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2019/2020  BA-BPROV1004U  Agility and Resilience in Projects

English Title
Agility and Resilience in Projects

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course First Quarter, Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 30
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Business Administration and Project Management
Course coordinator
  • Course coordinator and teacher
    Joana Geraldi - Department of Organization (IOA)
Main academic disciplines
  • Innovation
  • Organisation
  • Project and change management
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 01-04-2019

Relevant links

Learning objectives
By the end of this course, we expect the students:
  • To analyse current organizational practices in project-based firms to agility and resilience theories
  • To apply theories to analyse ‘agile practices’ in light of the theories discussed in course
  • To discuss critically the concepts of agility and resilience in projects
  • To describe and critically analyse widely used agile methodologies, e.g. agile project management, design thinking, lean
  • To discuss the organizational and technical clashes between project agility and its institutional contexts
Course prerequisites
Basic project management knowledge
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved: 3
Compulsory home assignments
1) Case analysis of three cases written in groups (one of the case analysis will be used as a written product for the exam and will serve as the starting point for the oral examination).

Oral presentations etc.
2) Three peer reviews of the three case analysis developed by different groups. Compulsory. The feedback will be evaluated in case the student is in between grades.

The mandatory assignments must be passed for the student to participate in the final exam. If the mandatory assignments are failed or there has been documented illness an alternative assignment will be offered between the ordinary and the retake exam.

Please note, to attend the retake mandatory assignment it is a precondition that the student has made an attempt in all set activities, unless it can be documented that lack of submission/participation was caused by illness or similar circumstances.
Agility and Resilience in Projects:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Individual oral exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 3-5
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
The number of pages of the case analysis will not vary according to the number of students in the group.
In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Assignment type Case based assignment
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If a student does not pass the regular exam, the examiner of the ordinary exam decides whether a new, revised or the same project must be handed in by the submission date for the re-exam.

If a student is absent from the oral exam due to documented illness but has handed in the written group product she/he does not have to submit a new product for the re-take. However the group product must be uploaded once again on Digital Exam.

If a whole group fails the oral exam, they must hand in a revised product for the re-exam.
Description of the exam procedure

Students starts the exam with a brief presentation of the written product followed by questions and constructive conversation about the entire content of the courses, including the other case studies.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

We live under increasing pressure to perform faster while adapting frequently. New trends like automatisation and data analytics, for example, are transforming the skills and capabilities required to conduct some of the most well-known professions from medicine to marketing. Constant change is also evidently needed and partly also notable when we consider our planetary challeges, from climate change to the need for renewable energy sources. Such pressing challenges are putting new demands into the way we do business and organize work. We need to act, and act fast.


In this course, students will be exposed and will critically analyze practices that attempt to embrace change and adaptability in projects and through projects.


Specifically, we will discuss the concepts of agility and temporality in projects. Since the Agile manifesto written back in 2001, agile practices have been spreading across organizations and are now common practice in many project-based sectors, in particular in IT projects. Agility has become a buzz word and is widely used in project businesses. For example, one of the 2018 top most read articles in Mckinsey.com is 'a business leader guide to agile'.  A recent survey shows that 63% of the Danish organizations participating in the survey use agile methods (Manaz et al, 2018 “Projektlederundersøgelsen 2018”).


We will build on theories of uncertainty, resilience and organizational cognition to analyse project practices developed in an attempt to embrace the paradoxical needs for speed and innovation, learning and efficiency.


While offering a wide perspective on potential methodologies, we will focus on agile methodologies, a family of project management methods that provides an alternative way of organizing projects and project-based organization to the classic waterfall methods.

Description of the teaching methods
Guided reading
Videos and online learning tools will be used when applicable
Presentations from industrial speakers
Feedback during the teaching period
Discussions in class
Feedback to case discussions during class
Peer review of case analysis
Student workload
Lectures 36 hours
Preparation to class 50 hours
Group work and exercise classes 60 hours
Preparation for the exam and exam 60 hours
Expected literature

The literature will be based on a combination of:

  • uncertainty theories in organizations, including and adapability, including Perrow, Weick and Taleb, and potentially Gigerenzer
  • agile practices, including Comforto and others (highly managerial literature)
  • time and temporality, including a critical view on the need for agility and time pressure 

The specific literature will be further developed.

Last updated on 01-04-2019