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21948 Advanced Quality Management

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 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business: Management
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 24 credit points of completed study in Must have completed at least Business Faculty Master's Coursework


The subject covers the systematic application of improvement methodology to procurement and supply chain processes which help reduce variability and uncertainty through the supply chain enabling better control of product and service quality. Supply chain disruption occurs through such issues as purchased material defects, order fulfilment errors, inventory build-up, warehousing and transportation issues, short shipments, long cycle times, forecast errors, and poor plant and equipment maintenance. These types of issues are well suited to the rigorous application of Lean Six Sigma methodology to improve procurement and supply chain performance and control. This subject provides an opportunity to equip students with knowledge and skills to enable them to facilitate and lead a process improvement project of simple to moderate complexity using the core concepts, models and skills of Lean Six Sigma that have become part of contemporary best practice improvement methodology for operational excellence.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. Explain the key principles and methodology for Organisational Improvement using Lean Six Sigma concepts and models and apply it to supply chain and procurement processes
2. Apply appropriate organisational improvement tools to address complex specific supply chain and procurement organisational problems
3. Fulfil a role of the Organisational Improvement Manager by applying stakeholder / change management practices within simple to moderately complex organisational supply chain and procurement improvement projects
4. Explain and apply the concept of variation using quantitative and qualitative process analysis tools to demonstrate organisational impact on supply chain and procurement performance

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject provides participants with knowledge and skills to enable students to facilitate and lead a Process Improvement Business scenario of simple to moderate complexity using the core concepts, models and skills of Lean Six Sigma that has become part of contemporary 'best practice' improvement methodology (typically called Green Belt). The application of the methodology will focus on improving supply chain and procurement processes as well as organisational processes in general. Fundamental ideas beginning with the evolution of Six Sigma and Lean within Quality Management are reviewed together with an overarching Framework or Model for Improvement. This is exemplified using a variety of supply chain and procurement cases including the experiences of the students. The key aspects of the role of an Organisational Improvement Manager within a supply chain context is considered including the need to understand team dynamics, basic change management concepts and the use of basic facilitation skills to assist the progress of an improvement project to successful completion. Lessons from Research on organisational improvement practices in supply chain and procurement contexts are reviewed together with Models, practices and techniques for each of the phases in an improvement project (e.g., Kano Model, CTQ, Improvement Planning, Learning Cycles, control charts, capability analyses, design methods).

This subject contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes :

  • Critical thinking, creativity and analytical skills
  • Attitudes and values
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Business practice oriented skills

Teaching and learning strategies

The subject will be taught using a combination of lectures, case studies, video material, and experiential exercises. These classes will be supplemented with both printed and electronic learning materials. The approach to the subject is based on a number of principles to make the program both interesting and effective in terms of the learning outcomes for participants. The major focus is to equip participants with knowledge and skills that are helpful back in the workplace to complete improvement projects.

The major teaching strategies include:

The subject is taught using a combination of lectures, discussions, and case analysis. These are supplemented with both printed and electronic learning materials and resources, which students must engage with prior to class in order to participate effectively in in-class activities.

Collaborative learning is a key component of the teaching philosophy and so short case exercises and assessments are focused on experiencing working in teams to assess and analyse organisational elements and processes. This concept is introduced and practiced as part of the activities and Assignment 2. The UTS web-based communication tool (UTSOnline) is used to share information and encourage interaction between staff and students. Students also use appropriate computer software such as Excel spread sheet and Word processor to complete assigned tasks.

Experiential Learning – activities are included in the class that are energetic, fun and an opportunity to practice the learning that is covered through the use of role plays, supply chain or procurement project case studies and simulations;

Reflection and feedback – times are set aside to personally reflect on what has been covered to summarise and reinforce key learnings. Individuals can jot their key learnings and notations down to help reinforce the learning including noting applications to their specific supply chain or procurement project back in a workplace;

Use of Reference Material – the subject material includes templates and detailed explanations for students to use material outside of class, and as future reference material;

You will be provided with valuable, real- time feedback to assist you in managing your learning.

Content (topics)

Essential knowledge and skills are covered relating to such areas as:

  • Overview and Theoretical Framework covering the core ideas of Lean and Six Sigma and the development of improvement methodology including the different forms of models that have emerged applied to supply chain and procurement contexts e.g. Design for Six Sigma and Agile
  • Models and techniques for studying the people involved in the process including team dynamics, change management, facilitation and communication models using supply chain cases
  • Define Phase strategy using typical supply chain and procurement process issues, improvement planning models applied in supply chain cases, tools and techniques related to CTQ analysis, Stakeholder analysis and high level process evaluation - SIPOC charts using supply chain and procurement cases
  • Baseline Measurement strategy using supply chain or procurement project examples including typical performance measures and cost analyses for supply chain contexts, variation concepts of Stability and Capability using supply chain examples of control charts, measurement planning including sampling, tools such as run charts, capability analysis and process sigma, cost of quality analyses (applied in supply chain procurement contexts) and the use of statistical packages such as Minitab.
  • Analyse Phase strategy using supply chain or procurement project examples and the approaches to root cause analysis employing techniques such as deployment flow charts, waste analysis, Value Stream Mapping including TAKT time and PCE, Cause and Effect diagrams, pareto charts, and predicting likely ROI
  • Develop or Design Phase strategy using supply chain or procurement project examples and past cases showing supply chain solutions based on ideas from Lean such as Visual Management and 5S, error proofing and Total Productive Maintenance, cost benefit analysis using knowledge gained from the Analyse and Develop Phases.
  • Pilot, Implementation and Control Phase Strategies using supply chain or procurement project examples including the purpose of each of the phases and techniques to aid implementation and control of process improvements.


Assessment task 1: Planning and Analysis Task (Individual)


Students are given a set of planning and analysis tasks for specific key organisational process improvement techniques relating to case study material provided. Elements are completed at different times during the course.


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3 and 4

Weight: 30%

3000 words excluding references

Assessment task 2: Define Phase Learning Cycle and Improvement Plan (Group)


Students prepare a Define Phase Learning Cycle and Improvement Plan for a real business opportunity for improvement for their area of responsibility or interest


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

2 and 3

Weight: 30%

3500 words excluding references

Assessment task 3: Final Exam (Individual)


This involves a test on organisational improvement skills and capabilities developed through the subject via a 90 minutes duration examination on the last day of the course or as a UTS Online test. The test consists of true false, multiple choice questions, short answer questions, and more complex statistical calculation problems.


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3 and 4

Weight: 40%

Minimum requirements

Students must achieve at least 50% of the subject’s total marks as well as meet the Management Discipline Group compulsory attendance requirement, as detailed in the Subject Outline.

Recommended texts

Langley, G.J., Moen, R., Nolan, K.M., Nolan, T.W., Norman, C.L. & Provost, L.P. 2009, The improvement guide: a practical approach to enhancing organisational performance, 2 edn, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.


Brassard, M; Finn, L; Ginn, D and Ritter, D (2002) Six Sigma Memory Jogger II, Goal QPC, Salem

MacInnes, R.L. (2009) The Lean Enterprise Memory Jogger for Service, Goal QPC, Salem

Aboelmaged, M.G. 2010, 'Six Sigma quality: a structured review and implications for future research', International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 268-317.

Stone, K.B. 2012, 'Four Decades of Lean : A Systematic Literature Review', International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 112-32.

Chelliah, J. & Skinner, A. 2016, 'Organisational Transformation: Strategic Application of Lean Six Sigma for High Performance', Journal of Global Business Management, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 85-92.