Whitepaper: Workforce Management

BELLEVUE, Wash. (February 20, 2018) – Across any industry that utilizes operational staff, standard workforce management (WFM) practices are implemented to derive the most value from the labor. These practices are used to calculate workload, predict work arrival patterns, and plan and schedule staff to respond to that workload.

The client strives to organize resources and tools to leverage the most efficient and cost-effective way to act on their core value of delivering an outstanding customer experience, regardless of time of day, region of the world, language spoken, modality chosen, or a consumer vs commercial customer basis.

In the most simplistic of terms, workforce management is the calculation of workload, prediction of work patterns, and planning and scheduling staff to respond to that workload. The WFM lifecycle:

  1. Forecasting / Planning  – During this phase the historic foundational data is used to develop the forecasts at any date hierarchy (yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily, interval). These forecasts are produced for both expected work item volume, expected handling time, and any staff availability variations at each of those levels of forecast hierarchy. From these forecasts you can forecast how much workload will be required and when. How many people you need to respond to that workload at various service level targets.
  2. Operational – During this phase, the plan created during the forecast phase is implemented and managed to effectively ensure resources are available when customer demand is expected. This also allows for flexibility as patterns and business needs may change from when the initial plan is put in place.
  3. Historical – During this phase the actual values from the operational performance are collected and analyzed to validate the effectiveness of the staffing plan. This data collection and analysis is used to find areas of opportunity that can be used to drive continuous improvement across the operation.
  4. Feedback – During the final phase of the WFM Life Cycle, the information and analysis completed in the historical phase is feedback into all teams, tools, and groups involved in the planning and forecasting phase. Its the opportunity to fine tune forecasting, make impacting business decisions, and create a highly efficient operating model.

In general, the effective implementation of a WFM program can provide benefits across the organization, as the life cycles ensure the business is finding areas of opportunity for improvement during each cycle, typically monthly.

As the forecast improves, the staffing plan improves with it, resulting in more effective use of the resources and reduction in overall cost. There should be a single source to collect the data required and drive the WFM life cycle. This source is generally a WFM tool and/or WFM team.

For RedCloud’s full whitepaper on this topic, see: Workforce Management