Thursday, October 20, 2011

By Request-Work Force Management

There have been several people who have reached out to me asking for me to share my thoughts as a "Person from the younger generation" when it comes to Work Force Management.  I'll do my best, but I think this will have to be spread over three or four blogs so expect this one to be short. 

I currently manage a team of five WFM analysts and in the past have managed up to twelve over four different states.  The goal of my team has, and ALWAYS will be Out of the box thinking.   I try and set the standard where ever I go that its not what you know now, its how you can predict, react and take action..  In fact I believe in this process so much that they are told of one mathematical formula their first day and told to live by it.  E+R=O or Event+Response=Outcome.  No matter what you are doing, or how you view WFM this formula should be applied to everything you do.

What is Work Force Management?  

If you ask any WFM Manager of any tenure they will rattle off the same thing, Staffing, Forecasting, Scheduling and Real Time Adherence.  Some might even go into vast detail(like me).  Work force management is the overall process of balancing workload with staff.  This means predicting the total work that you need to have done and plan to have the right amount of staff at hand to complete the work.  This is done in several different ways from extremely expensive software tools down to a simple pen and paper.  Yes, I have met someone who factored required staffing hours on a day to day basis using this method(I called her crazy).  
The general idea behind WFM support is to not only get the requirements right, but to make sure you can do it as efficiently as possible.   True WFM support will know that overstaffing costs the company more money then it should and impacts the bottom line, while understanding degrades customer satisfaction ratings and could cost you the business in the long run leaving you with no bottom line.  
WFM support doesn't end once your staffing is planned.  One of the most influential WFM directors DRILLED this into me: Plan the Plan and Work the Plan.  All plans are great on paper, they look pretty and make those cool looking graphs and make the operations team go ohhhhh and ahhhhhh.  However, the real showing of a good WFM support team and manager are shown at go time(The first call, opening bell, etc). Adjustments to your plan need to be made on a real time basis. WFM support monitors real time shrink while holding to your original plan as closely as possible. 

For those of you who are not in the call center world, I'll sum it up in one sentence.  Out of the box thinking! 


  1. Only day to day is crazy!! No wonder I was going made with some of the demands at the end

  2. Such a nice article, i really enjoy to read it.