WFM Methodology

Workforce Management is no longer is it just about making sure there enough bum's on seats ready to answer incoming calls, now organisations expect WFM process to deliver:

- Improved customer experience by better schedule to forecast and adherence to schedule
- Zero-based budgeting, underpinned by planning
- Improved work/life balance of staff
- An enabler for process improvement 
- Confidence to make decisions based on process outputs
- Known implications of operational decisions through scenario planning

The accepted industry standard definition for a Workforce Management (WFM) process can be defined as:

“The art of having the right number of correctly trained and skilled staff, in the right place and at the right time, with the right supporting resources, to handle an accurately forecasted workload at service level and with quality”

This definition is the foundation for any type of resource planning and operational management for any type of business regardless of its size, function, complexity or location.

A truly successful WFM process is a strong combination of detailed planning and review, supported by real time management control, review and communication – all wrapped in robust governance processes.

From a functional perspective, the WFM process incorporates all the key elements of (see above diagram):
  • Long Term Planning and Economic Model  (12+ months ahead) - requirement and costs to deliver profit and customer service  targets, predictions of “cost per process” metrics.
  • Capacity Planning (largely medium term planning – a 12 month rolling view) - FTE and desk requirements, forecasts for FTE surplus/deficit, indicative service level delivery forecasts, and recruitment needs and/or FTE movement/overtime forecasts.
  • Scheduling (short term planning – up to 3 months ahead) - Scheduling of front line staff  to match customer demand across the opening hours of an operation, and refined intra-day Service level predictions.
  • Operational Delivery & Real Time Management - Monitors service delivery and schedule adherence in real time, identifies service hotspots and remedial actions required, provides detailed analysis/insight of service performance to feed future planning processes and to inform performance management within an operation , inputs on the day changes to schedules and manages impacts to service.
Acting as both an input and a refined output to the WFM process the following aspects circle and support the WFM elements above (see above diagram):
  • People and Process Planning AssumptionsKey planning assumptions that include Process Time, Process Frequency, Staff Utilisation, and Productivity.
  • Process and Workload Volumesexpressed as both volume and overall workload and calculated though the interpretation of the key predictions and historic performance against previous predication's.
  • Cost and Cost Per's/People Structurea view of existing, and forecasted people (FTE) and cost.
  • People CultureWork/shift arrangements that are tailored to the needs of the staff as well as the business, engagement and governance to ensure and operations culture is supportive of the WFM process.
Finally WFM Methodology is an enabler for:

  1. Tighter control of resources and cost across a company’s operations
    1. Accurate resource planning
    2. Accurate budgeting
    3. Optimisation of resources
  2. Operational productivity improvements
  3. Improved operational service delivery
  4. Increased flexibility of staff to meet demand (reduced overtime reliance)
  5. Reduced operational recruitment costs
  6. Improved speed of delivery and quality of outputs