June 28 –

All too often, we fall back on technology to give us the information and results that we want and need.  Think about it — when was the last time you did something the hard way with a good old-fashioned pen and paper to find the answer to a problem?  While it may not be necessary to go back that far, it’s important to understand where data comes from and be able to do manual calculations.

In the workforce management world, is it enough to know how to generate a scheduled using a software tool?  What happens if your software fails or you have special circumstances where scheduling software isn’t ideal? Is the team prepared to handle that?

It may be a good idea to hold refresher trainings with the workforce management team on scheduling, forecasting, and calculating staffing requirements.  Learning how to do it the hard way (as if WFM software didn’t exist) may be a good exercise to challenge staff to determine schedule requirements using good old fashion WFM principles.  How close do they get to the results from the software?

Perhaps your staff will identify gaps in the process leading to inaccurate scheduling or missing data.  You could maybe even make it competitive, providing some incentive for the WFM analyst who gets the closet to the actual data only using manual processes.

In any event, your software is only as accurate as the data that’s fed into it and the staff administering it and that’s why it’s important for staff to understand where that data comes from and how that preliminary data gets translated into a schedule.  Someday, it may come in handy.