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WFM Recommended Process

Tim Wharfe 18-Apr-2018 18:37:29
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Introduction

When the dust settles after the implementation of a new Workforce Management system, one of the most common queries is not actually about the software at all. It is about the how and when of going from nothing to a finalised schedule.

This blog will be going through a recommended process that WFM Administrators and Resource Planners can follow in order to give everyone, business and agents the best from your hard work.

 

Process Cycle

There is a well defined basic process cycle that WFM Administrators generally follow.

WFM Basic Process

1. Forecast – Using the most recent historical information

2. Schedule – Create a new schedule from rules already in Workforce Management

3. Manage – Intraday management of the schedule

4. Analyse – Use most recent data to feed back to forecasting

 

Reasons for Process

Most businesses will want to give agents schedules a certain number of weeks in advance. This allows agents to plan their lives and maintain a healthy work/life balance. This is normally done in rolling weeks. Every week, a new week is released to agents maintaining the same length of future visibility at all times.

It is important to get the number of future weeks published right. If there is not enough, agents will not be happy. If there are too many, any changes to schedules, especially due to leavers or new starters will require the WFM administrator to re-schedule more than they would otherwise need to, increasing their workload.

Typically, although by no means a rule, agents receive around 4 weeks notice of their upcoming shifts. The length of shift notice does differ across businesses.

For these reasons it is important to robustly stick to a well defined process and follow it through consistently.

 

Recommended Process Table

For this example, we will be assuming that agents are receiving 4 weeks notice for their schedule and also using 4 weeks of historical data to build a forecast.

The below table shows a timeline spanning 11 weeks in total. 6 weeks in the past, the current week and 4 weeks in to the future.

 

WFM Process Table

The below process covers what should be worked by the WFM administrator every week.

This Week

  • Offline entry and minor schedule adjustments as required
  • Reforecast week utilising most recent historical data
  • Reschedule agents. As shifts were locked previously, only breaks and lunches may be changed
  • Republish
  • Enter offline activities as known. No forecasting or re-scheduling is required as both these weeks already have a forecast and schedules where shifts, but not breaks and lunches are locked
  • Create new forecast
  • Create new schedule
  • Lock shifts, but not breaks and lunches
  • Publish

Week 1 (next week)

  • Reforecast week utilising most recent historical data
  • Reschedule agents. As shifts were locked previously, only breaks and lunches may be changed
  • Republish

Week 2 & 3

  • Enter offline activities as known. No forecasting or re-scheduling is required as both these weeks already have a forecast and schedules where shifts, but not breaks and lunches are locked

Week 4

  • Create new forecast
  • Create new schedule
  • Lock shifts, but not breaks and lunches
  • Publish

If the above process is followed every week for each of the relative weeks in the future, agents will have a consistent view of their shifts and the business will have greater visibility of their expected results.

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