Draft Agenda-At-A-Glance
SWPP Annual Conference
June 4-6, 2018


Sunday, June 3

1:30-4:30 – Pre-conference sessions
5:00-7:00 p.m. – Registration

Monday, June 4

7:30 a.m. – Registration
9:00-10:15 p.m. – Welcome & Keynote Address
10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. — Workshops
12:00-1:30 p.m. — Luncheon and Presentation of Workforce Management Professional of the Year Award
1:30-2:45 p.m. — Workshops
2:45-3:45 p.m. — Afternoon Break
3:45-5:00 p.m.  – Workshops
5:00-7:00 p.m. – Opening Reception

Tuesday, June 5

8:00-9:00 a.m. – Breakfast
9:00-10:15 a.m. – Workshops
10:15-10:45 a.m. – Break
10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  Workshops
12:00-1:30 p.m. – Luncheon
1:30-2:45 p.m.  Workshops
2:45-3:45 p.m. – Ice Cream Social with the Sponsors
3:45-5:00 p.m.  Workshops
6:15 p.m. – Depart for Evening Event
6:30-9:30 p.m. – Evening Event 

Wednesday, June 6

7:30-8:45 a.m. – Breakfast
7:45-8:45 a.m. – Behind Closed Doors sessions
8:45-10:00 a.m.  Workshops
10:00-10:15 a.m. – Break
10:15-11:30 a.m.  Workshops
11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Closing Session

SWPP Annual Conference Ends




 2017 Conference Agenda
SWPP Annual Conference
March 27-29, 2017


Monday, March 27

7:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. – Registration – Legends Ballroom Foyer

8:30-11:30 a.m. – Pre-Conference Workshops (Separate registration and fee required) 

Fundamental Concepts of Scheduling with Skill-Based Routing.  Balancing customer, center, and agent needs with traditional scheduling is not easy, but adding skill-based routing to the process can make it significantly more complex.  New hires may have only one skill when they first start handling calls, while more seasoned staff may have many skills.  With agents having a different combination of skills and performing them at different levels, the optimized schedule needs to reflect these possibilities.   Add different levels of priority of callers to the mix and then figure out how to adjust when a multi-skilled agent is missing.  The design process can set the stage for a relatively simple or highly complex environment for both scheduling and intraday management.  These are the challenges of designing and managing in a skill-based routing environment.

This session will outline ways to minimize the challenges not only in the schedules but also in the intraday management process that follows. Seminar attendees will learn to:

  • Design a skill-based routing plan that balances customer, agent and center needs.
  • Understand how to harness the power of the ACD in a skill-based routing scenario.
  • Design routing to protect the low volume but high value calls.
  • Measure the success of the SBR design.
  • Describe the challenges of achieving forecasting accuracy and tips for better data collection.
  • Identify the process of scheduling agents to match SBR configuration demands.
  • Understand the implications of caller and agent priorities on the workload distribution.
  • Describe the challenges of intra-day management of SBR and how to overcome them.

Whether you are just starting to implement SBR or have had it in place for years, this is the session for you.  The workshop will cover a variety of tips and tricks and provide plenty of time for questions and case problems.  Attendees are encouraged to bring information about their design and any challenges they are facing for discussion in the session.

Facilitator: Maggie Klenke – Music Row 2

— OR —    

Developing Your Real-Time Access Management Playbook. In the contact center, help desk, and tech support world, managing real-time activities is a constant workforce management challenge.  Fluctuations in volume, handle time, and availability of personnel change in a moment.  Just reacting to these creates additional chaos for the center and, many times, is ineffective due to poor communications, lack of coordination, and timing.  Creating a real-time access plan that enhances our ability to service customers is essential to effectively plan for both extreme peaks and valleys.  In this interactive session, we will explore the framework areas of development necessary to build an effective and efficient plan.  We’ll also begin work on the development process of your own “Playbook.”

Attendees will have break-out sessions designed to assist in development of their own playbook.  Session attendees will learn about:

  • Customers expectations in this millennium
  • The benefits of access management planning
  • Service level and occupancy optimization
  • Essential components of “The Playbook”

If you manage a center, WFM, or have responsibility for the real-time activities in your center, this is a great workshop for you!  Get a head start on your Playbook.

Facilitator: Todd Gladden, PlanMen – Music Row 4


Back by Popular Demand! Call Center Math: Managing a Call Center By the Numbers. There are many truths told in the vast array of statistics available today in the call center – and the successful manager will be the one that understands how to manage by the numbers and not be overwhelmed by them. This session provides a useful set of formulas and calculations for understanding call center numbers and the most common key performance indicators (KPIs). Attendees will learn about the most common numbers associated with workforce management as well as measures of performance and how to calculate and analyze them.

The session will present the “top ten” KPIs and de-mystify the math behind the numbers. Attendees will get plenty of practice with calculations and work through several common call center analyses. Seminar attendees will learn to:

  • Identify the most critical KPIs for call center and agent performance and how to calculate them.
  • Calculate the service, cost, and productivity implications of staffing decisions.
  • Define the critical KPIs to reflect quality of service as well as service efficiency.
  • Identify the most common math mistakes made in call centers today.
  • Practice common calculations and work case problems in applying the numbers effectively.

If you are new to workforce management, or have not had a metrics and calculations refresher in awhile, this is the session for you. The workshop will cover all the basics and provide plenty of time for questions and practice.

