The 2020 SWPP Annual Conference agenda will be available by the end of the year.  For information about topics covered, please check out the agenda from 2019 below.  

SWPP Annual Conference
April 23-25, 2019

Monday, April 22

1:30-4:30 p.m. – Pre-conference sessions (Separate registration and fees required)

Hiring & Developing the Workforce Management Team.  This session is designed to help workforce management professionals and senior leaders in the contact center to identify candidates for WFM positions, bring them into the team successfully, measure individual and team performance, and ensure the development of the team to their full potential.  Topics in this session include organizational structure options for the WFM team, as well as a variety of ways to divide the labor among the team.  The discussion will also include the development of hiring criteria, sample job descriptions, effective ways to screen WFM candidates, and a new hire checklist.  Development of the team discussions will explore options for workforce management training and a career development guide as well as workforce management performance measures and calculations.  All attendees will receive a workbook, along with a copy of the book, Hiring and Developing the WFM Team.  — Facilitator:  Maggie Klenke 


Teaching WFM Concepts to Frontline Supervisors.  This hands-on workshop is designed to help workforce management professionals enlist and incorporate contact center supervisors in carrying out the center’s staffing plan.  Attendees will develop a plan to help supervisors understand the workforce management process and their role in supporting the overall staffing plan, including how to effectively communicate and coach frontline staff on schedule adherence and the importance of individual contributions to service delivery.  Topics include:

  • A look at what supervisors need to know about workforce management and staffing tradeoffs
  • What the supervisor’s roles and responsibilities are
  • How to coach for improved schedule adherence
  • How to communicate Power of One concepts through interactive activities

All attendees will receive a workbook, along with a copy of the book, A Supervisor’s Guide to Workforce Management.  — Facilitator:  Penny Reynolds


Let’s Get this Party Started!  An Introduction to the Art & Science of WFM.  This workshop is a great opportunity for those new to workforce management to learn the integrated approach to call center workforce planning based on the realities that managers and analysts face every day. This workshop not only teaches the planning and management “Force Cycle” process but explains the interconnectivity between them and allows you to practice techniques. You and your colleagues will work through realistic exercises to solve common forecasting, staffing, scheduling and real-time management challenges.

Some key takeaways from the workshop will be:

  • Understanding the steps in the Planning & Management Cycle
  • Determining which stage of WFM Maturity your center is in
  • Criteria for effective Forecasting
  • Importance of “Cleaning” Data for Forecasting
  • Calculating “Required” Staff for SL and Response Time Channels
  • The interdependency of SL, AHT and Occupancy
  • Understanding “Shrinkage”
  • Scheduling Options
  • Proactive Planning in Real-Time Management

Facilitators:  Todd Gladden, PlanMen, & Jason Hilliard, Radio Systems

2:00-5:00 p.m. – Registration

2:30-3:30 p.m. – Complimentary Pre-conference Session

Roadmap to the SWPP Annual Conference.  New to the SWPP conference?  Come to this fun and interactive session to hear how to make the most of your time at this event.  Review the agenda and learn how these key topics will give you specific takeaways for your organization and help you with business decisions down the road. – Facilitators:  Jeff Bretana, Navy Federal Credit Union, Bob Dobson, StubHub, & Kristi Holcombe, Travelers

3:30-4:30 p.m. – Complimentary Pre-conference Session

Speed Networking.  Everyone has heard of Speed Dating.  Attend this session for a variation that will help you start off the conference with a bunch of new friends!  In our Speed Networking session, you will spend just a few minutes getting to know some of your fellow attendees, and exchange business cards so that you can talk more over the next few days and keep in touch after the conference is over.    Facilitators:  Kim Henderson, Bluegreen Corporation, & Victoria Marcella

Tuesday, April 23

8:00-9:00 a.m. – Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00-10:15 a.m. – Welcome & Keynote Address 

I Never Planned For This.

Despite our best intentions, we all find ourselves in the midst of unplanned circumstances. Whether at work, at home, or somewhere in-between, these unexpected situations impact us far beyond the emotions that we feel in the moment. It’s in those moments that we find out what we’re really made of and what we’ll do when we have to throw our plans out the window.

In this inspirational keynote, Justin Robbins will share stories of individuals who found themselves saying, “I never planned for this,” and highlight the valuable lessons that they learned as they overcame and thrived in the face of adversity. He’ll share the six steps that anyone can use to ensure that they’re prepared to embrace the unexpected and provide attendees with renewed confidence when they find themselves beyond their plans.

