MQM2IL05-Problem-solving Methods

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 0 [0 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2022/3

Module Convenor: Dr Sinem Bulkan

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module forms part of the Henley Executive Diploma in Managing Business Transformation (Improvement Leader Apprenticeship), as such, sets out to provide the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by Improvement Leaders/Change Managers/Business Transformation managers in today’s world, in relation to Problem Solving Methods. The module is designed to meet the learning outcomes of the Improvement Leader Apprenticeship Standard. 

The module primarily focuses on developing learner’s skills to implement, coach, and benchmark approaches to problem-solving methods, to enhance the business improvement strategy. The module covers the topics of problem definition, root cause analysis, failure mode avoidance, identification & prioritisation, and voice of customer (VOC). The module also aims to develop a customer-focused strategy for acquiring and assessing customer feedback on a regular basis. It aims to develop the learner’s ability to build the organisation’s knowledge and skills in terms of developing a creative strategy and utilising Creative Thinking principles and tools. 

Key behavioural skills – drive for results, team working and safe working –are strongly outlined throughout the module.  


The module aims to: 

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of acquiring evidence-driven problem definition. 

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of problem-solving tools and coach others on the application of the tools to support business improvement strategy.  

  • Develop skills to assess the organisation’s approach to problem definition and make recommendations for improvement. 

  • Develop skills to coach others on the importance of understanding Voice of Customer. 

  • Develop skills to identify ways that an organisation can improve customer insight through feedback loops to provide focus for improvement activities. 

  • Develop skills to build creative thinking strategy to support improvements. 

  • Develop skills to assess organisation’s approach to root cause analysis and failure mode avoidance.  

  • Develop an awareness of key behavioural skills: drive for results, team working, and safe working. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that programme members may be able to demonstrate their ability in the following areas: 


S11: Problem Definition 

  • To promote the importance of evidence-driven problem definition in everyday work. 

  • To assess the organisation’s approach to problem definition and make recommendations for improvement.  

S12: Voice of Customer (VOC) 

  • To coach others on the importance of understanding VOC in everyday work. 

  • To develop and build a plan to enable the organisation to improve customer insight through feedback loops. 

S18: Root Cause Analysis 

  • To guide and coach others in the selection and application of tools for root causes analysis to ensure efficiency of approach. 

  • To assess the organisation’s approach to root cause analysis and make recommendations for improvement.  

S20: Identification and Prioritisation 

  • To develop a Creative Thinking strategy to support improvement activities.  

  • To build the organisation’s knowledge and skills in terms of Creative Thinking principles and tools.  

S21: Failure Mode Avoidance 

  • To communicate the business case, aims, methods & key tools. 

  • To identify opportunities for application within product and project life cycles including Lean Design. 

  • To assess the organisation’s approach to Failure Mode Avoidance. 

  • To benchmark approaches to Failure Mode Avoidance used by others and identify opportunities to enhance the business improvement strategy. 


B1: Be a primary advocate for Improvement and Operational Excellence acting as a role model for others, focusing on improving customer experience and delivering benefits. (Drive for results) 


B2: Actively seek opportunities for improving team performance and coaching others to resolve under-performance issues. (Team working) 


B5: Recognise opportunities to improve safe working practices. (Safe working) 

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

The module covers the following topics: 

  • Problem Definition (5 Whys, Problem Statements – Strong, Weak) 

  • Voice of Customer (VOC),  

  • Capturing and Assessing Feedback Loops 

  • Root Cause Analysis 

  • Identification and Prioritisation (Creative Thinking Principles and Tools) 

  • Failure Mode Avoidance (Business Case, Aims, Methods and Key Tools)

-The topics should be specifically linked to the behavioural skills (Drive for results, team working and safe working). 


-The content should be mapped against the OFSTED requirements (British values / Safeguarding / Prevent / Maths / English) and Professional Practice Module.  


-The content should acknowledge limitations and challenges to the approaches discussed within the module content. 

Global context:

The module is taught with reference to the global context of the learners’ organisations and their experiences. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching and learning takes place through a blended learning approach. The teaching and learning methods comprise a combination of self-study via a range of online materials on the Canvas learning platform, face-to-face workshops with Academic Faculty and Learning Coaches, and interaction with a Learning Coach (face-to-face and online) who supports the cohort throughout the module.  Each person participates in a facilitated Action Learning sets either individually or in teams in week 4 o f the module. 

Materials on Canvas include content on-screen, videos, PowerPoint presentations, journal articles, book chapters, practical activities, e-portfolio, and reflection points.  

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 4
Practicals classes and workshops 7
Work-based learning 64
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 24
    Wider reading (directed) 23
    Advance preparation for classes 3
    Essay preparation 25
Total hours by term 150 0 0
Total hours for module 150

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage

Summative assessment- Examinations:


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:


Formative assessment methods:

One 1500-word Work-Based Project, for which formative feedback will be provided.

Penalties for late submission:

There is no penalty for late submission. However, if learners are at risk of missing the deadline, they are asked to submit an ECF requesting a 14-day extension.  

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Evaluation of the work-based project leads to a decision of ‘Proceed’ or ‘Revise’.  In order to gain a ‘Proceed’ the learner must satisfactorily meet the assignment brief requirements. 

Any learning outcomes not achieved will be highlighted for the learner, so that it is clear that these learning outcomes should be addressed prior to reaching Gateway for the End Point Assessment (EPA).   

Learners may revise their project as many times as necessary, as they progress through the programme.  However, only one resubmission will be evaluated, and feedback provided by the Learning Coach (see reassessment arrangements, below).   

Reassessment arrangements:

The revised work-based project should be resubmitted by the deadline of the notification of the ‘revise’ decision.  This resubmission will be evaluated by the Learning Coach, feedback will be provided and an indication of whether the revised project has met the ‘Proceed’ criteria.  No further resubmissions will be evaluated by the Learning Coach.  The student will need to address any remaining gaps regarding achievement of learning outcomes prior to reaching Gateway for the L6 Improvement Leader End Point Assessment.  Students should discuss this with their Learning Coach at their planned review meetings. 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Travel, accommodation, and subsistence - Expenses when attending workshops (in the case of a workshop taking place at Greenlands or offsite). 

Last updated: 22 September 2022


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