Facilitator: Penny Reynolds – Music Row 6

1:00-2:15 p.m. – Welcome and Keynote Address – Legends Ballroom
      Sponsored by Loxysoft

Motivating Exceptionalism: Your Hidden Treasure! How does trend analysis, data crunching, and queue tracking motivate exceptionalism?  Well, let me tell you, the messenger makes the difference!  Learn about the treasured techniques that you bring to the organization and expand the discussion around your critical role as transformer, change agent, and the momentum that moves the machine.  – Speaker: Penny Tootle, Utilligent

2:30-3:45 p.m. – Breakout Sessions

Back by Popular Demand! Preparing to Forecast: Decisions and Data for the Planning Process.  There are many steps in data review and analysis before the forecasting process begins. In this seminar, you will learn about the up-front essentials of forecasting workload. Hear about the sources of input data and how to decide which best represents future needs. Learn about agent work state activity and techniques to ensure you have predictive AHT data. Practice identifying and adjusting for data aberrations and other considerations for data cleanup before it enters the forecasting process. You will also hear about forecasting models and how to choose the one the best represents your business and calling patterns. – Speaker: Maggie Klenke – Cumberland 1/2

Back by Popular Demand! Attrition Happens. Attrition is the biggest disruption we have in contact centers. Nothing can mess up a schedule or spoil the perfect day like staff who have disappeared. And to make matters worse, your HR Department probably counts it in a totally different way! In this session, learn how to standardize a calculation and manage attrition in your center. – Speaker: Dan Rickwalder, Genesys – Music Row 6

Back Office Workflow: Let’s Pull Together to Solve this Puzzle! This is an interactive session so bring your problems and your solutions.  We plan to roll up our sleeves and work through some of the biggest challenges we face when trying to tackle transactional workflow.  There are some solutions already on your office desktop and some ideas worth exploring in stages.  In the end, we will achieve success together! – Speaker: Penny Tootle, Utiligent – Music Row 5

Building a Bridge to Success – How to Ensure your Business and WFM are Aligned.   Is your WFM team perceived as “big brother?” Are you constantly fighting to overcome the “us vs. them” mentality? In this session we will discuss how you can build a bridge to collaboration and partnership. Discover how Cardinal Health deployed several key tactics on how to improve the relationship between WFM and Operations to improve overall performance across the organization. – Speaker: Jessica Harris, Cardinal Health – Cumberland 3/4

Multi-Site Means Multi-Decisions. If you have more than one contact center in your company, things can get a little complicated and there are lots of decisions to make around WFM. Do you have a centralized or decentralized WFM setup? Do you schedule your agents as one large group or by individual site? How do you handle vacation allotments to make sure coverage is constant? Come to this session and hear how these issues and more are handled in the panelists’ organizations. – Panelists: Sandra McFatridge, CVS/Caremark, Jason Persico, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, & Victoria Marcella, VW Credit – Cumberland 5/6

How to Turn WFM into a Career. If you work in a call center, you understand the importance of WFM. Many of us have worked our way through the ranks to become senior leaders in our organizations. What does it take to start your career? What are the things you should focus on to make a lasting impression and impact within your company? How can you learn to “sell” WFM and the benefits of using the science of WFM to leaders? – Speaker: Kathy Toms, Optum – Music Row 3

Having Your Cake and Eating It, Too. Omni-channel is the buzzword these days – but can anyone do it? This session will address forecasting, scheduling, and planning that allows utilization of “down time” to fill the staffing need for deferred activities.   Learn how blending social media, back office, e-mail, and even reporting work can build skill sets and acumen for agents while reducing costs and contributing to omni-channel success in this case study. – Speaker: Todd Hixson, Cabelas – Music Row 4 

Bringing WFM Principles to a Back Office Environment. Citi is a leading global bank with about 200 million customer accounts in more than 160 countries. The Global Workforce Optimization team, which supports over 50,000 agents, recognized an opportunity to track and reduce workload, prioritize tasks and provide consistent SLAs by utilizing WFM principles to drive efficiencies & effectiveness into their back office departments. By leveraging their knowledge of global WFM and gaining deep insight into the practices of the back office environments – the Global WFM team was able to apply new operational practices that dramatically changed the way the operational center worked for their back office divisions. Find out how to apply Citi’s best practices learnings to your organization. – Speakers: Cindy Stevenson & Shelly Keys, Citigroup – Music Row 2

3:45-4:15 p.m. – Break

4:15-5:30 p.m. – Breakout Sessions

Back by Popular Demand! Forecasting Basics:  Predicting for Months, Weeks, Days, and Intervals.  In this seminar, you will learn the step-by-step process of applying Time Series Analysis to predict future workload. Learn how to identify trend rates and seasonality patterns for a monthly call forecast. After the monthly forecast is in place, the next step in the planning process is to break down the predictions to weekly, daily, and interval numbers.   Hear the process and calculations to use to distribute a monthly workload all the way down into intervals for scheduling. Finally, take a look at some right and wrong ways to review forecast accuracy to fine-tune future predictions. – Speaker: Penny Reynolds – Cumberland 1/2

Setting Strategic Goals for Workforce Management. Just like the organization as a whole and the contact center within it, the Workforce Management department needs to have strategic goals that define the direction for the team. Clearly set overall goals make short-term decisions easier and performance more consistent. In this session, you will learn: the 10 most common goals; definitions and applications; implications of different calculations; tradeoffs when goals create conflicts; and the essentials of creating a strategic plan. – Speaker: Maggie Klenke – Cumberland 3/4

Extending Workforce Management Support to the Back Office. The only thing consistent about the businesses we support is change. Workforce management teams are often asked to support the ever-changing environments of the business. In this session, you will hear how several organizations have tackled the movement of WFM from just inbound call handling to multi-media contacts and now to the back office environment. Hear tips and techniques to make this a more successful and smooth transition. – Panelists: Kirwyn Adderley, Walgreens, Todd Gladden, Planmen, & Kathy Toms, Optum – Cumberland 5/6 

Sourcing for Workforce Management Talent V2.0. Help Wanted: Employees experienced in real-time, forecasting, scheduling, capacity, seasonality, arrival patterns, Erlang – a diverse checklist not taught in any university. How do you make sure you have the finger on recruiting the talent your organization needs? How do you build a well-rounded team to maximize strength and opportunity areas? We will talk about assessments, interview questions, recruiting and acquisition strategies, testing, and how to develop a pipeline. – Speaker: Jeff Yannity, The Home Depot – Music Row 6

Preferences and Performance: The Blending of Worlds to Create a Win-Win Situation for Contact Center Scheduling. Employees’ schedules play a major part in their satisfaction with their position and their ability to achieve work-life balance. Allowing the employees to provide their preferences as the basis for the scheduling process seems like it might be too risky to balance and still maintain coverage to meet business needs. Our experience, however, shows that it can be a tremendous benefit as employees feel their needs are being considered and balanced with the needs of the business. Learn how the Principal transformed their scheduling process to improve employee schedule satisfaction while also improving scheduling efficiency. In this session, we’ll discuss the concept of the change, the process taken to implement, lessons learned to successfully bring it to fruition, and the items measured to confirm the win-win benefits. – Speakers: Tony Graczyk & Barb Krolikowski, Principal Financial – Music Row 3

