Application of models

  • Many P5 exam questions require the application of a performance management model. Students are particularly good at learning the theory of the models and are able to explain a model’s purpose and structure very well. Issues arise however when the model has to be put into context with the scenario.
  • If a requirement asks for a model to be used then the examining team are expecting that to be the approach to the answer. It is frustrating to have a student explain a model in detail and then subsequently not use it in the rest of their answer. 

Example 5: (Taken from Q1 from December 2014)

Q1(i) Explain the facets of the performance prism and discuss how the three initiatives relate to the facets.  (9 marks)


The first part of the answer was the explanation of the model but then students were expected to consider how each of the three initiatives proposed by Boltzman tied into the model. It was this latter part that demonstrated the application and understanding of the prism.

Example 6: (Taken from Q3 from the sample questions from September 2015/December 201)

Q3(a) Advise the board how the six sigma project at Posie to reduce returns from customers could be implemented using DMAIC methodology.  (15 marks)

Students were able to explain the DMAIC methodology which is an appropriate way to begin answering this requirement. The DMAIC method should then have been used to structure the answer otherwise the methodology is not being used to advise the board.

This application of key theories is a crucial skill to passing P5. It is not enough just to know the theory; you need to be able to practically apply it.

There is a useful short video on exam technique which illustrates these points further.