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Workforce Management Scenario Planning Techniques

Workforce Management Scenario Planning Techniques

Advanced Workforce Management solutions offer the ability to produce accurate and meaningful ‘what-if’ scenarios to help gauge changes in the workload and service levels prior to an event taking place, in order to ensure the right level of staff is available to cover demand.  

Scenario planning -'what if'

There are a number of different scenarios a planning team will most likely be asked to provide in order to offer direction to the business. This may involve long-term capacity planning to support target-operating models down to intra-day what-if type analysis.  Some examples of scenario planning are:

Some examples of scenario planning are:

  • Multi-Skilling - what does our skills matrix look like and is it fit for purpose?
  • Site Strategy – what’s the impact of opening our new site?
  • Opening Hours – should we open longer, what’s the demand before and after we close? 
  • Recruitment -– how many people are we going to need for each scenario and how will this affect personnel management and recruitment??
  • New Product Launch - if we launch a product, what are the implications on our resource plan?
  • Process Change - if we change an internal process how does this impact on handling time?
  • Marketing Campaign – what’s the best day to launch our media campaign based on contact centre capacity?
  • Mailings – what impact will different volumes and timings of annual mailing drops have on the contact centre?

Assessing the impact and taking action

It is imperative to agree on the parameters for the analysis of the ‘what-if’ scenario. For example, if you expect that sending out white mail or email statements will result in an uplift of enquiries, compare the scenario-based results to previously obtained data from similar events. 

The next step is to provide insight into how you will meet increased demand. For example, you could re-align shifts or give staff overtime or use an outsourcer to manage the overflow. The benefit of using WFM is the ability to quickly produce varied shift patterns that can demonstrate how service level can be achieved for each scenario.

Measure the impact

Once the most plausible scenario has been agreed, don’t forget to measure its accuracy against the actual volumes. So if you are staffing to meet demand through a statement drop, measure the actual volumes versus the scenario. If you are using a WFM application, the intra-day variances will be captured and retained for further analysis.