Setting up a Teleworking Program. How do you make the jump from traditional contact centers to using teleworkers? Hear how companies have successfully deployed remote agent programs. Learn about the various components that need to be considered in building a business case for a teleworking set-up and identify the benefits and challenges of initiating and maintaining a telework program to make it a WIN-WIN-WIN situation. – Panelists: Louise Andrew, AccorHotels, Brooke Tanner, PriorityHealth, & Rob Rhoades, LanguageLine – Music Row 5

Selling Workforce Topics to the Executive Level. This discussion will focus on how to effectively communicate and sell workforce needs to your executive team. We will breakdown how to identify the motivations of your audience and tailor detailed information to their level. If you have a particular topic you have had trouble getting buy-in for – join us! This will be a presentation full of audience participation. – Speakers: Briana LeMay, WSECU, Mark Rhodes, Edward Jones, & Michele Borboa, Contact Center Resources – Music Row 4

Workforce Planning: Back to the Future. Get back to the basics of creating a better predictive workforce model using new ideas.  Consider there may be a better way to create a holistic view of your customer’s interactions and your agents’ persona. During this session we will look at expanding the traditional workforce model by using new ideas that are business and agent focused to create a more accurate workforce plan.  – Speaker: Nathan Stearns, NICE – Music Row 2

5:30-7:30 p.m. – Opening Reception – Legends Ballroom
      Sponsored by Verint

Tuesday, March 28

8:00-9:00 a.m. – Breakfast – Legends Ballroom

9:00-10:15 a.m. – Breakout Sessions

Back by Popular Demand! Essentials of Staffing: Models and Calculations for Contact Center Staff.  Managing a contact center means managing by the numbers and the most important number is the right number of staff in seats at the right time. Learn the essentials of calculating staff requirements, including how to assemble workload and apply Erlang techniques to determine staffing to meet service goals. In addition to staffing for incoming telephone calls, learn how to calculate workload and apply the proper staffing techniques for outbound calling, email, and chat contacts. – Speaker: Penny Reynolds – Cumberland 1/2

Back by Popular Demand! Come to the Dark Side: Four Reasons to Remove Forecast Accuracy from Your Performance Review. Workforce planners need to be held accountable for their performance just like all the other staff in the contact center. There are all kinds of measures of WFM success, and Forecast Accuracy is usually one of the metrics on the list. Most view it as a critical metric in workforce management, but does it really belong on the Forecaster’s performance review? Join this session if you want to hear a different point of view about how this calculated field has been used and misused. Bring your laptop for a hands-on demonstration of the Erlang function. – Speaker: Tiffany LaReau, Human Numbers – Music Row 6

Workforce Management Certification Workshop. This workshop provides attendees with information on the certification preparation and process to attain the title of Certified Workforce Planning Professional (CWPP). What is CWPP Certification from SWPP all about? What will it do for you in the workforce management field? What are the requirements for certification? How do you prepare? These and other questions are answered by a panel of workforce management professionals who have already achieved the CWPP designation. – Facilitators: Sandra McFatridge, CVS/Caremark, Louise Andrew, AccorHotels, & Michael Williams, BCD Travel – Music Row 3

Living in Excel: Survival Ideas for Manual Forecasting & Scheduling. Are you looking for a session that is tailored to those of us that do not have WFM software or that complete all of our forecasting and/or scheduling in Excel?  If so, this session is for you!  Join us to see reports that one organization has been using while completing 100% of capacity planning, forecasting, scheduling, and exception management via Excel.  Examples will include pivots, linking tables, conditional formatting for exception codes, tying staffing requirements to planned schedules, and volume/staffing projection snapshots.  With an abundant number of options for layouts, you are certain to pick up on some new ideas to take back to your team.  Please download the session materials from the website and bring your laptop for a more interactive experience. – Speakers: Kimberly Pugh, CGI, & Kristi Holcombe, Travelers – Cumberland 3/4

Getting it Right: The Power of Having the Right WFM Team Structure. Does something not feel “right” about your WFM team’s interactions with your customers? Are your customers or team members often frustrated? Perhaps it’s time to look under the hood at your team’s organizational structure. This workshop will dive into what several companies have learned about team organization and support. We will highlight our successful team structures, roles and responsibilities, and the way we promoted our team to build respect and positive working relationships.   – Panelists: Bob Dobson, IHG, Shannon Knecht, Northwestern Mutual, Christina Bell, BCD Travel, and Jessica Harris, Cardinal Health – Cumberland 5/6

Next-Generation Planning: How to Balance your Customer/Shareholder Needs with the Need to be an Employer of Choice. In addition to growing complexity in customer demands and employee preferences, the need to maintain an optimized workforce has put more focus on planning all areas of the business, including offline and back office work. In order to continue to meet and exceed the expectations of a WFM team, it’s critical to evolve the planning function. In this session, we’ll share best practices from top organizations and provide practical solutions for implementing planning techniques for success. Additionally, we’ll share recommended metrics and measurements, as well as other ideas on how to ensure you can quantify the impact of your work.   – Speakers: Charles Watson, Innovative Workforce Solutions, & Wendy Fowler, Quality Service Solutions, LLC – Music Row 5

Rewrite the Rules with Automation. Come to this session and learn how Rogers Communications rewrote the rules and created significant value for the company’s WFM team with intraday automation. Many WFM teams, including Rogers, are using automation to improve adherence, eliminate exception entry, and more. In this session, you’ll hear how Rogers Communications achieves these exciting new workforce efficiencies, what they learned along the way, and how this type of innovation has made an exciting and rewarding impact on their business. – Speakers: Jonathan Rasiah, Rogers Communications, & John Wolf, Intradiem – Music Row 4

