Course Title: Use structured problem solving tools

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2009

Course Code: GEDU5229C

Course Title: Use structured problem solving tools

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5184 - Diploma of Food Science & Technology

Course Contact: Sam Cutri

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4876

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 20

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This competency covers the solving of process and other problems, beyond those associated directly with the process unit, using structured process improvement tools to identify improvements and/or solve problems. The competency is typically performed by an experienced technician, team leader or supervisor.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

PMASUP390A Use structured problem solving tools


Communicate recommendations.

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Prepare report on recommendations
4.2 Present recommendations to appropriate personnel
4.3 Follow up recommendations if required.


Determine corrective action.

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Consider all possible options for resolution of the problem
3.2 Consider strengths and weaknesses of possible options
3.3 Determine corrective action to remove the problem and possible future causes
3.4 Develop implementation plans identifying measurable
objectives, resource needs and timelines in accordance with safety and operating procedures
3.5 Develop recommendations for ongoing monitoring and testing.


Determine fundamental cause of problem.

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Identify possible causes based on experience and the use of problem solving tools/analytical techniques
2.2 Develop possible cause statements
2.3 Identify fundamental cause.


Identify the problem.

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Identify variances from normal operating parameters and product quality
1.2 Define the extent, cause and nature of the problem by observation and investigation
1.3 State and specify the problem clearly.

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities for this course may include:
• Teacher directed face-to face delivery of lessons
• Whole class Discussion
• Pair/group discussion
• Small group workshops
• Revision quizzes
• Worksheets
• Laboratory experiments
• Record keeping of experiments
• Presentations
• Research activities

Teaching Schedule

Week 1 Tools for problem solving
Week 2 Brainstorming
Week 3 Cause and effect
Week 4 Check Sheets
Week 5 Pareto analysis
Week 6 Flow charts
Week 7 Workshop

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Burtonshaw-Gunn, Simon A. The essential management toolbox : tools, models and notes for managers and consultants / Call Number 658 B974 Location: Business Library

Hambleton, Lynne. Treasure chest of six sigma growth methods, tools, and best practices : a desk reference book for innovation and growth
Call Number: 658.4013 H199 Location: Swanston Library

Martin, James W. (James William) Lean six sigma for supply chain management : the 10-step solution process / Call Number: 658.7 M381 Location: Business Library

Summers, Donna C. S. Six sigma : basic tools and techniques /
Call Number: 658.4013 S955 Location: Swanston Library

Stapenhurst, Tim. Mastering statistical process control a handbook for performance improvement using cases /Call Number: Referex Engineering Location: Access electronically

Eckes, George, Six sigma for everyoneCall Number: netLibrary Location: Access electronically

Andersen, Bjørn. Root cause analysis : simplified tools and techniques /
Call Number: 658.4013 A544 Location: Swanston Library

Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessments for this course consist of:
• Class activities
• Assignments
• Presentations
• Exam

Assessment Tasks

Assignments 50 %
Test 50 %

Assessment Matrix

Course Overview: Access Course Overview