Workforce Management is a continuous practice, that is sure to bring our ROI. Start with an annual plan and adjust month over month, or week over week if necessary. Here's how we suggest you approach Workforce Management.
- You should have a plan that's fixed for the year. This is going to be based on drivers in your business: new Customers, month over month growth including seasonality. This will help you plan for your annual budget. The plan should be fixed, but we know that things hardly go as planned. Enter the forecast.
- Your forecast will be based on a smaller subset of information. Namely what happened that differs from the plan? This can be an unexpected surge due to the success of a product launch, or success of a Marketing campaign that wasn't considered in the plan. Your forecast should be updated on a weekly basis and locked on Wednesday or Thursday.
- Your capacity plan will be based on your Plan for the year and adjusted based on your forecast for the next few weeks. When planning for capacity, keep in mind how many resources you'll need if you're going to have offline activities (meetings, trainings) or time off planned. You can estimate your staff required by including a Shrinkage Plan which will measure paid time for employees to do something other than their primary responsibility.
- Your schedule will be based off your shrinkage plan and will include all planned offline activities, including time off, start times, end times, breaks and lunches. Your team will use this to manage their time throughout the day.
- Finally your CRM and phone system should provide reporting for you. Unfortunately, without a Workforce Management tool, you will have a hard time calculating schedule adherence or comparing how time is actually used against the plan.
No matter what you have, always measure your forecast volume against actual and staffing plan against resources. Conduct analysis to make sure you're on the right path. If not, correct your work and keep moving!