The 5Ps of Workforce Management (Part 3: Processes)

Updated August 2016

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The 5Ps of workforce management – PRINCIPLES, PRACTICES, PROCESSES, PEOPLE, and PRODUCT – will strengthen your contact center, but first you need to know how to spot warning signs and get a healthy start. As part of a 5- part series, we will be outlining each week one of the five principles.

In this third instalment of the 5P’s of Workforce Management blog series we will focus on PROCESSES that keep your organization on track and working like a well-greased machine day in and day out.

Workforce management processes represent the various activities and tasks associated with actually performing the work of workforce management. Every contact center has processes associated with the following four activities:

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DECIDING how many agents to hire and staff (FORECASTING)

DETERMINING who works when and how to accommodate activities like vacation, training and meetings (SCHEDULING)

REACTING to intraday customer demand and staffing availability (INTRADAY MANAGEMENT)

MEASURING individual agent and contact center performance (PERFORMANCE REPORTING)


Almost all contact center organizations understand the importance of having well documented processes (aka “methods and procedures”) in place for front-line staff. Yet, many fail to recognize the necessity of documenting operational processes, especially for support functions like workforce management. In addition to providing a roadmap for what to do and when, documented WFM processes:

  • Eliminate risk and maximize the financial return on WFM technology investments.
  • Minimize over-dependence on specific individuals and protect the mindshare of the organization.
  • Act as an essential guide when cross-training or bringing in new members to the team.
  • Reduce operational ambiguity and ensure a common understanding across functional groups.
  • Identify how to apply specific features of a WFM system to automate and streamline tasks.

Get A Healthy Start for your Workforce Management Processes:

When you don’t have documented processes, your contact center becomes vulnerable to a key member of the WFM team winning the lottery (or, god forbid, getting hit by a bus). Neither of these scenarios is good for your business, so the time to begin a process documentation project is now.

If you’re starting at ground zero, you don’t want to get caught up in being overly perfectionistic. More detail is better, but something is better than nothing.

The easiest way to begin is to simply make a list of the routine processes that take place repeatedly at various time periods (see examples below). What you’ll end up with is a checklist you can use to document your progress as you document each process.

Remember - a picture can speak a thousand words, so include screenshots and diagrams when possible.

To recap, the first three posts we’ve outlined how WFM principles, practices and processes impact your business. By now you’ve accrued a wealth of tips in tricks on how to get a healthy start on the dynamics that go into creating a thriving WFM program.

We’ve highlighted these three case-studies of companies already showing benefit from integrating NICE solutions and by following the 5Ps of successful Workforce Management. They are:

Capella University boosted agent adherence by 19%.


RDI achieved a significant increase in efficiency and effectiveness, and reduced AHT by 9%.


Telus improved visibility into operational results and enabled savings of up to $650,000 per year.


For more on NICE Workforce Management solutions, please visit

UP NEXT: We will explore the 4th P of the 5P’s of Workforce Management, and probably the most important one, PEOPLE. After all it’s the PEOPLE – managers, employees, and executives who keep businesses moving.


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