Speaker:  Justin Robbins

10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Workshops

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

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.  – Panelists:  Willie Beasley, BCD Travel, Jason Hilliard, Radio Systems, & Mark Rhodes, Edward Jones

The Journey to Purchasing a New WFM Tool.  Thinking of buying a new WFM tool? Having a hard time making a decision with so many options out there? Come to this session to hear a discussion of what to expect, things to consider, and most importantly, how to determine if a tool is right for your organization.  Then we will discuss the steps involved to build a culture of cooperation and trust between agents and WFM while implementing new technology and the processes around it.  You will also hear some lessons learned throughout the process as well. – Panelists:  Bryan Hovasse, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Tyler McGary, Idaho Central Credit Union, & Cindy Stevenson, Citi

What Agents Want.  Workforce Management plays an essential role in achieving service levels while ensuring a reasonable cost of agent labor.  However, to agents Workforce Management can sometimes be viewed as the invisible Big Brother, depersonalizing them with awkward, inflexible technology, flagging schedule infractions and constantly looking over their shoulders.  But WFM does not have to be such an onerous presence if it can provide agents a better work environment.  Aspect recently conducted a survey of over 500 agents asking them a myriad of questions regarding their preferences and opinions about technology, contact center culture and being a Gig employee.  In this session, we’ll reveal the findings of this survey – from how agents view AI in the contact center to what’s more important to them than salary – so you will understand the factors that will make and keep them engaged.  —Speaker: Bob Moore, Aspect Software

Mobilizing Your Workforce:  How Technology is Changing WFM And How We Connect With Our Agents.  Let’s face it, we can no longer abide by the working rules of yesteryear. The new generation of contact center agents have grown up using mobile devices, and that means companies need the ability to quickly communicate with their agents and provide a real-time, two-way communication stream. To be successful, organizations need a shared understanding and purpose that will help develop leadership and drive behavior in a way that empowers their agents through collaboration, performance and autonomy.   Join us during this interactive session as we discuss how to leverage technology to empower your agents, improve productivity through collaborative scheduling processes, and create more flexibility and balance with Intra-day management.  – Speaker:  Todd Cotharin, The Workforce Management Software Group

Game-Planning for Real-Time and Intraday Success. Service, Profitability and Employee Engagement. Everyone wants to achieve balance in these outcomes. We create our strategic and tactical planning towards achieving these. Maximizing the success of these plans relies on unified, coordinated, collaborative cross-functional, networked communications, and execution of tactics. Hear about real-time and intraday processes that enhance partnerships and streamline communications. – Speakers: Ira Jamison, The Results Companies, & Todd Gladden, PlanMen

Where Are We Going?  Looking Into the Future of the Industry.  Will bots be doing WFM in the future?  Will we have UBER agents working from tablets and mobile devices while they catch Pokémon in between calls? Technology is changing seemingly at the speed of light and what do you need to be prepared for and thinking about to stay one step ahead, not just in WFM, but in partnering with an ever-changing workforce. A panel of long time industry veterans shares not only what they see in our future, but how they maintained “fresh space” to keep an eye on the prize while navigating the sea of change. – Panelists: Don Akers, Blue Shield of California, Dan Smitley, World Travel Holdings, & Todd Hixson, Hulu

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:  Chad Pierce, Gerber Life Insurance, Chaunte Johnson, Cox Automotive Group, & Jennifer Crawford, Priority Health

Meet the Board SWPP Meet.  Join the SWPP Board of Advisors for a SWPP Meet, as they present issues and solutions in today’s call center. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to network with your workforce management peers and discuss your toughest workforce management problems. It’s also a great time to meet the Board members and find out more about this group of industry leaders that directs SWPP’s activities and programs. – Facilitators:  Dick Spearrin, The Call Center Consulting Group, Bob Dobson, StubHub, Kirwyn Adderley, Walgreens, Debbie Davis-Greene, ONEGas, Louise Andrew, Accor Hotels, Matt Troxell, Costco, Kristi Holcombe, Travelers, Rick Seeley, Conduent, & Michele Borboa, Contact Center Resources

12:00-1:30 p.m. – Luncheon & WFM Professional of the Year Award

1:30-2:45 p.m. – Workshops

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

Fundamental Concepts of Skill-Based Routing Design.  Skill-based routing is one of the most flexible and yet challenging options available for handling the workload in your contact center. While training everyone to do every type of contact and every medium is not realistic, taking advantage of whatever multi-skilling is available will improve service, increase agent utilization, and reduce costs if designed and managed well.  This session provides a map to guide you through a process of applying skill-based routing (SBR) fundamentals to both a traditional and multi-channel environment.  It will help you determine and assign priorities in order to manage service differences that make the most sense in your center.  – Speaker:  Maggie Klenke