Seven Ways Technology Can Help You Reach Employee Engagement Nirvana. 89% — the number of businesses that think truly engaging their workforce with their jobs and their customers is critical to their business success. 25% — the number of businesses that think their employees are, in fact, engaged! So where is the disconnect? Fueled by an increasing adoption of Internet use, mobile technologies, and social media, today’s empowered customers have access to more information, choices, and opportunities. It is redefining what an “ideal experience” means. In turn, employees are faced with increasing pressures to rise to the occasion. And what does that mean for your business and your workforce planning and management techniques? Employee engagement is becoming a critical strategy. This session will address changing dynamics of customer and employee expectations, using your workforce planning and management technologies to engage your employees and ensure that they can be the CEOs of every customer moment, and untangling the perceived complexities of workforce management in “the cloud” and for digital channels. – Speaker: Tom Tritten, Genesys – Music Row 2

10:15-10:45 a.m. – Break

10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Breakout Sessions

Back by Popular Demand! Staffing Tradeoffs: Achieving a Balance of Service, Occupancy, and Cost.  After determining base staff requirements, it is critical to review all the tradeoffs that impact contact center stakeholders. Learn about how callers are impacted by staffing decisions that drive speed of answer and quality of service. Review how staffing levels impact frontline staff in terms of productivity or occupancy. Finally, see how staffing levels and telecommunications factors affect revenues and costs. Hear about how one person can make an impact on service, occupancy, and cost, as well as the factors to consider when making decisions about agent group size, multi-skilling, or consolidation of sites or groups. – Speaker: Penny Reynolds – Cumberland 1/2

Key Strategies to Improve Schedule Adherence. Schedule adherence is a fundamental workforce management principle because it affects directly the bottom line. The participants in this session will learn about resolving practical issues contact centers faced in their quest to improve schedule adherence. Hear lessons learned over 20 years in WFM, including setting realistic goals, selling the concept to major key players, rewarding for performance, and driving for sustainable results. –Speaker: Adelina Petrov, International Cruise & Excursions, Inc.  – Music Row 6

Workforce Management Certification Practice “Bee.” Play this fun, interactive game to test your knowledge and get a flavor for the questions included in the Certified Workforce Planning Professional (CWPP) exams. Attend this session to see what you need to know in order to be successful in the pursuit of CWPP certification through SWPP. – Facilitator: Sandra McFatridge, CVS/Caremark – Music Row 3

My Button Says “Less Than 200 Agents:” Challenges and Benefits of Small Contact Centers. While some contact centers have thousands of employees and multiple locations, many have just one location and less than 200 agents.  There are specific challenges and benefits that are unique to the smaller centers.  We will discuss some of these issues, and some best practices in solving them.  Come prepared with your own questions or best practices.  – Panelists: Matt Cowan, Cellcom, Louise Andrew, AccorHotels, & Jason Hilliard, Radio Systems – Cumberland 5/6

From Fixed to Flexible. Attend this practical, information-packed session to see how a healthcare organization maximized its investment in workforce management software and optimized its operations by adopting flex scheduling practices. Learn why, and how, they positioned it internally with different stakeholders, planned and modeled for it using WFM software, phased in the changes, and how they have benefited from the combination of WFM software and new practices. – Speakers: Eric J Roussos, Crystal Run Healthcare, & Rajeev Venkat, Verint Systems – Music Row 4

The Great Debate. There are two sides to every story – and we’re going to explore them all! This lively session will showcase debates on several different workforce management issues, including specialized vs. universal agents, full-time vs. part-time staffing, service level vs. ASA as a service goal, and more. Come and offer your opinion into the mix! – Facilitators: Victoria Marcella, VW Credit, Justin Ziegler, McKesson, & Michael VandenBerg, Gerber Life Insurance – Music Row 5

Workforce Management? Who Are These People?  Does anyone know what you really do? Do you find that your WFM team is often isolated in a corner, an island unto yourself? Are you sometimes frustrated by not being “in the loop” when it comes to what other departments have going on that might be impacting your team and causing you to be “reactive” vs. “proactive?’”  Are you often trying to sell your value to peers? This interactive session is designed to spur ideas about how to network within your company and organization, and how to sell what WFM can provide. Whether it’s finance or marketing, this session will give ideas of how to bridge the gaps between WFM and those who work around you. – Speaker: Marshall Lee – Cumberland 3/4

How to Become a Capacity Planning Wizard. We’ve all heard that capacity planning is part science and part art, but did you know that it is also part alchemy and part wizardry? That’s what our colleagues in finance think!  In this session, we will discuss all those important bits — forecasting, requirements simulation, hiring optimization, and budgeting — that seem like magic to our non-wizard colleagues.  We will discuss capacity planning best practices and tricks for developing efficient, accurate, and magical plans. – Speaker: Ric Kosiba, Genesys – Music Row 2

12:00-1:30 p.m. – Luncheon and Presentation of Workforce Management Professional of the Year Award – Legends Ballroom

1:30-2:45 p.m. – Breakout Sessions

Back by Popular Demand! Scheduling Strategies: Definitions and Decisions for Successful Schedules.  A successful schedule plan involves many decisions on the front end that can impact the long-term and short-term effectiveness of the work shifts. In this session, learn about the fundamental concepts of calculating and applying shrinkage to arrive at schedule requirements, along with considerations of defining schedule components. Hear about how to decide on optimal schedule horizon, shift definitions, and schedule constraints, as well as some of the best strategies for optimizing schedule coverage and minimizing cost. — Speaker: Maggie Klenke – Cumberland 1/2

Delivering Value through WFM (and Getting the Credit for It). In this session, learn proven ways to leverage your WFM tools and processes to deliver incremental value back to your organization. This session is designed for advanced workforce planning professionals and directors/managers who are in a position to make recommendations to business leaders. Hear specific examples of how workforce costs were reduced for businesses by WFM professionals who identified optimization opportunities and brought them up to leadership effectively. In addition to covering the technical aspect, we will share best practices for articulating your ideas to help increase the chance of adoption. – Speakers: Charles Watson, Innovative Workforce Solutions, & Wendy Fowler, Quality Service Solutions, LLC – Cumberland 3/4

