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Course Description:
This course, developed by Mount Wachusett Community College, provides students with problem solving skills by exploring the process of conducting an investigation. The quality system tools used to document and facilitate an understanding of the problem and potential solutions are studied. Students learn the problem solving methods currently used in industry (both the manufacturing and service sectors). These methods are used to investigate and correct issues faced in a real-world setting. In this course, students apply the tools, analyze the data, and evaluate the results to demonstrate an understanding of root cause analysis (RCA). This course includes the following outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to distinguish and define the various methods used in root cause analysis (i.e. 7-step, six sigma, PDCA).
  2. Demonstrate the ability to differentiate the root cause analysis tools (i.e. pareto, histogram, flowcharts, etc.) and when they are best utilized.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to write and speak effectively through written assignments and discussions. 

Course Contents:
Course materials include a syllabus, exercises and homework, lecture slides, quizzes and exams, a project description, and a project evaluation rubric. 

The 2-page syllabus includes a course description, course objectives, outcome assessments, and a weekly schedule with topics covered. 

The Exercises and Homework section includes twenty-eight exercises, four handouts, and three homework assignments. Exercises cover topics such as root cause identification-fault tree analysis, problem understanding-critical incident, problem cause investigation-nominal group technique, and many more. Exercises may include the following sections: Instructions, Problem, and Steps.  The homework assignments cover the following topics: Process-Work Experience, Critical Thinking, and Quality Principles and Management Systems.

Thirteen sets of lecture slides are included and cover topics such as Quality Principles, Processes, Problem Solving, Root Cause, Problem Understanding, Cause Investigation, Data Collection, RC Identification, Industry Programs, and more. 

This course also includes a 3-page midterm review, a 14-question exam with answers, and five quizzes with answers.

For orientation purposes the "AQS 200 - Syllabus" PDF is included as a separate attachment and offers a sample of the type of material included in this collection. 

Below is a list of the files contained within the .zip attachment. The size of each file is included in parenthesis. 

AQS 200 - Root Cause (64 files, 24.4 MB)

