In the software industry, when we talk about Workforce Optimization (WFO) we’re generally referring to tools that are developed to enhance employee efficiency, streamline tasks and organizational processes, and simplify business management within the company.
At KOVA, we offer a full suite of tools to facilitate those efforts that include Verint System’s Workforce Management, Quality Analytics, Desktop Analytics, Voice of the Customer Analytics and Performance Management. But tools, while completely necessary, have to be used in conjunction with what is called a WFO Center of Excellence (COE). A successful WFO program can certainly transform the way your organization does business, but in order for it to be fully optimized it must be properly supported.
The Agile Elements blog, “What is a Center of Excellence,” quotes John Strickler, who said, “A Center of Excellence (COE) should, at a most basic level, consist of a team of people that promote collaboration and using best practices around a specific focus area to drive business results.” A WFO COE is the people that enable and execute a successful WFO program. They typically carry out key functions such as:
A good Center of Excellence is able to create and share best practices, develop system-wide learning and usage processes, ensure these functions adequately meet business objectives. The COE needs to be able to answer questions that deeply probe WFO programs to determine their efficacy and what, if any, changes need to be made to improve or enhance performance.
The Center of Excellence should also be behind all the decisions and steps taken so that when a new process is implemented, the tools can provide a single source of performance data like a dashboard that manages staff, work, and processes. The Center of Excellence also ensures that the business is using all tools and processes effectively and efficiently and seeks to gain a ROI on the Workforce Optimization program.
When implementing a WFO program, it may be assumed that COE responsibilities are already built into a particular department’s role; however, it’s a challenge for organizations to know or anticipate problems that could arise without having designated oversight of integration of a WFO program. These multi-faceted, multi-layered initiatives require a significant amount of attention and focus.
Instead, specifically define what responsibilities fall under which department—or if there are shared responsibilities, what is the procedure for sharing information among departments? With your management team, list out your departments and define what the responsibilities are for each. Is the responsibility appropriate for that department? Does one department have too many responsibilities? Use this information to make intelligent changes that will lead your company to an overall source of excellence.
Remember that nothing works forever, so once you have found your ideal, continue to benchmark and make improvements (quarterly, bi-annually, or annually) to ensure that your center remains one of excellence. All cars need an oil change every now and then to stay in peak performance!
Contact the experts at KOVA and we will work with your team to help define, designate, and deploy WFO responsibilities within your organization—before rolling out a program. The extra time spent in this phase helps to improve the overall experience for your customers.