Using Statistical Process Control to Manage Processes
You work as a business analyst within the IT Department of XYZ Corporation and have just been put on assignment as a consultant to a health care organization. In this organization, there is a clinical “Nurse Helpline” call center, which has a staff of several experienced nurses and nurse practitioners to answer telephone calls from outpatients who have concerns about their health or the treatment or medications they are receiving from the hospital. One of the leading metrics in this call center is hold times. They have a standard that any call placed on hold is not in hold status for more than 2 minutes before an interaction with a nurse. Every day, each clinic records the number of calls and the number of calls on hold answered in less than 2 minutes. The management team has concerns about the number of calls that have hold times greater than 2 minutes. They want to employ a more formal quality control process that would allow them to get ahead of the problem, which is why you have been consulted.
During your initial interactions with the hospital and management team, you talk informally about the use of statistical process control (SPC). You soon realize, however, that some members of the management team may not have a true understanding of how SPC would work in their organization. One member in particular asks a surprising question that makes you wonder if part of the management team is missing even a basic understanding of SPC. So, you decide to create a presentation that explains what statistical process control is and provide the management team with some examples of how SPC can be used in a business context to promote sound decision making. To support the information that you provide in your presentation, be sure to reference a minimum of four properly formatted, scholarly sources.
Your presentation should adhere to the template provided. It should consist of 13–18 slides, not including title slide and References slide. You should also include detailed speaker’s notes, to be used as a script for delivering the presentation.
Click each of the items below to complete this assessment.
- Define statistical process control (SPC) and briefly describe the history of SPC, focusing on its origins. (2 slides)
- Provide an example of a control chart (either one you create or one you locate on the web) and label the parts of the chart.
- Describe the derivation of the center line and control limits on a control chart and the meaning of each. (1–2 slides)
- Explain the two types of process variation—common cause and special cause. (2 slides)
- Describe at least two signals of special cause variation that might be detected in a control chart. (2–3 slides)
- Identify at least two examples of the application of SPC in a business context. Select examples from multiple industries (e.g., manufacturing, health care, and service). For each example, describe how SPC was used to improve process, achieve better outcomes, and support sound decision making. (2–4 slides)
- For each type of process variation, describe the implications for management action. (2 slides)
- In conclusion, provide three potential benefits of SPC to the health care organization. Specifically, how might SPC help the company make sound decisions to the end of achieving its goals? Also, what, if any, drawbacks do you see to using SPC? Identify two possible risks of the use of SPC that the organization should be aware of. (1–2 slides)