Course details


This course is split between 3 sessions


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

"Current management works, but not very well; it needs re-inventing."

Developed by the challenging and often controversial speaker, Professor John Seddon, in association with the University of Derby, this three day course introduces participants to the Vanguard Method, a unique approach to helping service organisations change from a conventional 'command-and-control' design to a systems design.

Are you prepared to change the way you think?

The 'Systems Thinking' approach challenges current management thinking and the way we manage the work in our organisations.

Running over three months with one full seminar day per month you'll have the opportunity to learn new skills and approaches for understanding and transforming your organisation.  This leads to an enhanced service, reduction in costs and improved morale.

You will compare, contrast and challenge 'Systems Thinking' and other business improvement philosophies and have the option to undertake a masters level award.

Structure, certificates and assessment

Topics include:

  • Distinctions between conventional and 'Systems Thinking'
  • Why 'lean tools' fail to deliver sustainable change
  • The Toyota Production System and 'Systems Thinking'
  • Introduction of the Vanguard Method
  • System conditions as causes of inefficiency

Topics include:

  • Understanding variation in demand
  • Measuring variation - how you do it
  • Turning data into information
  • Deciding what to measure

Topics include:

  • Influencing others to challenge their thinking
  • How organisations learn
  • Intervening to solve problems

How you will be assessed

You'll be guided and supported so you're able to put together a portfolio and business case project. This forms the assessed work of the masters level award.


On this three day programme you will:

These concepts are relevant and effective in both public and private sector organisations.

Supporting you

If you choose to undertake the masters level award, you will have access to the University of Derby library, remote electronic libraries and tutor support. This support will guide you to put together a portfolio and business case project. This forms the assessed work.

You will also have the opportunity to engage with managers and professionals from different organisations.

Fees and funding

How to apply

To make an application, please contact Simon Smith at or on +44 (0)1332 592386.

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Take advantage of a short courses block booking to upskill your employees. Our short courses run on-campus and online and include new legislation and other up-to-the-minute issues. Get in touch today and we will tailor a package to meet the needs of your business.

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Who will teach you

Simon Smith
Programme leader

Simon Smith is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for the MBA Global and MBA Global Finance Part-Time. Prior to working in academia he was a senior manager in the semiconductor industry and continues to work with many organisations today, with a focus on improving business operations. 

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Contact us

Course: Simon Smith (Programme Leader) +44 (0)1332 592386
Admissions +44 (0)1332 591167
General +44 (0)1332 590500

If you want to find out more about studying a short course, please contact us and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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