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, Firstsource Solutions, & Jeff Bretana, Navy Federal Credit Union

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.   The session will focus on how to bring the entire contact center along on the road to efficiency, focusing on how to optimize to deliver interval service level with consistent related occupancy.  – Speaker:  Todd Hixson, Hulu

Practical Suggestions to Improve Long-term Planning. Dissatisfied with the quality of your long-term planning? You’re not alone – manual planning for the future leaves most contact centers wanting more. This session will provide tips and practical suggestions from industry leaders who have found success with long-range planning. It will focus on how to improve planning accuracy and how artificial intelligence can help identify hidden patterns and automatically select the best algorithm to use for a given forecast. This session will conclude with a short demo of our new Enhanced Strategic Planner, and attendees will leave with a handout of considerations to use when building a long-term plan. – Speaker:  NICE

Setting Realistic Goals for Adherence. Adherence is one of the most important KPIs of the customer-service industry and not making strategic decisions about adherence – or not making the right ones – often leads to sub-optimization and agent dissatisfaction. Join this session to find out how to set realistic goals for your adherence and learn the dangers of an unrealistic policy. We’ll also explore how to strike a balance between sanity of the workforce planners and agent job satisfaction, as well as the importance of using statistical reporting to understand the impact of adherence within organizations. – Speaker:  Dave Hoekstra, Teleopti

Implementing Voluntary Time Off (VTO) & Measuring Return on Investment (ROI).  Come to this session to learn how to implement the effective use of VTO with in your organization.  Learn how VTO impacts associate engagement and bottom-line financials for a win/win for everyone. Hearhow to start conversations with leadership and show that there are some gains to be had from a bottom line, employee engagement, and performance.  – Speaker:  Bryan Hovasse, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Workforce Management of the Future.Are you struggling with agent attrition? Does your WFM department get blamed during exit interviews for lack of schedule options or lack of availability for unplanned time off? Do your WFM employees carry the burden of telling the agents “no” all the time? The WFM team has played bad cop for too long. This case study will cover how Gerber Life Insurance was able to recalibrate goals, objectives, and the psychology of who and what their roles are in the contact center. Come to this session to hear a lesson in team building, analyst empowerment, and the metamorphosis of a group of cynics into optimists. – Speakers:  Stephanie Walker & Michael VandenBerg, Gerber Life Insurance

Working From Home: The Lessons Learned From Leading in a 99% Virtual Call Center.   World Travel Holdings has been going remote for the past 10 years and now 99% of their agents work from home. All agents brought into the organization for the past four years have been interviewed, trained, and worked virtually without ever going to a brick and mortar call center. Come learn the pros and cons of working in a 100% virtual call center, pitfalls to avoid when creating a work from home team, and unique challenges from leading employees you’ll never see in person.  – Speaker:  Dan Smitley, World Travel Holdings

2:45-3:45 p.m. – Afternoon Break

3:45-5:00 p.m. – Workshops

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

Skill-Based Routing WFM Challenges.  This session provides a review of the changes that will be needed in the workforce management (WFM) process to support a skill-based routing operation.  The first step in any effective WFM process is to obtain accurate historical data so the ACD and router setup to support this is critical.  Agent and caller priorities can be useful but can create significant challenges in the planning and intraday management of the operation.  Matching the WFM processes to the SBR design will go a long way toward achieving the efficiencies and effectiveness that SBR promises.  Bring information about your planned or actual SBR configuration and the challenges you are facing for in-session discussion.  – Speaker:  Maggie Klenke

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:  Jason Persico, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Debbie Davis-Greene, ONEGas, & Ankit Poothia, Concentrix

Tips and Tricks for Forecasting and Planning: Now with More AI!  An old staple at SWPP, Ric will discuss his favorite tips and tricks for contact center planning, this year with a twist.  While he will outline common planning spreadsheet and process mistakes, and list out ways we can improve our capacity plans, he will also touch upon new technologies for forecasting and planning:  machine learning with a ton of computing power.  Artificial Intelligence and cloud computing is all the craze, and, believe it or not, it has practical applications to how we will work.  Ric will discuss how machine learning is applied – step by step — to forecasting and planning.  A little old and a little new: tips, tricks, and AI. – Speaker:  Ric Kosiba, Genesys