Teaching the Power of One Throughout the Contact Center. Every contact center needs a Power of One education plan and it’s the responsibility of the WFM team to develop and deliver it. Begin by defining who needs to know what, including each stakeholder level: management, supervisory, and frontline. You will learn how to communicate the impact of staffing decisions on service, occupancy, and cost for various sizes of centers and agent groups. Hear about creative ways to present the information in traditional ways, as well as how to utilize Power of One games and activities to reinforce concepts and make lasting impressions. – Speaker: Penny Reynolds – Music Row 5

Outsourcing Challenges Examined. This session focuses on outsourcing relationships from a workforce management point of view. Whether you are currently outsourcing or just thinking about it, be sure to join this interactive panel discussion and hear from industry experts with a wide range of outsourcing experience. Key topics will include forecasting, scheduling, and real time management. – Panelists: Michele Borboa, Contact Center Resources, Mike Duffy, Frontier Communications, Bob Weinman, Sprint, & Todd Hixson, Cabelas – Music Row 3

Surveying Your Associates and Taking Action on Their Feedback. WFM can learn a lot from surveying the agent population. But you have to be careful what you ask and how you ask it to make sure you get the responses you need. Come to this session and learn how Wyndham Vacations has created a survey that gives them the feedback they need. Hear about the types of questions asked, how past feedback has led to changes, the different types of schedules they have been able to implement, and how the survey can plant the seeds for upcoming initiatives. And learn how the survey also doesn’t apply to only frontline associates, but the partners and customers of WFM as well, which improves communication and understanding. – Speakers: Robert Mansfield & Liz Gentile, Wyndham – Music Row 4

Creating the Next Generation Currency for a Next Generation Agent Workforce. In 2015, Millennials became the dominant contact center demographic in the US and fundamentally changed the key drivers of agent satisfaction and engagement. According to the US Department of Labor Millennial Research Study, the majority of Millennials consider when they work more important than opportunities for pay or career advancement, and three out of four say that work-life balance empowerment is a primary driver of their next career choice. With gig-economy employment (think Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, Postmates) projected to exceed contract center employment in the US in 2017, flexible-scheduling empowerment is rapidly becoming the new “currency” for recruiting and retaining a productive and engaged agent workforce. Attend this session to learn how current market dynamics are combining to create a “perfect storm” for today’s contact center industry and how agent schedule-change empowerment can become a “printing press” for this next-generation currency to enable contact center operators to “thrive” versus just “survive” in the new Millennial-centric economy. – Speaker: Larry Schwartz, WorkFlex Solutions – Cumberland 5/6

Strengthening Your Talent Pipeline. When you have growth opportunities in your workforce management team, do you often find that although you would like to promote from within, you are forced to hire external candidates due to a shortage of desired skill sets within the organization? Or perhaps you promote from within but you have a short runway to ramp up and end up sacrificing the quality of their training? If this is a challenge you face, come and hear about how one organization has started building a pipeline of knowledge for the workforce management division of our organization. – Speaker, Kimberly Pugh, CGI, & Kristi Holcombe, Travelers – Music Row 6

Fun With Call Center Mathematics. Understanding the basics of call center mathematics will help you understand how workforce management tools work, and can help you interpret their results.   Attend this session to learn more about the math behind call center staffing. – Speaker: Rodney Wehmeyer, Pipkins – Music Row 2

2:45-3:45 – Ice Cream Social with the Sponsors – Legends Ballroom
      Sponsored by injixo

3:45-5:00 p.m. – Breakout Sessions

Taking the Shrinkage Journey with Operations Leadership. In this session, you will be exposed to some simple visual tools and techniques that can be used to discuss shrinkage with operations leadership. We will start with the basics of shrinkage and work up to building the discussion points that can be used when talking with leaders. Please bring your insights, questions, and perspectives to this interactive session. – Speaker: Justin Ziegler, McKesson – Cumberland 3/4

Back by Popular Demand! Improving Communications for WFM Professionals: Closing the Information Gap Between Workforce Management and Call Center Supervisors. Do you ever feel like your WFM group speaks an entirely different language from others in the call center? Do you struggle to get cooperation from supervisors and agents when you need their help to schedule or adhere to existing schedules? This session is all about ways to improve your communications, build stronger relationships, and educate others about the value of WFM. – Speaker: Deelee Freeman, Call Center Training Associates – Music Row 3

Finally!  Here’s the Answer for “What is the Industry Standard for…?” Are you constantly getting questions from the Executive Team about whether you’re meeting industry standards? Have you searched and searched to find those elusive industry standards for things like service level, abandon rate, shrinkage, schedule adherence, and more? This session will define these performance measures and discuss the whys and why nots of identifying and striving for industry standards. Come prepared to discuss your own goals and performance, sources of information, and the best ways to set a benchmark for performance. – Speakers: Maggie Klenke & Penny Reynolds – Cumberland 1/2

Team Building Exercises for Your Workforce Management Team. Need ideas for building team cohesiveness, accountability, and productivity in your workforce management group? This session will give a variety of exercises to build loyalty, accountability, morale and productivity in the workforce management team, or any other team. Hear ideas to build your team, whether they are in one site or scattered around the world. – Speakers: Todd Gladden, PlanMen, Jodi Wright, Allstate, & Victoria Marcella, VW Credit – Cumberland 5/6 

Back by Popular Demand With Enhanced Content for 2017! “It’s Like Riding a Bike:” An Exploration of Workforce Management Training for Agents. This session will be based around a generic adaptation of a very successful new hire and annual refresher training for frontline agents. This session will be in part the training itself, as well as ideas on how to adapt this session to your own environment. There will be some activity and moving around so attendees are strongly encouraged to come ready to participate. – Speakers: Marshall Lee & Theodore Stapp, BCD Travel – Music Row 4

Implementing Workforce Management The People Side of Change. Introducing workforce management to an organization can be challenging. New systems and processes are hard enough, but what about the people? To successfully introduce any change, the people need to be able to change they way they work. In this session, we will walk through the Edward Jones journey to introduce workforce management to our Service division from the People side of change: how to build awareness of the need for change, set realistic expectations, and collaborate with Leadership and the Agents to help them adopt the new way of doing things. – Speaker: Mark Rhodes & Heather Moehlenbrock, Edward Jones – Music Row 5

