SWPP Annual Conference Agenda 2018-08-13T15:20:32+00:00

The 2019 SWPP Annual Conference agenda will be available in late 2018.  For an idea of the topics we cover, please view the agenda from 2018 below.  


Draft Agenda
2018 SWPP Annual Conference
June 4-6, 2018


Sunday, June 3

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

Building a WFM Toolkit: Simple Analysis Techniques for Better Forecasts and Schedules.

It seems that every contact center has mounds of data, but it is not always clear how to turn that data into information that can guide good decisions. You can’t build a successful workforce plan without accurate data, but understanding what that data is telling you is often challenging. Whether you have a sophisticated WFM system or are using spreadsheets to build your plan, there are many analysis techniques and tools available to help you build stronger forecasts and more efficient schedules.

In this session, you will learn about techniques that can help you identify trends, variability, patterns, relationships, and root causes. Learn how to apply standard deviation, regression analysis, correlation coefficients, and a variety of charting techniques to support your analysis and reporting. You’ll also receive and use some simple spreadsheet and schedule testing software to help you fine-tune your staffing plan.

In this workshop, you will practice applying these mathematical techniques and software tools to analyze the following common call center challenges and discuss possible solutions:

AHT variations
Shrinkage variance
Identifying drivers and root cause
Cycle planning

You don’t need to be a math wizard to learn these techniques and use these tools. You’ll just need a basic familiarity with Excel (or similar tools) and which technique fits the analysis required. Feel free to bring your laptop to class to load the tools and get hands-on practice with the tools and techniques.

Facilitator: Maggie Klenke – Music Row 2


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 3


Developing Your “Power of One” Training and Real-Time Management Playbook. 

In the contact center, help desk, and tech support world, teaching agents, managers, and other groups about the importance of 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.  Developing a strategy around how we communicate the importance of each person and adherence to schedule is critical.  Also, we need to couple this with a real-time access plan that enhances our ability to service customers and 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 interactive training and discussion on the “Power of One” activities and Real Time Access Planning.  We’ll also have small breakout sessions designed to assist in development of your own playbook.  Session attendees will learn about:

Power of One activities and how to train them
Customer’s 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 “Plan.”

Facilitator:  Todd Gladden – Music Row 4

5:00-7:00 p.m. – Registration – Legends Ballroom Foyer

Monday, June 4

7:30 a.m. – Registration – Legends Ballroom Foyer

9:00-10:15 a.m. – Welcome & Keynote Address – Legends Ballroom
Sponsored by Monet Software

Your Personal Leadership Journey – Better is Possible! It’s true that our decisions determine our destiny.  Even the small, seemingly insignificant daily decisions we make influence the path we walk, the outcomes we earn, the results we deliver, and ultimately shapes us into the people we are today.  But, what if we want to be something more or different?  What would it take or what experience would you have to have for you to live differently?  What if we want to be better and do better?  Is better possible?  In this inspiring session experiences and stories will be shared to provide a framework that will answer this question.  You will walk away with a boost of encouragement and motivation to make changes that will help you exclaim, Better Is Possible! – Speaker: Kevin Randall

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. – Speaker: Maggie Klenke – Cumberland 3

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: Kim Hall, Citi, Todd Hixson, VIPdesk Connect, & Todd Gladden, PlanMen — Cumberland 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: Michele Borboa, Grainger, Kristin Slawinski, Northwestern Mutual, & Bob Dobson, StubHub – Music Row 5

WorkAnytime: How Audible – Amazon Launched an Agent-Focused Schedule Program That Worked. Learn how Audible, an Amazon company, launched a revolutionary scheduling program that supported the contact center team in fitting work around life, instead of life around work and brought the Audible value of #activatecaring to our employees. This program is all about employee flexibility, not just selecting schedules from a list – but truly “Working Anytime.” Hear about this program from conception to reality, including specifics about the business model that contributed to success and opportunity, how success was measured, and the impact on employees’ daily lives. – Speaker: Renee Hopkins, Audible-Amazon – Music Row 2