Build a Stellar WFM Team That is Scalable.  Senior management is looking to YOU to improve efficiencies and performance across your organization – not just in your contact center but the back office too.  Trouble is, while your span of control is expanding, headcounts are not.  Attend this session to learn how a major life insurer was able to build a team with the skills to support WFM expansion into the back office, from 600 to 3,000 employees, balance the needs of the employee with the needs of the customer, and Increase productivity by as much as 20%, while also decreasing headcount, overall FTE, and contact center call volumes. – Speaker:  Scott Boyd, Guardian Life

Your Best Frienemie: Training and Quality. Last minute training sessions, training sessions that go over the allotted time, planned training sessions that are cancelled right before they are scheduled — the list of challenges for WFM is endless. Come to this session for tips and pointers on how to turn the Training and Quality team into your most valuable ally in the call center and how to work with this team to make your life easier without everyday frustration. – Speakers:  Cynthia Hoops-Luna, Maritz Motivation Solutions, Todd Gladden, PlanMen, & Marshall Lee, Firstsource Solutions

Maximizing the Capacity Plan Meeting.  Capacity plan meetings are an invaluable and powerful intersection of WFM professionals and operational leadership. In this session, you’ll learn how to maximize these all-important interactions with your business partners through graphically illustrating the components that drive your models. Discover why it’s critical to not only look forward, but to take a thoughtful look back when it comes to the KPIs that can drive variance in your results. And finally see how it all comes together to help inform and influence the decisions your business needs to make. – Speaker:  John Campbell, CNA

Empower Your Agents: How to Give Your Agents Schedule Flexibility and Still Keep Your Job.  Schedule flexibility is more than just split shifts or half-days, it needs to be personal to your agents. Flexibility looks different to the recently-graduated, single parent, or about-to-retire agents. But how can you give agents the work/life balance they desire and still meet service levels? Come hear how World Travel Holdings is using their attendance policy (“The Marketplace”) to enable their agents to have control over their schedules and still meet the customer demands.  – Speaker:  Dan Smitley, World Travel Holdings

How Gerber Life Integrated WFM support to the Back Office.  As senior leadership recognizes the value of WFM, the WFM responsibilities outside of the contact center continue to expand.  From discovery sessions to sharing WFM best practices, learn how Gerber Life brought their back office out of the dark ages. Learn the processes used for discovery sessions, training back office to think like WFM analysts, supporting technology enhancements, and navigating change management. This case study will cover successes and lessons learned. – Speakers:   Teresa Howe & Michael VandenBerg, Gerber Life Insurance

5:00-7:00 p.m. – Networking Reception

Wednesday, April 24

7:45-9:15 a.m. – Breakfast

8:00-9:00 a.m. – Behind Closed Doors with the Sponsors

9:15-10:30 a.m. – Workshops

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

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

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, Victoria Marcella, & Amit Sharma, Concentrix

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:  Louise Andrew, Accor Hotels, Michele Borboa, Contact Center Resources, Michael Williams, BCD Travel, & Kristi Holcombe, Travelers

Developing a Workforce Planning Team. There are no trade schools for workforce management, so you need to take the time to think about how best to grow your team and insure that knowledge is successfully imparted and expertise retained. In this session, learn how to implement a culture of continual improvement for your workforce planning team. Hear best practices from a successful program that has grown from a group of 10 professionals to a team of 80 workforce experts.  – Speakers:  Luc-William Methot  & Kalyany Or, Desjardins

Managing Call Center Relationships.Looking to have better relationships with call center leaders or have them listen to the workforce planning team? Often we focus on technical solutions, but most of the time our biggest roadblock or challenge is people. In this session, we’ll review the importance of forming relationships, navigating these dynamics, and understanding why your peers should listen to you to accomplish more. – Speaker:  Ralph Bevilacqua, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

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:  Chad Murray, Logix Federal Credit Union, Bob Dobson, StubHub, & Todd Gladden, PlanMen 

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 

Raise the Bar with Call Center Automation.  Learn how industry leaders are using real-time contact center automation to achieve new levels of success by solving age old contact center challenges. You don’t want to miss what they have to share! – Speaker:  Intradiem

10:30-10:45 a.m. – Break

10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Workshops

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

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:  Jean Wenzel, Smartsheet, Todd Hixson, Hulu, & Chanda Chambliss, Bridgeport Education

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:  Louise Andrew, Accor Hotels, & Michele Borboa, Contact Center Resources

