What Does it Take to be a Successful Resource Planning Manager?

Cheryl Stobo

To say you have to be organised to be a successful Resource Planning Manager is a bit like saying you need to have a steady hand to be a tattoo artist.

You have to understand how each area of the contact centre operates – and how it relates and connects to other areas of the business. You have to be able to forecast for seasonal highs and lows; anticipate any technology failings; understand how to get the best out of your colleagues; and essentially predict the future (although, did anyone see 2020 coming?!)

According to CC Planning, there are four fundamental processes when it comes to successful Resource Planning Management:

Forecast – Predict what is going to happen

Schedule – Make a plan to meet and deal with expectations

Monitor – Observe what is unfolding and adjust the delivery approach as necessary

Review – Did your plan work? What lessons can you learn? What would you do differently and what would remain the same?

These steps are then repeated. These are the basic rules of planning which have not changed – despite recent advances in technology and the current remote working situation. It’s just that a good Resource Planning Manager will have to consider things like live chat, social media coverage and email coverage as well as traditional phone lines.

And, although a Resource Planner is told to expect the unexpected, there are areas where these basic processes can fall down:

Forecast – Did you anticipate things like: weather, new legislations, how working from home might increase demand, vulnerable employees needing to isolate …

Schedule – The pandemic has thrown up all sorts of problems for employers, scheduling being a big one. Do your staff need to move to part time hours in order to accommodate child care needs? Are some sick or self-isolating? Do you have a pipeline of talented temps ready to go (or a partnership with a recruitment agency who can supply them)?

Monitor – We’re human, and panicking or stressing is a normal human reaction. Yes, there are twenty calls in the queue but does that spell a disaster? It’s key to be as objective as possible.

Review – Take the time to analyse the situation properly. What fell down? What worked well? Could continuing like this cause employee burnout? What successes did you have that you’d like to emulate?

It can be tempting to over-analyse situations and berate yourself for not forecasting something accurately. But I think that last year has taught us that even the best laid plans are there to be ripped up and adapted at the last minute. So many of us have learned how flexible and resilient we can actually be – all whilst keeping up with customer demand.

Some of my most successful Resource Planning candidates posses these three qualities: the ability to remain calm under pressure; confidence reading and interpreting data; and excellent communication skills. This allows them to (on the whole) avoid any of the pitfalls observed above.

Resource Planning roles can make a big impact on a call and contact centre – particularly in the current climate.

If you would like to speak to me, confidentially, about opportunities on the UK market, I’d be delighted to have a chat. Click here to drop me an email and get in touch.

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