Defect Vs. Defective

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Operations Call Centers Defect Vs. Defective

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    I have am in the process of setting up a remediation program to address defects associated with call center quality, and I have a dilemma that I’d like this esteemed group’s input on.

    Here is the scenario, a quality audit of a call with 1 or more defects is considered a defective audit (i.e. failed audit). For example, a call can have defects where the agent did not provide correct information and was also rude to the caller.

    My questions are, where do I target the remediation effort on, at the defect level or the overall defective audit? If I target the remediation effort at a defect level, how can I effectively project an overall impact of remediating those defects at a defective (audit) level? If I remediate at the defective level (which is also how the process is measured), how can I effectively determine the number of defects that need to be reduced to achieve the defective (audit) level reduction?


    Chris Seider

    Part of the answer depends on your metric. Are you requested to reduce the number of defects or % defective?

    I would make sure you’ve followed the DM portion of your methodology and then do a pareto of the number of defects found during an audit an concentrate on the most commonly occurring defects.


    Thomas Salaway

    I think you have to ask yourself, how are you going to change defective calls? Your answer is to reduce the defects since in this case that is the independent variable and the defective units is the dependent variable.



    @hlakam, in addition to what @cseider has said. you need to look why are you doing the project. Is it internal or Business directive or is it what customer expects. If the project has come from customer he’ll see only defectives or will look at one call as one unit. in this particular case your metric need to be around % defective.

    irrespective of output metric you would need to drill down to defects to fix real causes.



    @hlakam – good advice so far. What I would add is that your remediation efforts will necessarily be targeted at the defect level. The corrective action for wrong information is likely going to be different than for “rudeness.”
    The other thing that you need to be cognizant of is that not all defects are equivalent. Providing wrong info that ends up hurting somebody is much more critical to fix than is rudeness.
    Just my opinion.



    @hlakam- I agree with MBBinWI, In a call center environment you will have lot of areas that can impact a call. It is always better to concentrate on Defect rather than Defective. Focusing on Defect will help you to identify vital few areas to improve and sometimes those few only be whole issue.


    Christian Sampedro

    Probably a bit late to reply but I would like to share…
    I see that you are evaluated using a defective metric and a defective is being defined as having 1 or more defects. So what I would do is to chart the defects (pareto?) and determine what are the few ones that will make the greatest impact so I can focus on them. You can probably also analyze the calls marked as defective with only 1 or 2 defects and concentrate on them, that will definitely show an impact on the defective audit.

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