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Real-Time Adherence...To authorise or not to authorise?

Tim Wharfe 29-Aug-2019 10:30:25
Tim Wharfe


What is Real-Time Adherence (RTA)?

Put simply, RTA is the constant and automated comparison between what an agent is scheduled to do and what they actually do.  The result of this is a percentage score.

RTA - To authorise or not to authoriseRTA makes visible if the agent went for lunch, breaks, meetings or any other activity at the time they were supposed to. 

If they don’t then the time outside of the scheduled time is counted as OOA (Out of Adherence).

E.g. Agent A gets a score of 93%. So, 7% of Agent A’s scheduled time was not adhered to (OOA).


Tolerance in RTA

Most Workforce Management solutions will allow a ‘tolerance’ for specified activities that have been scheduled.  For example, setting a 2-minute tolerance will not count the agent as being non-adherent for 2 minutes on either side of a scheduled activity.

Whereas this can sound like a good thing to do from the agent’s perspective, for a Workforce Management professional, it’s covering up the fact that the agent did not adhere to their schedule during specific times.


Authorisation in RTA

Within most RTA solutions, it is also possible to authorise instances of OOA.  Any time that that has been authorised will be added to the calculation and therefore will boost the score of the agent.

In some cases this can be justified.  What if an agent was scheduled for a meeting to start at 11:00 but the agent’s manager doesn’t collect the agent until 11:10?  Authorising the 10 minutes before, and therefore the 10 minutes at the end seems like the right thing to do.


Problem & Solution

Tolerances and authorisation cause problems for Workforce Management professionals.  The reason is this – it’s a lie.

By introducing tolerances and authorisation it makes possible for the contact centre to appear to have performed better than it actually did.

The solution to this is to make available 3 different calculations for users to view depending on their role in the contact centre.


In U-WFM, we offer 3 adherence calculations:


Straight – Did the agent adhere or not?  No tolerance or authorisation time is included.  This would typically be viewed by Workforce Management Professionals and possibly upper management.

Tolerance – Includes any tolerance allowances, but no authorised time.  Viewed by various levels of management.

Score – Includes any tolerances and authorised time.  Viewed by agents and the direct manager of the agents.


In the below example, the agent has a straight score of 7.56%, including tolerances 9.24% and when any authorisations are added, 89.92%.  With this example it's easy to see that the agent had an activity for a large portion of their day which has been authorised. 


Adherence Calculations


This can be cross referenced with a historical adherence view.  Below we can see that a period of time (in green) between 07:00-08:37 has been authorised.


Adherence History


Utilising these 3 calculations means that it’s possible for users of U-WFM to view information that is relevant to them, regardless of what their role is within the business.


RTA remains an essential contact centre reporting tool, if not sometimes underrated.  In a sea of contact centre metrics RTA is one of the few that agents can have a direct impact on – and also provides Workforce Management professionals on-demand feedback on performance trends, potential problems and future operational goals.

In short, get it right and it can have a significant impact to your contact centre performance.


To speak to us about RTA or any other aspect of Workforce Management, please click here to contact us and/or schedule a demo...



Topics: U-WFM Blog, WFM, Workforce Management, Real-Time Adherence, RTA