Going Global with Workforce Management.   While there are many things that workforce management must take into consideration during the process of forecasting and scheduling, there is an added layer of complexity when your workforce is located around the world. Workforce management needs to learn all about different cultures, labor laws, and other issues in the areas where their contact centers are located. Come to this session to hear how some companies have worked through these issues. – Panelists: Bob Dobson, IHG, Bob Weinman, Sprint, & Charles Watson, Innovative Workforce Solutions – Music Row 6 

Seven Contact Center Metrics You Can’t Afford to Ignore in 2017. Contact centers are under pressure to measure anything and everything, but this flood of information leaves most leaders paralyzed in determining their best next steps—and unable to effectively connect their actions to their desired outcomes. Successfully balancing customer expectations and organizational priorities requires your teams to work smarter, not harder. To achieve this, it’s critical to understand and focus on the metrics that matter most. In this session, you’ll explore what metrics need to be on your contact center’s radar as you align your people, processes, and technologies to meet the needs of today’s always-on, always connected consumer. – Speaker: Justin Robbins, ICMI – Music Row 2

6:15 p.m. – Depart for Evening Event

6:30-9:30 p.m. – Evening Event at the Wildhorse Saloon
      Sponsored by NICE

Wednesday, March 29

7:45-8:45 a.m. – Behind Closed Doors

      Aspect – Cumberland 3/4
      Genesys – Cumberland 5/6
      NICE – Cumberland 1/2
      Verint – Music Row 5
      WFMSG (Community) – Music Row 2
      WorkFlex Solutions – Music Row 3

7:30-9:00 a.m. – Breakfast – Legends Ballroom

9:00-10:15 a.m. – Breakout Sessions

Back by Popular Demand! Managing Schedule Adherence: Creating an In-Place and On-Time Culture.  An accurate forecast and perfectly constructed schedules don’t mean much if the frontline staff are not following the plan. In this session, you will learn various measures of how to measure adherence and quantify the problem of schedule non-adherence. See how common principles of performance management can be applied to identify reasons for non-adherence and what you can do to change adherence behaviors. Hear how some centers have created an adherence culture that works. – Speaker: Penny Reynolds – Cumberland 1/2

Journey Mapping the WFM Experience. Bridging the gap between WFM and frontline agents has never been more crucial to the success of any WFM department. While many companies have taken to journey mapping their products and services to ensure maximum customer satisfaction, walk through the process of adapting this powerful tool to maximize agents’ journeys with your WFM team. In this session, we won’t only discuss how to complete a journey map, but we will also complete a sample map together. – Speaker: Aaron Mickelson, SchoolsFirst FCU – Music Row 3

Enhancing Customer Experience with Effective IVR Menus. For most callers, the first interaction with the contact center is with the IVR. A well-designed menu set provides options callers are listening for, routes them quickly and intuitively to the resources best suited to their needs, and improves the percentage of self-service completions. But when an agent is needed, the IVR should route that call to the agents best able to help the customer without transfers, reducing handle time and agent frustration. Come to this session to take a look at ways to improve the quality of the end-to-end customer experience, improve productivity and reduce cost all at the same time. – Speaker: Maggie Klenke – Cumberland 5/6

Schedule Alignment One:  The Work-Force Awakens.  In a constant battle between the dark and light side of business need and agent preference, a new hope has arisen! When the warriors of truth and justice serving the all-powerful workforce seem overwhelmed by the unending demands placed on the resources, there is a new light dawning. Scheduling in the modern contact center may not literally be as complicated as hitting the one shot that destroys the Death Star while avoiding a certain breath masked villain, but the ever changing complexities certainly. Make it feel that way. In this session, hear how to build a successful culture and processes around staffing alignment in contact centers of all sizes and channels. Come ready to share and learn as we talk through how to best move through the ever-changing world of scheduling. The Work-force will be with you. – Speakers: Marshall Lee & Jeff Bretana, Navy Federal Credit Union – Cumberland 3/4

The Perils & Pitfalls of Performance-Based Scheduling. This session will address the benefits of moving from seniority-based schedule bids to a performance-based system. We’ll address the perils and pitfalls to avoid along the way based on our experience of migrating four different call centers to performance-based scheduling. Topics will include:  what statistics to base performance on; transitioning smoothly to performance-based bids; communicating effectively to agents to maximize performance; using new hire schedules between bids to “entice” agents to perform; and lessons learned by experience (do’s and don’ts).  – Panelists: Kirwyn Adderley, Walgreens, Amber Johnson, Wells Fargo, & Tony Graczyk, Principal Financial – Music Row 4

Transform the Planner’s Value to the Business. When your organization has limited staff, time, and tools, but is asked to respond to many operational questions on staffing and hiring needs and to run “what-if’s” scenarios, at some point you need to draw a line in the sand and show how the right tool can transform how WFM can deliver value-added strategic information to the business in record time. Hear about the process that the WFM team at Shaw Industries used, including selling short- and long-term benefits to stakeholders, sharing the excitement (and a little frustration) in changing to a new planning process, and the wealth of benefits realized by making the change. – Speaker: Darlene Green, Shaw Industries – Music Row 5

Lessons Learned from Introducing WFM into a Contact Center. This session will address the challenges and key decisions involved with introducing WFM into a contact center for the first time. Key factors to be considered include sources of data collection, data analysis, communication strategies, and management engagement. We will share first-hand experiences of what has worked well, mistakes we’ve made, and lessons learned along the way. – Panelists: Robert Allen, Rochester Regional Health, Arlene Ramirez, AltaMed, & Kimberly Pugh, CGI – Music Row 6

Why do WFM Projects Fail? Many in the WFM field have seen it happen time and time again: companies implement a WFM program in their contact center. Yet, come six months later and the software just sits there, unused, with everything running exactly the same way as before. Inefficiencies run rampant once again, with the same old manual scheduling and Excel spreadsheets. What are some strategies your call center could employ to make sure your WFM strategy doesn’t dwindle? – Speaker: Dave Hoekstra, Teleopti – Music Row 2

