Problem Discovery

    Unit code: AEN2001 | Study level: Undergraduate
    (Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
    Footscray Park
    Online Real Time
    VU Sydney


    This unit offers students the opportunity to learn how to identify local and global problems, and test solutions to these problems in practical ways to strengthen individual creative and innovative thought. It is based on the premise that Understanding the anatomy of successful projects in complex environments is fundamental for being able to initiate and see a project through to completion. This unit introduces the Search vs. Execute frameworks and how the Discover and Validate processes tie into this framework.

    Students briefly explore a number of ideation techniques in groups to determine the direction of their project. Building on these introductions, the students take a deep dive into the discovery process. They will focus on developing an understanding of the people, problems and solutions involved in their project by gathering information from key stakeholders and collating this information in a Lean Canvas that gets updated weekly. The Lean Canvas is a tool that allows students to capture all key information on one page. Students use the gathered information to analyse their potential solutions, and determine next steps for their ideas.

    The unit contributes to the development of sought-after entrepreneurial capabilities, which may be applied in any work context including in local or global ‘start-ups’ or in organisations seeking to drive business in a competitive globalised economy. It strengthens students’ capability as collaborators, who are able to initiate and develop new ideas, and consider opportunities and consequences for local and global communities.

    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

    1. Brain storm and evaluate solutions to real-life problems;
    2. Evaluate and discuss different theoretical approaches to discovering problems worth solving;
    3. Collaboratively devise and apply creative strategies combining these theoretical approaches and
    4. Illustrate how ideas evolve through testing desirability, feasibility and viability.


    For Melbourne campuses

    Assessment type: Portfolio
    Grade: 30%
    Portfolio of Lean Canvases (3 parts).
    Assessment type: Journal
    Grade: 45%
    Praxis Reflective Journal (3 parts)
    Assessment type: Presentation
    Grade: 25%
    Group presentation, evolution of ideas informed by action and theory.

    Required reading

    Running Lean: Iterate from plan a to a plan that works
    Maurya, A. (2012).| O'Rielly Media, Inc,

    As part of a course

    This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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