Workforce Management Organizational Structure. When your organization merges two separate groups supported by two separate Workforce Management Teams to become one large group supported by a consolidated Workforce Management Team, how do you begin to establish or restructure your Workforce Management Team?  Building a strong organizational strategy and prioritized action plan is critical to implementing seamless WFM practices and establishing a stable foundation.  In this session, learn from the experiences of the Walgreen’s contact center team and how they were able to use processes to ensure a smooth transition. – Speaker: Kirwyn Adderley, Walgreens – Music Row 3

Developing Your Own WFM Staffing Model. WFM software does a fine job of showing how many people you need next Tuesday at 11:30 for a single workgroup, but that data needs to be translated into big-picture results to understand the true capacity of the entire department that includes inbound, outbound, chat, email, offline activities, and back office. What happens if you increase the service level goal by 5%? When is the best time to roll out a new program in the call center? Are there certain weeks during the year when extra planned time-off should be encouraged? Do you always need to rehire immediately, or are there periods where natural attrition can occur without negatively impacting service? A good staffing model answers all of these questions. During this session, we will walk you through each step to create your own WFM Staffing Model that you can take back to your own call center. Please download the session materials in advance and bring your laptop (or an iPad pre-loaded with Excel) for a more interactive experience. – Speakers: Tiffany LaReau & Jon Pratz, Human Numbers — Music Row 4

Creating Virtual Employee Engagement Through Schedule Flexibility. The studies are in and they show that not only is employee engagement important, but most of us are failing at it. As more and more employees desire work at home positions, organizations struggle with how to make the transition and maintain employee engagement. Hear about the challenges of employee engagement in a 99.9% remote agent environment and how World Travel Holdings is overcoming those challenges through flexible schedule options. – Speaker: Dan Smitley, World Travel Holdings – Music Row 6

Agile Scheduling In the Era of Uber. Uber proved that technology could be used to efficiently match workers to available work on an impromptu basis, and many companies have followed suit including Lyft, Amazon, and now many contact centers. Organizations employing large numbers of semi-skilled workers are finding many advantages both for the enterprise and for employees by encouraging short but highly flexible work shifts, often called “gigs.” Learn how you’ll need to adapt your contact center operation to the growing “Gig Economy” and how workforce management systems will have to radically change to satisfy the need for coverage and compliance with labor laws while offering attractively flexible working schedules. — Speakers: Eric Hagaman & Bob Moore, Aspect – Mockingbird 2

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, Rick Seeley, Convergys, Jessica Harris, Cardinal Health, & Louise Andrew, AccorHotels – Mockingbird 

12:00-1:30 p.m. — Luncheon and Presentation of Workforce Management Professional of the Year Award  — Legends Ballroom
Sponsored by Noble Systems

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 – Cumberland 3

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: Todd Hixson, VIPdesk Connect, Natalie Robertson, AccorHotels, & Matt Troxell, Costco – Cumberland 4

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.  – Moderator: Todd Gladden Panelists: Jason Hilliard, Radio Systems, Tyler McGary, Idaho Central Credit Union, & Chad Murray, Logix Federal Credit Union – Music Row 2

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, & Jeff Bretana, Navy Federal Credit Union – Music Row 5

The Benefits of Knowledge Management Practices Within WFM. Come to this session to hear about different Knowledge Management strategies and their organizational influences on contact center employees and WFM Analysts. We will discuss using e-learning systems to house workforce management information, implementing knowledge sharing practices in meetings, and implementing business strategies that encourage management to promote knowledge sharing practices at different level of the WFM team. An organizational learning culture is the result of the implementation these strategies, which will increase WFM retention rates, WFM team capabilities, and WFM performance in general. – Speakers:   Debi Londono & Enrique Pinzon, Wyndham Vacation Ownership – Music Row 3