10:15-10:30 a.m. – Break

10:30-11:45 a.m. – Breakout Sessions

Back by Popular Demand! Managing Daily Service: An Intra-Day Plan to Keep Staffing and Service on Track. Achieving intra-day success involves a process of monitoring, tracking, assessing, and acting to ensure staffing levels stay in tact to deliver service regardless of the events of the day. In this session, you will learn about ways to monitor and track call volume, handle time, and staffing throughout the day in time to make changes as needed to impact service. Hear about communications and reaction strategies to affect both under-staffing and over-staffing with minimal disruption and maximum coverage. – Speaker: Maggie Klenke – Cumberland 1/2

Innovative Ways to Schedule. Ever wonder what other companies have done to get the most out of their schedules using creative scheduling and flexibility? Come join this interactive panel where we share our success/failures, best practices, and tips and tricks for you to put your ideas into place. You will also have the opportunity to share some of your own creative options that you have implemented and your experiences. The panel will also look at how labor laws affect different states, nations, and geographies and how to effectively manage these challenges. – Speakers: Ericc Whetstone, Conduent, Louise Andrew, AccorHotels, & Jason Hilliard, Radio Systems Corporation – Cumberland 5/6

WFM Perspectives and Projections. Bill Durr has been involved with contact centers for more than 35 years, affording him a somewhat unique perspective on the development of workforce management over time.  In this session, he will briefly review the history of WFM, identify major inflection points and discuss current issues confronting the WFM practice today.  Then the fun begins as he speculates on the future path of WFM evolution.  Whether you agree or disagree with his notions, expect to have your WFM assumptions challenged.  – Speaker: Bill Durr, Workforce Management Evangelist – Music Row 5

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue. In the grand scheme of things, your staff will fall into one of four categories. 1) “New” 2) Tenured – “Old” 3) “Borrowed,” or 4) “Blue.” Join us as we explore planning and forecasting for each of these categories with a fun Dr. Who twist. Because the problems are always bigger on the inside than they appears on the outside! Remember T.A.R.D.I.S stands for Tracking Agent Resources During Insane Situations.– Speakers: Lisa Prescott & Tiffney Spicer, Wyndham – Music Row 3

Launching WFM and Desktop and Process Analytics (DPA) in Blended and Back Office Contact Centers. In this session, we will look at maximizing agent productivity and engagement by integrating WFM and DPA into inbound, blended, and back office contact centers. Take a walk with Ally through their journey of launching WFM and DPA into their loss mitigation and collection centers in 2015. Learn about how they conducted change management, identified and executed quick wins, and overcame obstacles to create a winning strategy. – Speakers: Steve Jarco & Charlie Tretter, Ally Bank – Cumberland 3/4

The Technology Turning Point: Keeping Agents Happy and Engaged. We all know you can’t have happy customers without happy agents. But did you know you can go a long way toward making your agents happy by giving them tools to keep them engaged in their work while enabling the flexibility they want for work-life balance? In this session, we will review the results of an Aspect survey that evaluated over 400 contact centers to show how advanced software tools and mobile access can really make a difference in agents’ attitudes. We’ll look at a radically new WFM user interface, how it is evolving, and how customers are responding to it. We’ll also look at some new concepts in how mobile access can be used to improve agent absenteeism and turnover, as well as an automated chatbot that gives each agent their own personal assistant for scheduling. Don’t miss this session! – Speakers: Eric Hagaman & Jorge Cruz, Aspect – Music Row 4

Ask The Workforce Wizard. This session is your chance to ask our panel of experts anything WFM! This interactive panel will answer questions submitted and chosen by conference attendees. If you have a question or an issue that has been a challenge to your team, bring your question to this session! The audience will also get a chance to give some input. This session will be dynamic and informative, but the topics covered will be chosen by you and your peers at the event. – Panelists: Marshall Lee, Christina Bell, BCD Travel, Todd Gladden, PlanMen, Sandra McFatridge, CVS/Caremark, & Natalie Robertson, AccorHotels – Music Row 6

Improvements to Contact Center Capacity Planning at Northwestern Mutual and Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. Northwestern Mutual implemented a new capacity planning system from a manual long-term process to speed up the many “what-if’s” that the WFM team was frequently asked to deliver, as well as drive better decisions and promote better service delivery.  Hear about the system implementation process and how the process works today. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has used a capacity planning system for many years. Learn how the tool has helped manage the seasonal business environment, including the decisions made and the results to date, which helped a strategic team to maximize the customer experience through enhanced forecasting. – Speakers: Joy Rechlitz, Northwestern Mutual, & Ashley Palma-Cornell, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group – Music Row 2

11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. – Luncheon & Workforce Management Jeopardy – Legends Ballroom
      Sponsored by ICMI

12:45-2:00 p.m. – Breakout Sessions

A Forecaster’s List of Best Practices. Is forecasting without software a lost art? In this session, we will create a call volume and AHT forecast from scratch. The forecast will be dissected and each step of our process explained. Following this, the when, where, and how a Forecaster switches between science and art will be discussed. The session will be rounded out by the finalization of the forecast by creating a monthly FTE requirement that includes occupancy and shrinkage. – Speaker: Martin Galicia, Navy Federal Credit Union – Cumberland 1/2

60 Ideas in 60 Minutes – WFM Tips & Techniques from Real-Life Experiences. This fast-paced session with a panel of your WFM peers will have you writing furiously as you try to capture an idea a minute on paper! This format will give you some last minute tips to take home and implement immediately – if you can catch them all! Moderator: Louise Andrew, AccorHotels – Panelists: Jeff Bretana, Navy Federal Credit Union, Nicole Gresham, Assurant, Kirwyn Adderley, Walgreens, and Malika Coleman, Navy Federal Credit Union – Cumberland 5/6

Back by Popular Demand With Enhanced Content for 2017! Optimization – What’s In It for Me. We’ve all heard about the “Power of One” concept and how it helps our customers and how important it is to service level. But what does it mean to the agent? Learn how to engage your agents by empowering them to own their adherence.   Find the six secret ingredients to optimization that can increase scheduling efficiency and ensure offline activities have time to happen without interruption to service. – Speaker: Todd Hixson, Cabelas – Music Row 3

