Assignment 2: Case Study
By Sunday, September 9, 2012, complete the following assignment:
Control theory originated with the goal of managing small, mechanical operations (such as the thermostat example in your lecture) but it has since been applied in broader contexts. For this assignment, select a service operation (a bank, hospital, auditing company, financial consulting, etc.) and apply control theory to a particular process within the business. Explain how the concepts found in control theory can be used to ensure the smooth operation of the process. In a bank, a process to which we could apply control theory could be managing the length of the lines. In financial consulting, control theory could be applied to maintaining the balance between risk and return.
For this assignment, begin by choosing and describing a specific process within a service operation. Describe what the goals would be (maintain risk levels, manage queue lengths, maintain medicine inventory, etc.) and then explain, using relevant vocabulary, how control theory can be used to keep the goals on target. Use research to both find details about your selected type of business and also to learn more about control theory concepts. Be specific in your description and give concrete examples of what must be done. To support your arguments, create two graphs: the first should depict the feedback loop in the operation and the second should show the stability of the operation (how the value of the objective will behave over time). The online lecture has examples for both of these graphs.
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