  • Root Cause Investigations Syllabus (AQS 200 - Syllabus.pdf 237 KB)
  • Exercises and Homework
    • Problem Understanding - Critical Incident (Exercise - lecture 5 - critical incident.pdf 161 KB)
    • Problem Understanding - Flowchart (Exercise - lecture 5 - flow chart.pdf 292 KB)
    • Performance Matrix (Exercise - lecture 5 - performance matrix.pdf 188 KB)
    • Problem Understanding - Spider Chart (Exercise - lecture 5 - spider chart.pdf 211 KB)
    • Problem Cause Investigation - Brainstorming (Exercise - lecture 6 - brainstorming.pdf 239 KB)
    • Problem Cause Investigation - Brain-writing (Exercise - lecture 6 - brainwriting.pdf 166 KB)
    • Problem Cause Investigation - Is-Is Not Matrix (Exercise - lecture 6 - is-isnot matrix.pdf 161 KB)
    • Problem Cause Investigation - Nominal Group Technique (Exercise - lecture 6 - nominal group.pdf 169 KB)
    • Problem Cause Investigation - Paired Comparisons (Exercise - lecture 6 - paired comparison.pdf 172 KB)
    • Problem Cause Data Collection - Check Sheet (Exercise - lecture 7 - check sheet.pdf 169 KB)
    • Problem Cause Data Collection - Sampling (Exercise - lecture 7 - sampling.pdf 162 KB)
    • Problem Cause Data Collection - Surveys (Exercise - lecture 7 - surveys.pdf 161KB)
    • Problem Cause Data Analysis - Histogram (Exercise - lecture 8 - histogram.pdf 261 KB)
    • Problem Cause Data Analysis - Pareto (Exercise - lecture 8 - pareto.pdf 203 KB)
    • Problem Cause Data Analysis - Scatter Diagram (Exercise - lecture 8 - scatter diagram.pdf 201 KB)
    • Program Cause Data Analysis - Affinity Diagram (Exercise - lecture 9 - affinity diagram - answer key.pdf 199 KB)
    • Problem Cause Data Analysis - Problem Concentration Diagram (Exercise - lecture 9 - problem conc - answer key.pdf 295 KB)
    • Problem Cause Data Analysis - Relations Diagram (Exercise - lecture 9 - relations diagram.pdf 290 KB)
    • Root Cause Identification - Five Whys (Exercise - lecture 10 - 5 whys.pdf 162 KB)
    • Root Cause Identification - Fault Tree Analysis (Exercise - lecture 10 - fault tree.pdf 157 KB)
    • Root Cause Identification - Cause and Effect Chart (Exercise - lecture 10 - fishbone.pdf 162 KB)
    • Root Cause Identification - Matrix Diagram (Exercise - lecture 10 -matirx diagram.pdf 325 KB)
    • Root Cause Solution Implementation - Tree Diagram (Exercise - lecture 12 - tree diagram.pdf 163 KB)
    • Root Cause Solution Implementation - Force Field Analysis (Exercise - lecture 12 -force field.pdf 157 KB)
    • Quality Principles and Management Systems (HW - lecture 1 - Quality principle - answer key.pdf 149 KB)
    • Process - Work Experience (HW - lecture 2 - turtle diagram.pdf 160 KB)
    • Critical Thinking (HW - lecture 3 - critical thinking.pdf 238 KB)
    • Lecture 11 - handouts and exercises
      • Root Cause Elimination - Six Thinking Hats (Ex 11a - Six Hats.pdf 178 KB)
      • Root Cause Elimination - TRIZ (Ex 11b Root Cause Elimination - TRIZ.pdf 161 KB)
      • TRIZ- Sample Answer Key (Ex 11b TRIZ Sample Answer Key.pdf 122 KB)
      • Root Cause Elimination - SIT (Ex 11c Root Cause Elimination - SIT.pdf 157 KB)
      • Inventive Problems (Handout 7 - TRIZ -  (40) Inventive Principles.pdf 206 KB)
      • SIT Example (Handout 8 SIT Example.pdf 173 KB)
      • Six Thinking Hats Example (Six Hats - example.pdf 350 KB)
      • Altshuller's Table of Contradictions (TRIZ - contradictions.pdf 1.3 MB)
  • lecture slides
    • Quality Principles (Week 1 - Quality Prinicples.pdf 794 KB)
    • Manufacturing (Service) Processes (Week 2 - Processes.pdf 2.6 MB)
    • Problem Solving (week 3 - probelm solving.pdf 772 KB)
    • Root Cause Analysis (week 4 - Root Cause Overview.pdf 841 KB)
    • Tools for Problem Understanding (Week 5 - Problem Understanding.pdf 927 KB)
    • Tools for Problem Cause Investigation (Week 6 - Cause Investigation.pdf 754 KB)
    • Tools for Data Collection (Week 7 - Data Collection.pdf 775 KB)
    • Tools for Data Analysis - Part 1 (Week 8 - Data Analysis -Part 1.pdf 1.2 MB)
    • Tools for Data Analysis - Part 2 (Week 9 - Data Analysis - Part 2.pdf 1.1 MB)
    • Tools for Root Cause Identification (Week 10 - RC Identification.pdf 1.2 MB)
    • Tools for Root Cause Elimination (Week 11 - RC Elimination.pdf 885 KB)
    • Tools for Solution Implementation (Week 12 - Implement Solution.pdf 699 KB)
    •  Current Methods (Manufacturing or Service Sectors) (Week 13 - Industry Programs.pdf 2.3 MB)
    • Project Evaluation (Project Evaluation Rubric.pdf 185 KB)
    • Project Description (Project Requirements.pdf 167 KB)
  • Quizzes and Exams
    • Midterm Exam - Answer Key (midterm exam - answer key.pdf 314 KB)
    • Midterm Exam Review (midterm exam - review guid.pdf 176 KB)
    • Quiz 1 - Quality Review (Quiz #1 - Quality principles.docx 20 KB)
    • Quiz 1 - Quality Review (Quiz #1 - Quality principles.pdf 10 KB)
    • Quiz 2 - Processes (Quiz #2 - processes.pdf 77 KB)
    • Quiz 3 - Critical Thinking (Quiz #3 - Critical Thinking.pdf 184 KB)
    • Quiz 4 - Problem Definition (Quiz #4 - Problem Definition.pdf 9 KB)
    • Quiz 5 - Data Analysis (Quiz #5 - data Analysis.pdf 10 KB)
       
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