Strategic Planning – What Questions do You Need to Ask (and Answer)? When trying to plan for the long term, there are many questions you need to have answered and there are many questions you need to ask as well. This session will review the Strategic Resource Process at Edward Jones; how we review historical information and considerations and marry that with expected changes in the future; and what questions they need to answer (hint: it’s a lot more than just the number of agents!).   – Speaker: Mark Rhodes, Edward Jones – Music Row 4

Back by Popular Demand With Enhanced Content for 2017! The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Building Successful Workforce Management Process and Structure. Do you ever feel lost? Do you ever feel confused? In this session, your guides will help you navigate how to build a clear process manual and specific documentation for your workforce management team, and how to structure your team to effectively move those processes to completion. From capacity planning, staffing, scheduling, exception entry, and anything else you do, learn how to navigate your way to success. – Speakers: Marshall Lee & Justin Zeigler, McKesson – Music Row 5

Stay ahead of the Pack: How WFM and Multi-Channel Media can Successfully Co-Exist. Come to this interactive session prepared to learn how BCD Travel is tackling the ever-evolving multi-channel media arena. BCD recently integrated the email media type into the workforce management program, and this session will explore both the pros and cons of the integration and provide best practices for you to take home. – Speaker: Jud Beall, BCD Travel – Music Row 6

Fine-Tuning Your Forecasting for Cycles and Patterns. Whether it’s a regularly occurring billing cycle or a marketing plan that generates a different pattern of calls, it’s important to know how to adjust your monthly and weekly forecasts to incorporate a cyclical event. In this workshop, you will learn the steps of doing an impact analysis and a common technique called regression analysis. This technique helps identify the length of the cycle as well as the day-of-week and date-of-month impacts. The session will also address how to use correlation coefficients to do pattern forecasting. – Speaker: Maggie Klenke – Cumberland 3/4

One Cloud Doesn’t Fit Everyone – A Discussion of Points to Consider When Looking for What Type of Cloud WFM to Select. The research is clear, contact centers everywhere are considering moving strategic technologies to the cloud.   But what cloud?    What is meant by the term “The Cloud?”    This session will help clear the fog and provide important questions to for you to ask to help determine when different clouds make sense and when they don’t.   – Speaker:  Paul Chance, NICE – Music Row 2

2:00-2:30 p.m. – Afternoon Break – Legends Ballroom

2:30-3:45 p.m. – Breakout Sessions

Back by Popular Demand! Signs of Success: Metrics and Measures of WFM Performance.  Almost every contact center employee has a performance scorecard, outlining expected levels of performance in many different areas. The workforce management team is no exception. While the tasks may vary from center to center depending on size and functional design, there are common ways to define metrics that point to good performance and a job well done. Learn about the four components of WFM success, along with different ways to measure and report the numbers. See measurement case studies, along with best practices for defining WFM metrics. – Speaker: Maggie Klenke – Cumberland 1/2

Design, Development, and Delivery of Staffing Plans. Staffing plans are one of the most useful and underutilized tools at the hands of any WFM team. Being able to see your staffing needs three, six, or even 16 months from now can help budget planning, hiring strategies, attrition strategies and staffing strategies. It’s never as simple as just developing the perfect plan, the real key is learning strategies and techniques to both put it in practice as well as create advocates for your plan. This session is a case study in the development, delivery, and execution of one such plan. – Speaker: Aaron Mickelson, SchoolsFirst FCU – Music Row 5

60 Ideas in 60 Minutes – Tips & Techniques for Making the Most of Your WFM Software. This fast-paced session with a panel of vendor experts will provide you with a practice idea each minute. This is not a sales pitch for products.   These are the vendor experts that can provide tips on how to get the most out of a WFM investment from the early planning stages, implementation, training, and ongoing use. This format will give you some last minute tips to take home and implement immediately! Moderator: Jeff Bretana, Navy Federal Credit Union – Panelists: Tom Tritten, Genesys, David Crimmins, WorkFlex Solutions, Craig Seebach, Verint, Ric Kosiba, Genesys, Robert Beasley, Aspect, & Mark Gill, NICE – Cumberland 5/6

Translating WFM Concepts into a Universal Language. Do you feel like sometimes you are starring in the movie ˜Lost in Translation?” Why does it often seem difficult for WFM to get its messages understood and actioned? This session delivers simple answers and suggestions for both everyday and rare situations that require you to speak universally. Hear how the Home Depot Home Services team engages with their Operational partners, Senior Leadership, and Associate populations to drive message alignment and how each delivery is tailored to its audience, explaining the why, the how, and “what’s in it for me?”. – Speaker: Jeff Yannity, The Home Depot – Music Row 2

Back by Popular Demand! “The Power of One” Activity Session. What other session utilizes a wading pool, tennis balls, and a bucket from your favorite fried chicken joint? Probably none, because this one is unique! Come to this session to find some proven techniques and activities to show agents how important they are – that one person really does make a difference! – Facilitators: Todd Gladden, PlanMen – Music Row 3

All Roads Lead To … What? Routing Fundamentals for The Workforce Planner.  You do not staff to volume or workload. You staff to workload in a skill set. How that work gets to where it is being done is what you staff against. This is the most fundamental and often most overlooked truth in contact center workforce planning. You’ll never learn all there is to know, but in this session, you will learn what to ask, where to start, how to translate doing to skilling, and the basics to getting a plan for routing, staffing, and scheduling. Come join the route to routing sanity! – Speaker: Marshall Lee — Cumberland 3/4

Building a Better Business Review. Knowing that workforce management analysts and their operations partners don’t always speak the same language, BCD Travel set out to revamp their business review process to create a better understanding of key metrics and their impact to drive meaningful conversation and effective decision-making. This session will highlight the current processes at BCD Travel including the process used for data gathering, updating the review template, and presenting to stakeholders. See an example of how the review template came about and the conversations necessary to have in creating a review of value to your operations partners. – Speakers: Lebron Smith & Josh Pehl, BCD Travel – Music Row 4

3:45-4:15 p.m. – Conference Wrap-up General Session – Legends Ballroom

2017 SWPP Annual Conference Ends