Business Transformation: A Case Study of RSA Canada’s Introduction of WFM. While change is often daunting for a corporation and its people, it can also be an exciting time for those of us working in the Workforce and Capacity Management world. In this session, we will explore and highlight the RSA journey of introducing Capacity Management and workforce technology while implementing new operating models in customer-facing teams. We will look at some of the challenges faced when undertaking WFM implementation, including how WFM can successfully partner with the business, how WFM must change to support the business, and what role WFM plays in ensuring customer satisfaction and retention through the transformation and beyond. – Speaker: Laura Monk, RSA Canada – Music Row 4

Adaptive Workforce Engagement. Is the industry ready for another acronym? You may have seen Adaptive Workforce Engagement (AWE) appearing in articles and blogs…but what is it and how does it relate to WFM? In this session we will unpack the elements of AWE and discover how analytics and machine learning are influencing the management of your workforce. We will discuss how artificial intelligence is helping processes adapt to the ever changing environment in which we live and work. The power of the computer is bringing more automation and insights into the entire WFM life cycle: from strategic planning, to hiring, to tactical forecasting, to scheduling, to change management, and to real time performance management. – Speaker: Nathan Stearns, NICE – Mockingbird 2

Implementing Omni-Channel Workforce Management at your Contact Center: Myths, Reality & Challenges and How to Overcome Them. The rise of the omni-channel customer gives contact centers numerous challenges, especially having a clear and unified view of the customer. Your customers expect to reach out to you via different channels and easily cross channels. You need to forecast and schedule the right number of agents to handle those interactions and meet performance goals. Whether you have an omni-channel strategy or are just thinking about it, be sure to join this interactive discussion and hear from our experts on how to prepare your contact center for omni-channel and avoid common pitfalls related to omni-channel WFM. Key topics will include: best practices for omni-channel forecasting, understanding omni-channel basics, and how omni-channel routing and KPIs impact forecasting. – Speakers: Nino Pozgaj & Lisa Elbe, Monet Software, Raghu Venugopal, Inogen, & Jeff Woodland, NewVoiceMedia – Music Row 6

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. – Panelists: Michele Borboa, Grainger, Kirwyn Adderley, Walgreens, Rick Seeley, Convergys, Jessica Harris, Cardinal Health, Louise Andrew, AccorHotels, & Debbie Davis-Greene, ONE Gas – Mockingbird 3

2:45-3:45 p.m. — Afternoon Break – Legends Ballroom

      Sponsored by The Call Center School

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 – Cumberland 3/4

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: Mark Rhodes, Edward Jones, Kristi Holcombe, Travelers, Michele Borboa, Grainger, & Kim Henderson, Bluegreen Vacations – Music Row 2

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: Chris Watchorn, Canada Post, Marshall Lee, Firstsource, & Rick Seeley, Convergys – Music Row 3

Implementing Flex Schedules. Interested in lowering overtime costs or increase staff flexibility? Have too many agents at one time and then not enough at another? In this session you’ll learn how Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts implemented flexible schedules working for an employee-centric company. You’ll learn how a strategic approach was developed over two years to implement flexible schedules that worked for representatives, as well as the company, saving on overtime costs and staffing in general. Speakers: Ralph Bevilaqua & Bryan Hovasse, BC BS of Massachusetts – Cumberland 5/6

From “Conflict” to “Harmony”: How IHG WFM Transformed their Relationship with Call Center Management. In this case study, you will learn how IHG transformed their WFM group from “dictators” to Consultants. This session will explore the changes made to help the WFM team gain trust and build relationships with the call center management teams. Learn different techniques used to help problem-solve with management and work more collaboratively together to achieve results. – Speaker: Theresa Ludlow, IHG – Music Row 4

Coaching Your Team to WFM Excellence: Leading the Way to More Consistent Customer Service Level Delivery and Greater Efficiency. You may not be the star athlete on the field but it’s those crucial calls from the sidelines that determine your team (and your contact center) success. You can easily get distracted handling critical day-to-day scheduling challenges and often overlook the bigger picture. This session is designed for WFM leaders that are responsible for the workforce management playbook. Learn how to optimize your team performance and challenge your analysts to capture greater efficiency, increase employee productivity and deliver more consistent customer service. In this session WFM leaders will learn how to improve forecast accuracy, schedule efficiency, intraday dynamics, consider alternative scheduling approaches and shift types, and optimize adherence and shrinkage. – Speakers: Debbie Davis-Greene, ONE Gas, & Daryl Gonos & Roger Woolley, The Workforce Management Software Group – Music Row 6

