BUS5540 Quality and reliability - Semester 1 , 2007 unit guide

Semester 1, 2007

Chief Examiner

Brian Jenney


Clayton : Brian Jenney


This subject introduces students to the principles and practices of Total Quality Management and the relevant International Standards in use. There is no viable organisation, be it in industry, commerce or government, that does not plan and execute quality into its operations. These latter stretch from manpower planning through to customer service and maintenance of equipment.

There is direct relationship to world-class performance via statistical methodology for process capability, process control, acceptance sampling and reliability design. Concepts such as lifecycle costing and replacement planning all form a part of the larger canvas of continuous quality improvement.

Applications of personal computer software in quality management, reliability and replacement are constantly being upgraded.


On completion of this subject students should have practical knowledge of the principles and practice of quality control and reliability studies. Special emphasis is placed on the fundamentals behind the several software packages that are available so that practical applications can be embarked upon with a good degree of confidence.

Students should have gained competence and confidence in being able quickly to frame and effect quality control procedures and practices within any organisation for which they work.


Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed

12 points of postgraduate level Faculty of Information Technology units.

Unit relationships

BUS5540 is an elective unit in the Master of Business Systems.

Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed 12 points of postgraduate level Faculty of Information Technology units.

You may not study this unit and BUS4510 in your degree.


Texts and software

Required text(s)

Required textbook: BUS5540 Lecture Notes (handed out in the third week)

Other reference texts are given with the course outline in the first lecture

Textbook availability

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Software requirements

QIS Baby

Relcode (student version)

Software may be:

  • downloaded from http://muso.monash.edu.au

Hardware requirements

On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to 2 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Recommended reading

Recommended textbook: Evans J R and Lindsay W M (2002) The management and control of quality 5th edn. Sydney: International Thomson Publishing

Other reference texts are given with the course outline in the first lecture

Library access

You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

Study resources

Study resources for BUS5540 are:

BUS5540 Lecture Notes (handed out in the third week)

This Unit Information outlining the administrative information for the unit

The BUS5540 website on MUSO where assignments and supplementary material will be posted

Unit website


Structure and organisation

Week Topics Key Dates
1 General sytems introduction
2 Variation
3 Charting
4 ISO9000 Assignment handed out
5 Acceptance sampling
6 Sampling risk Finalisation of assignment title
Non teaching week
7 MIL-STD-105E
8 Service industries
9 Reliability
10 Weibull 1
11 Weibull 2
12 Redundancy Assignment due Monday 21 May
13 Revision


The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


Assessment weighting

Assessment for the unit consists of 1 assignment with a weighting of 15%, 3 tutorial tests (5% each) and an examination with a weighting of 70%. Read this section VERY carefully.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

pass the final examination, and achieve an overall pass in tutorial tests and the assignment

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

summing the tutorial tests, assignment and final exam

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
Tutorial test 1 March 27 5%
Tutorial test 2 April 24 5 %
Assignment May 21 15 %
Tutorial test 3 May 22 5 %
The exam is 2 hours long and is closed book. Exam period (S1/07) starts on 07/06/07 70 %

Assignment specifications will be made available Handed out in the lecture on 20 March.

Assignment Submission

Assignments will be submitted by email to the lecturer

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 2% per day. Assignments received later than one week after the due date will not normally be accepted.

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Requests for extensions must be made by email to the unit lecturer at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

Grade Percentage/description
HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

Assignment return

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.


Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Unit improvements

Handouts have been added to MUSO

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


Communication methods

The best means of contact is to email the lecturer


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed as Announcements on MUSO. Check this regularly. Failure to read the Announcements is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times

9.00am - 11.00am on Wednesdays and Thursdays or by appointment

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

Dr Brian Jenney
Senior Research Fellow
Phone +61 3 990 52427
Fax +61 3 990 52315

Dr Nasrin Rahmati
Phone +61 3 990 59688

All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Mar 5, 2007