Cloud Computing and AI in Workforce Management and Planning:  Our Algorithms are Changing.  2018 seemed to be the year where many of the old things that we took for granted in WFM started changing.  Automation, AI, Machine Learning, Engagement were all terms that seemed to be brought to the forefront.  What’s fun is that these things are starting to show up in our WFM systems.  In this session, we’ll discuss a bit about the math being leveraged, about what it means today for our systems, and, even more fun, what it signals for future cool analytics.  – Speaker:  Ric Kosiba, Genesys

Taking WFM Global.  Have you ever been curious about the differences between single country and global WFM? Does your organization currently work on a global platform? Do you have an upcoming globalized integration effort within WFM? If you answered yes to any of these questions and would like to share your experiences or ask questions about the obstacles you will face, then join the Global WFM team from Worldpay in their session around the strengths and opportunities faced when going global with WFM. We will cover topics such as cultural differences, system/platform integration, KPI alignment, and global team management. – Speakers:  Jeff Yannity, Nathan Payne, & Tracey Angi, Worldpay

Introducing a Ticketing System to WFM. Have you struggled with quantifying the workload within WFM, identifying internal partners that consistently request items incorrectly, or are you just tired of working from email? In this session, we will walk through the decisions that directed us to develop a ticketing system for WFM, including the struggles we have encountered, the benefits we have seen, and finish out with our approach in leveraging SharePoint as our ticketing tool. This is largely a case study but still bring your thoughts, struggles, and creativity so that we can tackle this topic as a team. – Speaker:  Justin Ziegler, McKesson

WFM in Non-Traditional Contact Markets.  When most of us think of workforce management, we tend to think about contact centers with channels like Inbound, Chat, Email and Outbound calls.  In fact, WFM processes and practices can be applied in other contact areas like Back Office Processing, Retail, Nursing/Healthcare, Museums, and Grocery stores.  This panel session will feature experienced WFM leaders that share their experience in these “Non-Traditional” WFM areas.  Come hear how WFM practices and methods are being applied in other channels and what best practices should be applied. – Panelists: Ericc Whetstone, Alorica, Brian Zotti, Trilogy Education Services, & Kirwyn Adderley, Walgreens

Making Use of Your WFM System: Flex Schedules. DISH Network has a contact center workforce of 7,000+ agents scheduled by one small centralized workforce team. We hear time and time again that agents want more flexible schedules, but with such mass to schedule, it becomes difficult to make exceptions. The DISH team came up with a creative idea to utilize the overtime functionality of our WFM system for select agents to create schedules from. They allowed their part-time population and a subset of full-time Work-at-Home agents create their own schedules from understaffed intervals. Come to this session and hear this flexible scheduling success story. – Speakers: Amy Phelps & Greg King, DISH Network

Where Do Your Goals Come From? While there is no “industry standard” for many of the metrics that we measure, our management teams are always asking us what other companies are doing.  Come to this session ready to share your key metrics – and how they were determined — and hear the same information from the other attendees as well. – Panelists:  Jeff Bretana, Navy Federal Credit Union, Don Akers, Blue Shield of California, & Dick Spearrin, The Call Center Consulting Group

12:00-1:30 p.m. – Luncheon & WFM Jeopardy

1:30-2:45 p.m. – Workshops

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

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

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:  Martin Osterman, Postmates, Debbie Davis-Greene, ONEGas, & Kirwyn Adderley, Walgreens

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 whether to enter after-the-fact exceptions, centralized vs. decentralized workforce management teams, service level vs. ASA as a service goal, and more. Come and offer your opinion into the mix!  – Facilitators:  Jason Hilliard, Radio Systems, Mark Rhodes, Edward Jones, Rick Seeley, Conduent, & Matt Troxell, Costco

Forecasting and Scheduling for Alternate Channels. Until a few years ago, contact centers were focused on handling inbound telephone calls from customers. Today, customers communicate with agents through a variety of communication channels, and many contact centers have been transformed into multi-channel contact operations. Customers have the choice of contacting companies by telephone, email, white mail, web-chat, and social media. The increasing number of communication channels, however, poses a challenge for the contact center planner in providing the requisite number of appropriately-skilled employees at all times during the day for all channels.  Come to this session to hear how organizations have learned to adapt in this new environment.  – Panelists:  Thomas Kim, CIBC, Jeff Bretana, Navy Federal Credit Union, & Brian Leuchtman, Navy Federal Credit Union

