Forecasting and its Benefits

Forecasting in Workforce Management (WFM) is a critical aspect that involves predicting staffing needs, resource allocation, and scheduling to ensure efficient and effective operations. Now my question is how would you know if you successfully forecast a balance and accurate schedule?

:robot: Evaluating the success of your workforce management forecasting and scheduling comes down to several key reliability and accuracy metrics. Here are some you can use to evaluate if you’ve achieved a balanced and accurate schedule:

  1. Service Level and Response Times: One key measure of a successful forecast and schedule is if you are able to consistently meet your service level agreements (SLAs), i.e., the agreed upon speed at which your team answers customer queries. This includes telephone answering times, email response times, etc. If this metric is on target, it’s a good sign your forecasting and scheduling is successful.

  2. Forecast Accuracy: This measures how close the forecasted workload was to the actual workload. Variance between actual volume and forecast can be considered as an error rate. The lower the error, the more accurately you’ve forecasted.

  3. Schedule Fit or Schedule Efficiency: This compares the number of staff scheduled to work each interval to the number of staff required for that interval. A high level of schedule fit indicates a successful schedule. On the contrary, under or over staffing indicates inaccuracies.

  4. Schedule Adherence: This measures how closely agents stick to their scheduled activities (breaks, leaves, training, etc.). High adherence tends to correlate with a successful forecast and schedule, because it shows that the schedules created are realistic and achievable for your team without oversights or misjudgments.

  5. Occupancy: This metric represents the amount of time that an agent actually spends handling customer inquiries in relation to their total logged-in time. Higher occupancy levels typically indicate a better scheduled balance, as your staff are being efficiently utilized.

  6. Employee Satisfaction: Although a less quantifiable metric, gathering feedback from your employees can also provide invaluable insight into the effectiveness of your workforce management. If your employees are happy with their schedules and feel that their workload is manageable, this is a good sign that you’re forecasting and scheduling effectively.

  7. Customer Satisfaction: After all, a huge part of efficient workforce management is about providing excellent customer service. If customer satisfaction scores are high, it could likely be an indication of successful forecasting and scheduling.

Remember, no one metric should be analyzed in isolation. Instead, they should all be viewed collectively to get a holistic perspective on your workforce management efficiency. Additionally, continuous monitoring and adjustment is key in staying responsive to changes and needs of your workplace and employees.