization for accuracy and completeness /Team Live Chat (Client)

10 Analyze data assembles and compare to industry best practices – prioritize solutions based upon client deployment capability and feasibility.

July 01  – 11 Provide summary findings to outside client organization on their effective and ineffective systems management practices, underlying causes, system and process relationships, and potential solutions.

July 4 – Holiday No Classes

July 08 – 12 Prepare final capstone project/report solution(s) to solve client organization's identified problem

July 15 - 13 Present oral/written recommendations to outside client organization / Team Live Chat (Client)

July 22 – 14 Present oral and written project project/report for delivery to course instructor and rest of capstone committee / Team Live Chat (Instructor)

15 Deliver the final written capstone project/report and oral presentation to instructor

July 24 – Final Peer Evaluation Final Capstone Project Thesis is due. Final Week / Course Evaluations Client Briefing Must be completed by this date.



A capstone project is required. This will be based on a problem identified by an outside agency or activity. Essentially the team will act as "consultants" in assisting the agency.

- You will receive additional details once the course starts.

Other readings (e.g., articles) may be assigned during the term. Often these are assigned based on developments during the term; or to aid in our discussion of issues in systems management. These are almost always at no-cost (including articles available through the library).

Other Items Availability: Our primary means of communication is through the university email and Join Me conference calls. If you need to speak to me via phone, please call my cell phone at any time 252-435-4450. The best way to contact me is through university email and cc: johnlorentz@live.com so that it will hit my handheld as well. I will check email and my personal email account daily. If you have an urgent need and cannot contact me via phone, please send an email to my personal email account (listed above) with the subject line: Systems Management Capstone If you do not receive a reply from me within 24-48 hours either resend, send to my FIT email address, personal account, or call me. As soon as possible (within the first few days of class), please send me an email message to ensure I have accurate contact information. (Use the University Email) Make the subject line: Systems Management Capstone “Name (Your name)” In the body of this message include the following: Full name; name you want to go by in class; preferred email address; home phone number; work phone number (If you can accept calls at work); time zone; and best times to contact you. Please do not forget to sign your emails. Instruction Method: The course will consist of online discussions, online and live chats, project and proposal discussions, working within a team, and developing products in the role as a logistical consultant for an outside organization. There will be weekly conference calls, writing assignments, and a final report/project. The final project is to provide a practical application of the material presented within the class and throughout your systems management program while applying all the knowledge gained during the course. Course Changes: Please note that my assignments may vary from this syllabus. This should be an exception, but will be highlighted within the classroom, if applicable.

Last updated: March 20, 2017
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