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: Jessica Harris, Cardinal Health, Jason Hilliard, Radio Systems, Cindy Stevenson, Citi, & Mike Duffy, Frontier Communications – Mockingbird 2

Still More Tips and Tricks for Forecasting and Planning: The Future Edition. An old staple at SWPP, Ric Kosiba will share 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 are all the craze, and, believe it or not, there are practical applications to how we will work. We 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. This session will have practical information from the novice planner to the expert planner. Bring your tough planning question or what-ifs and Ric will provide you with direction to solve them. – Speaker: Ric Kosiba, Genesys – Music Row 5

Open Forum Discussion – WFM Department Organization and Employee Development. Bring your questions, answers, issues, and ideas to this lively interactive discussion. Learn from your peers and share your own knowledge and experience related to this topic. – Facilitator: Bob Dobson, StubHub – Mockingbird 3

5:00-7:00 p.m. – Opening Reception – Legends Ballroom

      Sponsored by Verint

Tuesday, June 5

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

7:45-8:45 a.m. – Behind Closed Doors sessions

      Aspect – Cumberland 3/4
      Genesys – Music Row 2
      NICE – Cumberland 5/6
      Teleopti – Music Row 3
     The Workforce Management Software Group – Music Row 4
      Verint – Music Row 5

9:00-10:15 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 – Cumberland 3/4

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 – Music Row 2

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: Mark Rhodes, Edward Jones, Kim Henderson, Bluegreen Vacations, & Kirwyn Adderley, Walgreens – Cumberland 5/6

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: Kristi Holcombe, Travelers, & Bob Dobson, StubHub – Music Row 3

Weaving Success between Real-Time and Scheduling.  Come to this session to hear how Wyndham Worldwide’s WFM team optimized the workforce experience for their organization.  We will explore how they created two dedicated groups to handle real-time and scheduling within their team, specifying clear and defined roles and responsibilities. Learn how this division, along with establishing clear guidelines for expectations for both groups, helped to maximize the success of both teams and the organization as a whole. – Speakers: Liz Gonzalez & Monique Mouawia, Wyndham – Music Row 5

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: Tyler McGary, Idaho Central Credit Union, Michele Borboa, Grainger, & Todd Gladden, PlanMen – Mockingbird 2

Top 10 Differences in WFM By Business Function. Workforce management is workforce management – the concept is the same, but the approach in different business functions is unique in practice. The different cultures, media types, customer demands, and employee needs require you to use different methods to get to the same end result, which is having the right resources at the right time to meet your customer service goals.  Attend this session to learn the Top 10 differences in WFM in branches, inbound contacts, outbound contacts, and back-office operations.  – Speaker: Jeff Bretana, Navy Federal Credit Union Music Row 4

Rewrite the Rules with Automation. Join Louise Andrew, Director of Workforce Planning at AccorHotels and Jonathan Rasiah, Sr. Director Workforce Planning at Rogers Communications to learn how these 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!  – Speakers: Louise Andrew, Accor Hotels, & Jonathan Rasiah, Rogers Communications Music Row 6

Open Forum Discussion – Shrinkage & FMLA. Bring your questions, answers, issues, and ideas to this lively interactive discussion. Learn from your peers and share your own knowledge and experience related to this topic. – Facilitator: Rick Seeley – Mockingbird 3

10:15-10:45 a.m. – Break – Cumberland & Legends Foyers

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 – Cumberland 3/4

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: Janet Hicks, Nationwide Insurance, Kirwyn Adderley, Walgreens, & Jeff Bretana, Navy Federal Credit Union – Music Row 2

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: Tim Dick, Bluegreen Vacations, Jason Persico, Wyndham, & Debbie Davis-Greene, ONE Gas – Music Row 3

