Many businesses have expanded across multiple offices, across multiple different locations through a combination of organic expansion and successful M&A. This often leads to situations where human resources and their corresponding workload have become unevenly distributed, resulting in some locations becoming stretched whilst others have less work/demand to process.
Rectifying this problem by balancing human (and robotic) resources is difficult and attempts based on partial or retrospective data are often only partially successful.
In agile operations, there are team meetings/stand-ups/huddles (depending on what you like to call them) once or twice a day. At these meetings, the team leader can have a report or view of the incoming work, the backlog, and who they have in today.
In any business, demand is made up of some or all of the following:
• Today’s work, arrived that day, often loaded by a mail room or similar before the working day,
• The backlog of work that was outstanding, from yesterday and previously,
• A prediction of new work coming in from live channels, such as contact centre and direct enquiries.
These meetings should consider the Service Level Agreements because, often, work coming in ‘today’ to the Back-Office should not be the highest priority, in favour of either working the team’s backlogged items or helping out other teams under greater pressure.
If a team leader looks at the demand they have, and the resources, and finds that they have more capacity than is required for the day, some of the surplus capacity should be available to other teams.
Through OPX, team members are assigned temporarily to other teams, without them needing to physically move desk. This means that they get the work allocated from this other team, where it the business wide priority is higher. They can be assigned to several teams at the same time and have ‘prioritised work’ routed to them irrespective of the source of the work for the same person. This allows multiple teams to to work more efficiently as a whole, SLAs are met and team members can get away on time, through team work.
Resource Sharing for the Overall Operational Performance
Using OPX reports and dashboards, managers above the team leaders can get a real-time view of many of the managerial statistics needed to encourage this behaviour including:
- SLA data per team or per process
- Capacity available
- Capacity required to clear the queues
With little effort, you can create a dashboard that takes into account the Service Level Agreements, the work in the queues, and the AHT (average handling time) to show the capacity required to meet the SLA for the day (and any spare capacity this day per team). This would allow you as the manager to assist in the resource sharing for the benefit of the overall operational performance. Having one team ahead of target and another causing service credits is not an ideal outcome.
Load Balancing of Resources
OPX can help with identifying where the load is not evenly split across the teams or sites – we think of this as Load Balancing the Human Resource.
OPX tracks what an administrator is doing, from coming in, to leaving. It tracks the backlog of work and the new demands created during the day. It also identifies what skills are required, along with the skills present in the business, to process the work.
“Having one team ahead and another incurring service credits is not ideal”.
So, looking at the demand and the resources allows us to create dashboards and daily (or intra-day) plans for managing the resources in an optimal manner. Looking at the idle times at a team level also allows us to see historic patterns where teams did not have any work to complete (or were being mismanaged).
If you are interested in seeing OPX in action, please contact us.