How to Increase Agent Engagement.  Companies that build and manage a formal employee engagement program enjoy 91 percent greater year-over-year improvement in customer satisfaction rates. Only 28 percent of companies, however, have deployed programs to build employee engagement. To get started with agent engagement, contact centers must start with their WFM teams. With the right technology and process adjustments, WFM teams can have a positive impact on agent engagement and meet their business goals. This session will provide practical suggestions, such as how to allow greater agent scheduling flexibility, and examine how to leverage agnostic technology that can improve any WFM solution’s employee engagement capabilities. – Speaker:  NICE

Top 10 Tried and True Forecasting Tips.  If you are constantly wondering why your forecast is too high or too low, you will want to make sure you attend this session.  With over 40 years in the contact center industry, Liz Turner will provide her “Liz’s List” of the top items that can cause your forecast deviation. – Speaker:  Liz Turner, Loxysoft

Generation What? Boomers, Xers, Millennials, and Gen Z.   Today’s contact center can feel like an awkward Thanksgiving with lots of age-based tension, or it can be a powerhouse driven by diversity of life experience. But to understand how to unleash the potential, and extinguish the fuse, you have to know who each generation is, and the uniqueness associated with its working style. In this session, we will discuss what makes each generation different and learn about the working strengths, traits, and cohort motivators for each generation as well as specific challenges. – Speaker:  Marshall Lee, FirstSource Solutions

Flexible Scheduling and Cross-Channel Utilization. In a recent survey, 62% of gen Y workers want a flexible schedule. This is not in line with traditional scheduling — or even many software systems.  Maximizing efficiency is not a side job for many WFM professionals – it’s an expectation. We are expected to deliver cutting-edge customer service in the right channel (or channels) at the right time, with the right skilled agent, with more self-service in place, at a lower cost. In this session, you will discover how a flexible scheduling model can create on-demand resource utilization that empowers and delights agents. You’ll also learn how to how to “maximize” key pockets of time during slower periods, allowing for training, back office work, and fun, without jeopardizing service level delivery—in every channel. – Speaker:  Todd Hixson, Hulu

2:45-3:45 p.m. – Ice Cream Social with the Sponsors

3:45-5:00 p.m. – Workshops

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 intact 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

Self-Care in The Service Center.  What actions are you taking to encourage, educate, and engage your staff in the important art of stress management? We all know that the pace and frequency of changes in our industry can lead to increased stress levels. That stress can then negatively impact productivity, professional interactions, and our ability to maintain work/life balance. In this session, we will explore ways to increase awareness of self-care, walk through practical actions that can be taken, and brainstorm on additional ideas to consider. – Speaker:  Kimberly Pugh, CGI

How Do You Measure WFM Success?   There are so many different metrics that come out of our workforce management efforts.  But which ones should we use to measure our success as a workforce management team?   Come to this panel session to hear how different organizations measure the success of their teams and demonstrate their accountability to the rest of the company.  – Panelists: Dick Spearrin, The Call Center Consulting Group, Bob Dobson, StubHub, & Jeanie Hoth, US Bank

WFM Best Practices Panel Discussion.  Every year the contact center environment becomes more complex, and every year we see advances in workforce management technologies and processes that help solve difficult problems.  But that means your challenges themselves get more complex. In this highly interactive session, our audience will have the opportunity to pose questions to our panel of experts (with commentary from our audience of experts as well) as we surface best possible solutions for you.  Come with your most challenging problems, and let’s get them on the table for a group discussion.  –  Moderator: Bob Moore, Aspect Software – Panelists: Natalie Robertson, Accor Hotel, Kary Horsley, Asurion, & Eric Hagaman, Aspect Software

How to Choose Your WFM Vendor: Confessions of a Sales Engineer.  Whether you are currently using spreadsheets to manage your contact center operations or are already using a Workforce Management (WFM) solution, selecting a WFM vendor is no walk in the park.  Every contact center has different needs. Size, structure, industry, channels and many other factors determine your unique requirements. However, establishing your wish list is not enough. There are some tricks you need to know to avoid some pitfalls and be duped. Lisa Elbe, a seasoned Sales Engineer will share some of the tips and stratagems you need to know to buy the solution that will REALLY meet your needs (and not the vendor’s). — Speaker: Lisa Elbe, Verint Monet, & Daniel Ridge, Bay Alarm