Merging WFM and Operational Performance Data to Drive Improvements. How many times have you had ideas that could drive operational efficiencies or financial benefits, but you didn’t have the data to prove the concept? During this session, we will discuss creating an environment that can merge traditional WFM data with other operational results in order to tell a holistic story. Creating an analytics partnership and an environment for data discovery can be key to finding the next big insight, as well as wowing leadership with a compelling story. – Speaker: Jessica Harris, Cardinal Health – Music Row 5

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. – Facilitators: Louise Andrew, AccorHotels, & Michele Borboa, Grainger – Mockingbird 2

Try a Different Approach to Creating a New Service Model. As we know, contact centers are always changing, constantly looking for opportunities to increase efficiencies and elevate customer experience. This session will outline an approach that was used when an organization’s business partners were considering a major change in service models. This approach allowed the WFM team role to be elevated to provide a more consultative role in service model discussions with the business partners to provide the routing, reporting, and WFM expertise required to understand the impacts/implications of Service Models. – Speakers: Kelly Kozlowski, ADP – Music Row 4

Increase the Caliber of Your Hiring Pool Through a WFM Internship Program. Has your team struggled to find qualified WFM candidates? Have you hired someone that didn’t fit in with your team culture? Gerber Life developed their “Opening Doors Program” to overcome these obstacles. This case study will show how Gerber Life developed and refined their internal internship program to address these concerns and create qualified candidates for future WFM positions. – Speakers: Teresa Howe, Gerber Life Insurance – Music Row 6

Best Practices: Real World Stories and Lessons about Contact Center Forecasting and Planning. The one very cool thing about being in a position to speak to many contact center executives and analysts is that every year you get to collect great stories about business successes and failures. And that’s fun. In this session, we will discuss small planning mistakes that led some very well-known businesses to have service catastrophes, and simple things planners can do to ensure that these catastrophes don’t happen on their watch. – Speaker: Ric Kosiba, Genesys – Cumberland 5/6

Open Forum Discussion – Adherence. Bring your questions, answers, issues, and ideas to this lively interactive discussion. Learn from your peers and share your own knowledge and experience related to this topic. – Facilitator: Kim Henderson, Bluegreen Corporation – Mockingbird 3

12:00-1:30 p.m. – Luncheon & Workforce Management Jeopardy – Legends Ballroom

      Sponsored by ICMI

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 – Cumberland 3/4

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 5/6

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: Gene Stapp, BCD Travel, Kristi Holcombe, Travelers, & Rick Seeley, Convergys – Music Row 5

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. – Facilitators: Todd Gladden, PlanMen, & Penny Wareham, RSA Canada – Mockingbird 2

Changing the Culture of a Call Center: Evolving from Paper into the 21st Century. How many of you have been there on the ground floor from the very beginning of your workforce management (WFM) team? Join us as we talk about the journey along the WFM path and discuss the implementation of scheduling software and how WFM professionals can slowly but surely change the culture of the call center. Engage with the Answer Financial WFM team and discuss common challenges and solutions to changing the culture of a call center. – Speakers: Robby Wohlford, John Curley, & Raymond Dobens, Answer Financial – Music Row 2

Saving the Sinking Ship. “Bridge to Engineering! Where are you Engineering?” “I’m giving it all she’s got, Captain!” Come join us as we review how each of the components of workforce management need to work together as a team to run the “Enterprise” in tip-top shape. We’ll discuss how Vistana is working through past pain points and current best practices with team work to avoid causing impacts in any of the components – with a Star Trek inspired theme. We’ll also correlate how these practices and tips can apply to small, medium, and large contact centers. – Speakers: Tiffney Spicer & Timothy Oestreich, Vistana – Music Row 3

Lifestyle Scheduling: Finding the Healthy Balance. No matter the management style, choosing to be the supportive sibling or controlling Big Brother, running a successful contact center depends on finding two things: a healthy balance for all concerned and a WFM solution that supports this. All employees, agents and management alike, need to feel they have the right work-life balance, and the wider company must find a balance between satisfying employees and creating a system that is efficient, sustainable and profitable.  – Speaker: Dave Hoekstra, Teleopti – Music Row 6

