Abbott Associates

MGMT 201 – Essentials for understanding Six Sigma Call Center

You will understand the difference between efficient and effective and how science and engineering can make your center effective. If you would like to read along with the class lectures, you can obtain a copy of James Abbott’s book The Executive Guide to Six sigma Call Centers at

Effective Managers

You will understand the traits of an effective manager and how to establish a vision that thinks big.

Call Center History

Call centers have been around since 1900, when telephone operators would connect you to the party that you were trying to reach. Since those early beginnings call centers have radically changed. This modern call center will have a profound impact on why six sigma designs are crucial.

What is a Sigma

Examples of sigma use abound in the product manufacturing world. Screws and nuts really work together because product and process designers worked hard to make sure that the part variation, sigma, was held to a minimum.

Variability in the Service Sector

The concept of sigma’s use in the service sector is harder to visualize. If we don’t understand why we should use sigma, our use of the tool is slim. Not only do we have to use and understand sigma, additionally we must understand the science associated with its use.

Variability in the Service Sector

Go Big

Just overlaying expensive technology and computerization on top of the current methods makes the mess faster and bigger. With the hard work done in sigma design, a winning team can execute things that appear impossible.

Agent Tool History and Background

8 minutes focus is on the walkabout

Call Center Tools

20.5 minutes covers Walkabout- control and dialogue more in depth

The Goal

Many call center managers are one-dimensional and that leads to a trouble zone. To help us avoid this kind of trouble zone, we will develop a balanced goal to use as a means of describing our objective for call center improvement.

Queuing Science Starter

Today the science inside the center is more complex because of the many demands from the five different call center types. This requires a conceptual understanding of call center science issues, from express lane determination, to lane balancing, plus the original telephony issues.

Efficient Versus Effective

The difference between an efficient operation that is one dimensional and an effective operation is important to become a great manager and leader. From one of the VPs who attended one of my course, “I’ll never forget the awkward silence in the room when you told us we could not decrease cost without increasing customer satisfaction.