Last time in my first article we talked about reframing the conversation with your peer group around the boardroom table. By providing analysis and intelligence. By talking about what’s useful for growth and revenues, rather than answering your very own "Jeremy Paxman’s” quick fire questions about costs and problems.
When I started in Workforce Management (WFM) in the late 90’s, I was equipped with excel and an erlang calculator. I felt pretty cool. I could determine the headcount requirement for every interval. I just needed to gather the handle time, volume and service level target. I worked for a small company that had no funding for a Workforce Management tool. Measurements in contact centers were still pretty basic at that point, and many of the leaders had been promoted from off the phones, so there wasn’t a lot of expertise in contact center best practices.
How do you know you’ve developed the right schedules? It seems pretty simple. You take the forecast, create schedules, graph the schedules against the staff requirement. If the lines look close, you’re done!
Excel is for Dummies. I heard someone use that phrase a few years back, and it stuck with me. I know a lot of really smart people who use Excel for just about everything. It’s an incredibly versatile tool. It gets used for everything from making a simple grocery list to displaying analyses, to doing complex calculations that forecast using complex algorithms. There are multi-day classes on how to use Excel for beginners, intermediate and advanced users. Excel is for business what flour is for baking. It can be a part of everything.
On a Monday night, if I’m in our local pub at about a quarter to eight, the world slowly goes dark as if the light has been sucked out of the room. It’s not the death-eaters from Harry Potter, but it feels just like that. Then promptly at eight, the light returns as the tall masons, in their black suits, all take their pints next door.