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Measuring Success: How Long is this Job Going to Take?

Measuring Success: How Long is this Job Going to Take?

Measuring Success: How Long is this Job Going to Take?

October 29, 2014 ClickSoftware 0 Comments

Author: Michael Pistone

This is the question my wife asks me every weekend, and my answer is always the same…”At least 1 hour.” Her response is typically not favorable when the task is mundane and should only take 10 minutes. But I am not a handy guy, and variability typically rears its ugly head during the execution of my weekly “honeydo” list. Now, I have had some extensive project management experience within my career and I’ve been successfully married for 11 years. During that time, I’ve learned to “pad” my planned durations. For my wife and me, it’s been a good thing. For your service business and optimized schedule, not so much. My focus over the next couple of weeks will be full measurement of the workforce management lifecycle and there is no better place to start than your call center.


When we consider the normal break / fix environment and appointment booking, planning the duration of the task is left up to the customer and the call center representative…”My lights are out.” “Did you try this, did you try that? Ok. I’ll dispatch a technician.” In most cases, a work type is assigned within the ticket that has a planned duration (power outage = 60 minutes). But what we really want to understand is the accuracy of the planned duration assessment as compared to the actual duration. What contributes to this metric?

  • Customer’s assessment of the problem: “My lights are out.”
  • Call Center Representatives interruption of the problem: “I believe the customer has a power outage. I’ll create a ticket work order for power outage.”
  • The predefined planned duration for the work type: “All power outages have a planned duration of 60 minutes within the schedule.”
  • Technician Efficiency Rating Accuracy: “Junior Technician Rating is 2. 60 minutes planned duration times 2 = 120 minute planned duration.”
  • Customer Complexity: “Power outages are always more difficult to restore at Customer ABC.”

There’s more, tons more, but we’ll stop there for now. I want to focus on the call center aspect and I’ll end with a question.

What call center metrics do you measure (or want to measure) that impact the schedule?

I’m not referring to queue hold times or talk times. I’m asking how does your call center impact the schedule of your field resources and how are you measuring it? Would love to hear from you and thanks!

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