The Evolution of WFM the Uber way. This session will focus on the explosive growth of Uber and the evolution of workforce management from a single person to a fully-developed WFM team across the globe. Uber is known as a disruptor, constantly launching new products, in new cities on multiple channels. Learn how Uber grew from a tiny self-taught team of WFM to a highly-skilled staff of WFM professionals in every region of the world, leveraging both internal sites and vendors.  – Speakers:  Tatiana Goff-Morrell, David Zamora Morales, & Marlena Sampson, Uber

Back Office is Not the Back Alley: Basics of Back Office WFM for the Contact Center WFM Pro.You never know what you’ll find in a dark back alley, but put away your fears — the Back Office is not a dangerous back alley of pitfalls, complication, and complexity if you know how to approach it. Come on a journey to hear about the experience of moving from an organization with almost no back office to a 60% back office role. Be prepared to ask questions, share tricks, and learn how to plan, staff, and schedule to manage those non-inbound phone widgets. – Speaker:  Marshall Lee, FirstSource Solutions

Rising Above the Ashes: Rebuilding the WFM Team for Success and Innovation.  This is the story of how Blue Shield of California totally changed the WFM team from an “admin” function to a high performing value-add partner delivering consistent and solid results. Short-Term Forecasting, Scheduling, Real-Time Management (Command Center) and our Admins/Analysts functions were completely redrawn and redefined with an eye on efficiency, productivity and the full utilization of existing system functionality. – Speaker:  Don Akers, Blue Shield of California

Lessons Learned from a CRM Switchover.Large, sweeping changes, like a CRM switchover can be highly disruptive and change how the contact center completes its work. Learn more about what strategies Hagerty used to overcome this operational challenge in their peak season. Topics explored will include forecasting the impact to workload, leveraging technology such as callbacks, understanding the learning curve, and discussing strategies deployed to get back on track. – Speaker:  Charlotte Sterzik, Hagerty

6:15 p.m. – Depart for Evening Event

6:30-9:30 p.m. – Evening Event at BB King’s Blues Club

Thursday, April 25

7:45-8:45 a.m. – Breakfast

8:45-10:00 a.m. – Workshops

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

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:  Kristi Holcombe, Travelers, Bob Weinman, Sprint, & Mike Duffy, Frontier Communications

The impact of Virtual Queueing and Advanced Routing on Workforce Management.  Virtual queuing seeks to solve the age-old problem of random arrival patterns. However, that assistance does not come without cost. We will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of turning real-time workload into deferred workload and how not all interactions are the same when it comes to virtual queueing. We will also explore alternative forms of routing within the IVR and queue-based or wait-time based routing changes. –Speakers:  Chad Pierce, Gerber Life Insurance, Dick Spearrin, The Call Center Consulting Group, & Willie Beasley & Theodore Stapp, BCD Travel

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, Accor Hotels  – Panelists: Jason Hilliard, Radio Systems, Jeff Bretana, Navy Federal Credit Union, Kirwyn Adderley, Walgreens, Farrell Boyd, Blue Shield of California, Michael Williams, BCD Travel, & Todd Hixson, Hulu

Developing and Delivering Effective Data-Based PowerPoint Presentations.  When sharing information with the business, does it feel like you are speaking a foreign language? Are you challenged with your seemingly clear message not being understood, received, and embraced? Planners live and breathe data; numbers are our friends. This session will identify root causes of data-sharing disconnects and provide ideas on how to bring the story of the numbers to life, which will create an environment for your audience to ask for more. – Speaker:  Darlene Green & Terrica Woodard, Shaw Industries

Building Relationships: The Value of WFM Creating Partnerships Throughout Your Organization.Traditional WFM support includes forecasting, scheduling, and real time monitoring. What if your WFM team could offer more to your organization? Join us as Rochester Regional Health discusses their WFM team and extending support beyond the Communication Center. This includes analyzing workflows to identify opportunities to streamline back office work, applying WFM scheduling principals to clinical schedules, and developing KPI dashboards for use outside the Communication Center. Through building relationships and trust, the team is now approached to assist on projects throughout the organization. – Speakers: Robert Allen & Lindsey Davis, Rochester Regional Health

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, Firstsource Solutions, Natalie Robertson, Accor Hotels, Don Akers, Blue Shield of California, & Matt Troxell, Costco

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:  Shannon Pankatz, Blue Shield of California, Michele Borboa, Contact Center Resources, & Rick Seeley, Conduent 

