Development opportunities for the fundamentals of workforce management.

Development opportunities for the fundamentals of workforce management.

March 5 –

There are many software solutions available that can automate the workforce management function in the contact center.  These applications have become critical to the success of call centers by helping manage the biggest cost, staffing.  Through automation and analytics, workforce managers are able to gain rapid insights and make quick decisions to best manage customer and agent experience.

Automation is great, but what about the fundamentals of planning, forecasting, and staffing?  When many first enter the world of workforce management, the introduction typically consists of a robust training on what buttons to click within the applications to get results.  But an opportunity exists for many in the field today to get out a calculator and start learning the basic building blocks of the process.

Can you calculate workload outside of planning software?  Do you know the difference between a static and dynamic workload?  How do the economies of scale affect occupancy?  Building an understanding of how our applications process information and make decision enriches the ability of planners, schedulers, and forecasters to find areas of opportunity.  This allows WFM to “know” when a result doesn’t look right, and helps bridge the communication gap that can occur between workforce management and frontline staff.

Just like in school, students are required to learn mathematics and show their work before introducing automation in the form of a calculator.  A workforce management professional can gain insights and build a stronger gut feeling when making decisions by understanding the math.

How to start?  There are several online resources and articles that delve into the math and talking points around developing these skills. SWPP members have the opportunity to participate in the Fundamentals of Workforce Management web seminar series throughout the year (more information is available on the SWPP website at  There are also many articles available to anyone on the SWPP website at   And make sure that you read the SWPP newsletter each quarter!

Note:  This week’s tip provided by Shannon Garcia, CWPP, of Liberty Mutual.  She may be reached at