Elevating the Agent Experience with Customer Experience Tools. Contact centers are caught squarely in the middle of a perfect storm of events that’s forcing them to reconsider how agents should schedule their work time: (1) Millennials and Gen Z workers prize their work/life balance highly and want scheduling flexibility, (2) Convenient tools such as chatbots are available for customers but not agents, and the disparity is glaring, and (3) Major technological advances have made communication between employer and employee much more mobile. Learn how Asurion is using the latest in agent engagement technologies to quell the waters of the perfect storm and deliver excellent agent experiences, so agents can deliver excellent customer experiences. — Speakers: Kary Horsley & Sam Hurst, Asurion, & Magdi Khalil, Aspect Software – Music Row 4

Open Forum Discussion – WFM in the Back Office. Bring your questions, answers, issues, and ideas to this lively interactive discussion. Learn from your peers and share your own knowledge and experience related to this topic. – Facilitator: Chris Watchorn, Canada Post – Mockingbird 3

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

      Sponsored by Call Design

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 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 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 – Mockingbird 2

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, Janet Hicks, Nationwide Insurance, & Todd Gladden, PlanMen – Cumberland 5/6

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: Cindy Stevenson, Citi, Mark Rhodes, Edward Jones, & John Curley, Answer Financial – Music Row 2

Scheduling Yoga – Getting To Your Scheduling Happy Place. Are you struggling with balancing work and life for staff? Do you have agents that want to pick their own schedules? Are you looking for a way to accomplish schedule flexibility in a small contact center environment and still meet business goals and KPIs? The U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC Transfer Agency contact center has less than 50 seats, and their Workforce Optimization (WFO) team makes scheduling flexibility and meeting of business goals and KPIs happen on a daily basis. Don’t miss this session to hear about how the WFO team partners with contact center agents to manage schedule flexibility and achieve scheduling nirvana. – Speakers: Jeanie Hoth & Jillsa Zilk, US Bancorp – Music Row 3

Bringing Finance and WFM Together. Have you ever put together a killer staffing plan only to be told that it does not match your organization’s budget? Have you ever been called on halfway through a year to “tighten controls” on things like planned shrinkage because your operational budget has gone off the rails? These things have happened to most of us and can be incredibly frustrating. The best solution to this ongoing opportunity is to have WFM become more involved with your organization’s Finance and Operations groups. Learn simple approaches to help WFM become an integral partner and expand WFM’s sphere of control. – Speaker: Jeffrey Yannitty, Worldpay – Music Row 5

Forecasting: Why Options & Accuracy are Critical. The Contact Center world is changing.  We now have inbound and outbound calls, emails, chats, social media, tickets, etc.  With these changes, it is important for us to examine our methodologies for forecasting and whether the current models we are using are appropriate for the situation of our business. In this session we will review other methodologies outside the traditional Erlang C and weighted average models and appropriate times to utilize them in forecasting for a stronger and more accurate forecast for your contact center. See how these new options will help you to improve forecasting accuracy, agent scheduling, and the overall customer experience.  – Speaker: Troy Plott, NICE – Music Row 4

Measuring WFM Performance. Peter Drucker is often credited for saying, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” And it is, for the most part, true. We will never know how well we are doing if we do not have anything to compare our progress (or regression) with. That is also true for measuring how well an organization’s Workforce Management initiative is doing. It is equally important, however, that we pick the right metrics to measure the performance of our WFM initiatives with. Join us as we explore the science of measuring WFM performance through Key Performance Indicators. Topics include selecting KPIs essential to WFM, effective use of KPIs, caveats in using KPI and more.  – Speaker:  Sean Vierling, Loxysoft – Music Row 6

Open Forum Discussion – Measuring the WFM Team. Bring your questions, answers, issues, and ideas to this lively interactive discussion. Learn from your peers and share your own knowledge and experience related to this topic. – Facilitator: Jessica Harris, Cardinal Health – Mockingbird 3

