Skip To Content
Understanding and Solving Complex Business Problems is a Course

Understanding and Solving Complex Business Problems

Starts Sep 22, 2022
5 credits

$599 Enrol

Full course description

Houston, we have a problem!

We are living in an era of unprecedented complexity and interconnectedness. Some decisions we make might be so routine that we may make them without giving them much thought, but challenging or complex decisions demand much more consideration. We only need to look at the current situation with corona virus to see how economic, health and social issues interact.

It takes practice to recognise and manage complex systems, alongside navigating the challenges that come with embracing the unknown and facing novel situations that have many variables, with no one “right” answer. These are volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environments, and they present unique challenges and opportunities for professionals and their teams.

How do you make effective decisions amidst?

  • Multiple and, at times, competing factors in play
  • Gaps in information or data
  • A dynamic environment
  • No single “right” answer
  • High stakes and significant consequences
  • Stakeholder-rich environments
  • Accessing the ‘right’ people

Don’t despair – our credential in Understanding and Solving Complex Business Problems will provide evidence-based approaches to clearly identify the problem at hand and help participants apply effective decision making in VUCA environments.


Who is this credential for?


This credential is particularly suitable for:

  • those in public, not-for-profit and private organisations who have decision-making responsibility and who are looking for fresh ideas to resolve organisational problems.
  • Chief Operating Officers, Chief Executive Officers, Managing Directors and Board Members.
  • people working in project management, operations, marketing, innovation, strategy, and product development.
  • people interested in tools and techniques that are easily adopted and implemented into organisational practice.


What you will learn


By completing this credential you will learn to:

  • formulate a better understanding of the forms of complexity and examine methods for managing them
  • gain an appreciation of how complex problems differ from difficult problems and examine approaches specifically designed to address these ‘messy, wicked’ problems
  • demonstrate an understanding and gain ’hands on’ experience of an approach which takes a systems thinking perspective and thus allows for deeper and holistic understanding of the situation along with assisting with the identification and assessment of options
  • evaluate and work on a current complex problem.


Key Topics

  • Exploring the different forms of complexity and uncertainty and where they fit within a VUCA world
  • Differentiating between complicated problems and complex problems
  • Understanding the importance of taking a systemic approach to the management of complex problems
  • Modelling and analysis of complex problems - gaining familiarity with a modelling approach and associated technique



To successfully complete this credential, you are required to pass a final assessment. You will identify complex and complicated problems that you have encountered in the workplace. You'll then use mapping techniques tease out 'what', the 'why' and the 'how' of these problems and reflect on the overall mapping experience.


Where will my learning experience be held?


Face-to-face session details:


Curtin's St Georges Terrace Campus
137 St Georges Terrace
Perth Western Australia 6000


Meet your facilitators


Professor Fran Ackermann
Professor Fran Ackermann

Research Professor, School of Management

Fran Ackermann is a Research Professor at Curtin whose research is in the area of managing messy complex problems, in particular, within the realms of strategy and project management. Fran currently holds an Honorary Professorship with the Alliance Manchester Business School and is an adjunct Professor at the University of Strathclyde along with strong international ties.

Fran has been awarded over AU$5 million in research grants (mix of UK and Australian Research Councils and Industry funding) and currently is a leading scholar in both Strategic Management and Project Management. Fran has co-authored 5 books, 30+ book chapters and 80+ publications and has in excess of 11,000 citations. She has been invited to deliver Executive Education to BAE Systems, Babcock International, Clydesdale Bank, MITRE (MIT research environment), FIA amongst others. She has also acted as consultant to a range of organisations including Bombardier, Strathclyde Police, National Health Service, EDF, SES Global and UK Home Office.

LinkedIn Logo Professor Fran Ackermann


Earn a badge


Once you successfully complete and pass the final assessment, you'll earn a digital badge that is instantly shareable to your social networks (including LinkedIn) which showcases your new skills and knowledge mastery.

Curtin Essentials Badge - Hexagon with curtin logo

This credential provides foundation knowledge in a discipline and doesn't require previous knowledge.

You will also earn 5 credit points which are in line with Australian Qualification Framework Level 8 criteria, ensuring comprehensive theoretical and/or technical knowledge of the credential.


Curtin alumni, current students and staff discount


If you are a Curtin alumni, current student or staff member you can enrol into this credential for the discounted price of $549.

Please contact the Executive Education team at Curtin for the promotion code prior to enrolling.

Phone +61 8 9266 455



Discover more


Curtin Credentials focus on five themes, which have been carefully curated based on what's most relevant and valuable to professionals today, and in the future. This credential fits within the following theme:

Curtin Credentials Themes Icon

Develop positive, sustainable, resilient and inclusive traits to guide your life, career, and organisational directions. Learn what it takes to motivate and inspire in a contemporary business setting.

Contact us


For more information on this, or any other questions about Curtin Credentials, email us at or call Curtin Connect at 1300 222 888.


*Curtin may cancel or reschedule a credential at any time and for any reason as it sees fit. The Start Date and the other details of this credentials are provided as a general guide only and may change from time to time.

✝This credential involves 1 day of instruction, however to pass and gain five credit points, you will need to commit further time to complete the full set of learning activities including (but not limited to) self-guided study and research, extension readings, activities and the final assessment activity.

^Onsite face-to-face learning.

§Price subject to change. Please check price at time of purchase.

start icon

Start: 22 September 2022*

hour glass icon

Duration: 1 Day

location pin icon

Delivery Mode: Face-to-face^

money sign icon

Price: $599 GST excl.§

Curtin alumni, current students and staff: $549 via discount code.

pdf icon

Print Version: Coming soon