Overcoming the Challenges of Investing in WFM:  Case Study from Green Shield Canada. Join Green Shield Canada as they share their journey to develop a Workforce Management team. In this presentation, you will follow along in each step taken from initial exploration of Workforce Management principles being applied to a small home-grown call center through an expansion six-fold in size to a multi-channel contact center of excellence. The presenters will share challenges experienced as the team grows in size and scope, detailing return on investment as each expenditure was undertaken. At the end of this presentation, attendees will be able to relate to many milestones experienced by the presenters including implementation of WFM planning, involvement with organization initiatives, and becoming a leading decision-making department. Whether you are considering adding WFM to your small business or looking to understand what full scope WFM teams mean, this presentation is for you! – Speakers: Brandon Emms & Mike Lucier, Green Shield Canada

10:00-10:15 a.m. – Break

10:15-11:30 a.m. – Workshops

Multi-Site Operations:  Challenges and Options.  Managing the staffing for a single-site contact center is daunting enough with skill-based routing and today’s multi-media interactions.  Moving to a multi-site configuration can make it even more challenging.  Whether your company is opening another site, has added a center through acquisition, or hired an outsourcer to handle part of the load, allocation of the work among the sites will be required. In this seminar, you will explore multiple ways that the work can be distributed and the benefits and drawbacks of each. – Speaker:  Maggie Klenke

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.  – Panelists:  Don Akers, Blue Shield of California, Kim Henderson, Bluegreen Corporation, & Kirwyn Adderley, Walgreens

Building a Forecast from Scratch – Forecasting Best Practices.  Have you ever wondered how to build a forecast or how to estimate costs for a new line of business but don’t know where to begin and what you need to know? This session will discuss best practices for any forecaster who is seeking to construct a brand new forecast from the ground up. We will discuss out-of-the-box thinking including research, data and assumption collection as well as how to best partner with industry and business experts to help provide build a forecast from scratch. – Panelists: Jason Reaves, Walgreens, & Laarnie Kasing Hill, Priority Health

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: Louise Andrew, Accor Hotels

Back Office Planning and Strategy. Dealing with back office work is often confusing and a cause for headaches to the workforce management team. Using metrics adapted to this reality can help make sense of operations, while leveraging wildly different databases. Come learn how you can make sense of the chaos and generate value through planning adapted to the back office world. Aimed at advanced workforce management experts who have yet to transition into back-office support roles, this presentation will offer insight into which metrics to use when planning for the back office, along with technical recommendations. – Speakers:  Luc-William Methot & Kalyany Or, Desjardins

The Wizarding World of Workforce Teams: WFM Team Structure.What style team structure works for you and your team? There is no right answer, except the one that is correct for you! Do you bravely forecast the future? Wisely schedule in advance? Or Slythern those exceptions? Workforce teams can be structured many ways, to suit many needs. Come join this session as our presenters take you to the sorting hat to find your way. Exception-omous!– Speakers:  Marshall Lee & Justin Zeigler, McKesson

Partnering with Operations for Continuous Improvement.  Come to this session to hear how Kaiser Permanente leverages three Excel reporting tools to improve workforce management planning in partnership with and communication with Operations.  Learn how they use a Capacity Planner Tool, Intraday Prior Day Service Level Analysis, and 8-week Interval Report to not only help build that trust with Operations, but to mprove the relationship between WFM and Operations and align the efficient strategic decisions within the contact center.  – Speakers: Chad Hosegood & Armando Nevarez, Kaiser Permanente

Dual Capabilities in an Inbound/Outbound Workforce.  Meeting the increasingly complex needs of our clients requires a workforce that is highly flexible. We need to be ready when our clients call, but we also want to be productive during times that fewer client calls arrive. Hear the benefits and challenges associated with training a workforce to handle both incoming and outbound calling across a variety of call types. We will also review critical points of implementation that ensure everyone is scheduled during the optimum period for each call type. Learn how to blend the usage of the outbound and inbound contact center teams to maximize occupancy of the agents.  — Panelists: Chad Pierce, Gerber Life Insurance, Tony Rizza, CIBC, & Victoria Marcella

Breaking Down Silos.  Why can’t we all just get along? It can get stressful when communication breaks down and different departments look through different lenses.  The reality is we are most often trying to get to the same result. This session brings some of the contact center groups together for a frank discussion of what we can do to increase communication and stay on the same side of the fence. Industry experts share how they get along and how increased understanding is paramount in service to delivering in every arena of the contact center. Come and hear their experience in being successful “partners” through the evolution of our industry.  – Panelists: Mark Rhodes, Edward Jones, Bob Dobson, StubHub, & Jason Persico, Wyndham Vacation Ownership

11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  – Closing General Session

12:00 p.m. – 2019 SWPP ends