6:15 p.m. – Depart for Evening Event – 5th Avenue Hotel Entrance

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

      Sponsored by NICE

Wednesday, June 6

7:45-8:45 a.m. – Breakfast – Legends Ballroom

8:45-10:00 a.m.  Workshops

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

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 – Music Row 5

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: Debbie Davis Greene, ONE Gas, Rick Seeley, Convergys, & Jason Persico, Wyndham – Mockingbird 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. – Panelists: Kristi Holcombe, Travelers, Jeff Bretana, Navy Federal Credit Union, Kim Henderson, Bluegreen Vacations, & Georgiann Hernandez, USANA – Music Row 2

May the Work-Force Be With You! Introducing a New WFM Software to your Corner of the Galaxy. Implementing a new WFM solution is always a difficult and gut-wrenching (and crazy) challenge. Learn how Rochester Regional Health embraced this change as they consolidated all services to a single contact center. In this session you will learn about the tipping point to change, important partnership requirements, the transition, and what happens next after you go live. – Speakers: Robert Allen & Dan Oakes, Rochester Regional Health System – Music Row 3

How to Turn your Attendance Policy into an Agent Retention Win. Attendance Policies within call centers often seem to consist of rules that are put in effect to punish employees, not reward them. This can lead to attrition – progressive disciplinary plans may force agents to abandon their job or be terminated for cause.  What would happen if you could change that policy to one that doesn’t drive attrition but actually increases agent retention and satisfaction?  Come to this session to hear about an Alternative Attendance Policy implemented by The Results Companies that helped agents find that perfect work/life balance.  The outcome may surprise you! – Speaker: Alex Blum, The Results Companies – Music Row 4

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, VIPdesk Connect – Music Row 6

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: Penny Reynolds – Panelists: Louise Andrew, Accor Hotels, Deborah Mauk, Maestro Workforce Services, Michael Williams, BCD Travel, Marshall Lee, Firstsource Solutions, & Chris Watchorn, Canada Post – Cumberland 5/6

10:00-10:15 a.m. – Break – Cumberland and Legends Foyers

10:15-11:30 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 – Cumberland 3/4

“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! – Facilitator: Todd Gladden, PlanMen – Mockingbird 2

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 2

Seismic Shifts Ahead: Are You Ready to Change? Change is certain. Progress is not. In this session, we’ll look at how Radio Systems Corporation launched an amazing and dramatic new customer engagement strategy called “Love Thy Customer.” During this session, hear how new customer engagement strategies and changes drove impact across the board and why it’s okay to let go of certain old habits and metrics. Learn how the organization has adapted to decreasing call volumes and increasing non-voice customer interactions, as well as some of the things they are doing to keep our agents happy and motivated! – Speaker: Jason Hilliard, Radio Systems – Music Row 3

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: Chanda Chambliss, Bridgepoint Education, & Mark Rhodes, Edward Jones – Music Row 4

Dawn of the Living Dead: How to Bring Numbers to Life. Does it feel like you are speaking a foreign language when you’re sharing WFM information with the rest of your business? Why is it so challenging when your seemingly clear message is 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. Tips will BE provided on how to bring the story of the numbers to life, which will create an environment for your audience to ask for more. – Speakers: Darlene Green & Ed Hoggs, Shaw Industries – Music Row 5

Cross Channel Utilization – How to Discover Hidden Resources. 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, and with more self-service in place, at a lower cost. In this session, you fill discover how to reveal pockets of resource availability and personalize your approach to deliver results for you and your customers.   – Speaker: Todd Hixson, VIPdesk Connect – Music Row 6

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: Penny Reynolds – Panelists: Lisa Elbe, Monet Software, Robert Beasley, Aspect, Dave Hoekstra, Teleopti, Tom Tritten, Genesys, Todd Cotharin, WFMSG, Troy Plott, NICE, Katherine Gomez, Verint, Emma Skygebjerg, Loxysoft, & Larry Swift, Intradiem — Cumberland 5/6

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

SWPP Annual Conference Ends