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Calculating Schedule Adherence Messages in this topic - RSS

Guest


7/1/2003
Guest
How do you calculate schedule adherence?

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Guest


8/1/2003
Guest
The equation is relatively simple if you capture enough data on your agents: ([shift time]-[lunch]-[break]+[exception time]+[overtime])/[phone time] = schedule adherance 8 shift 1 lunch 0.16 break 0.16 break 0 exception 0 overtime 6.68 TOTAL 6.55 phone time 6.55 phone time / 6.68 total work time = 98% schedule adherance

- Chris Stuart, STUCON
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8/1/2003
Guest
Number of hours worked as a percentage of number of hours scheduled to work after deducting lunch and breaks.

- Anonymous
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5/1/2004
Guest
Your calculation is interesting..... just one question: what do you consider "exception"?

- Fran, SCWC
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7/1/2004
Guest
There is a draw back to these equations: unfortunately, they do not tell you whether or not your agents are taking their breaks at the scheduled times. True schedule adherence is a much more complex issue. We need to be looking at things like Agent State, and at what time of day. Unfortunately, to do this is not very cost effective.

- Keith A. Abbott, CIBA Vision Canada Inc.
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9/1/2004
Guest
Schedule Adherence is a measurement of how much time an agent spends on a call, wrapping up a call or available to take a call during his shift. In the simplest form, the calculation is: (Talk Time + After Call Work + Available Time)/Shift Time The above calculation has a few problems. First of all, shift time needs to be defined by an organization (do agents log off during breaks or do they put themselves in an unavailable mode). Furthermore, it is extremely important that the center defines how all activities conducted by agents should be logged and enforces those rules as standards. It is also of importance that centers define exactly what constitutes shift time. Do you include time spent in “approved and planned” non-phone activities (training, meetings, coaching, etc)? Additionally, adherence does not measure whether or not the agent worked the assigned schedule. Another aspect of schedule adherence is setting the goal. It must be realistic and attainable or you will encourage agents to attempt to play the system, leading to a distortion of the real activities of the agents. Some centers choose to back all auxiliary time out of the shift time. While this has the impact of not penalizing agents for “approved and planned” non-phone activities, this blanket deduction also allows for a multitude of “sins” to be hidden and creates very high adherence numbers. A much better practice is to define the auxiliary work codes that an agent needs for all aspects of his job (from bathroom breaks to assigned projects) and then determine which if any auxiliary codes should be subtracted from shift time. If your systems will not allow for tracking at that auxiliary level of detail, take the time to set realistic adherence schedules. Is some centers, it is in the 70's. In most centers it is in the 80's. If you are striving for and reaching a goal in the 90's, it is possible that you are either not looking at the complete picture OR you are burning agents out. A final note: Consider looking at schedule compliance as a measurement. This measurement allows call center managers to consider how closely agents are working to their schedules. Good Luck!

- Laura Grimes , Harrington Consulting Group, Inc., Certified Associate, Incoming Calls Management Institute, Tel. 248-650-9165 , Fax 530-325-4071, laura@harringtonconsultinggroup.com
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9/1/2004
Guest
This is much easier handled by a workforce management program like Blue Pumpkin or IEX. If you have scheduling software, then chances are you already have schedule adherence features built into it. You'll either need to figure out how to run the report if it exists or have one built by the manufacturer, preferably. If you still would like to calculate adherence and do not utilize WFM software then you'll either need some patience, or need to trust your agents to collect the data for you, or lastly you could dedicate someone to gathering this data. The reason I say this is because Keith is right in his response that you cannot calculate true schedule adherence with the formula provided, because you have no way of telling whether they adhere to their scheduled break and lunch times. To do this you would need to collect first their total on phone schedule adherence minutes for a shift (which can be just their total shift time). Then you'll need to know their out of adherence minutes. This would include any minutes that they are late for their shift, minutes that they are late going to break or lunch, and any minutes spent in any unplanned AUX state when they were scheduled to be on the phones. This amounts to simply any minutes during the course of their shift in which they deviate from their scheduled on phone time at all. Now, generally you will want to break it down into several categories which you can call minutes out of adherence off phone and minutes out of adherence on phone. The distinction here is that you generally don't hold minutes out of adherence on phone against the agent and this would include things like going to break or lunch late at the beginning of the violation when they are still on the call, or if they were to skip lunch or break entirely or if they stayed overtime to take calls. All of these scenarios you would not want to hold against them even though they would be considered out of adherence but on the phone. It's everything else that comes off of the schedule adherence total and these would be scenarios that you would call minutes out of adherence off phone. Examples of this would be coming in 10 minutes late to work, or the minutes on the back end when they come back from their late break or lunch, and finally when they are in some unplanned AUX state when they are scheduled to be auto-in and ready to take calls. Once you have collected these out of adherence off phone minutes then you also have their in adherence on phone minutes, since this will just be the total collected adherence minutes less the minutes out of adherence off phone. Then you simply divide the minutes in adherence on phone by the total collected adherence minutes. Here is an example of a typical shift: Agent Smith works from 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.: 8 ½ hour shift – ½ hour lunch = 8 hours = 540 minutes of total adherence minutes. Smith has a scheduled lunch from 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. which is time logged out of the phone and does not count towards the total. Smith has a scheduled 15 minute break from 8:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. and from 12:00 p.m. – 12:15 p.m. Now Smith decides to be 10 minutes late to work and shows up at 6:10 a.m. = 10 out of adherence off phone minutes. Smith goes to break at 8:15 a.m. instead of 8:00 a.m. so from 8:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. = 15 out of adherence off phone minutes. Smith goes to lunch from 10:03 a.m. – 10:33 a.m. = 3 out of adherence off phone minutes. Smith manages to go to his last break on time at 12:00 p.m. but comes back at 12:17 p.m. = 2 out of adherence off phone minutes. Smith goes into Aux 4 for unknown reasons from 1:00 p.m. – 1:10 p.m. = 10 out of adherence off phone minutes. Smith leaves work early at 2:26 p.m. = 4 out of adherence off phone minutes. Total = 44 out of adherence off phone minutes. This won't be so bad as you're about to see. 540 total collected adherence minutes – 44 out of adherence off phone minutes = 496 in adherence on phone minutes. Calculation: 496 in adherence on phone minutes / 540 total collected adherence minutes = 91.85% schedule adherence. Not too bad, but not great either. Hope this is helpful as it is the only real way to calculate adherence save for having the WFM software which does it for you, and which is highly recommended if you can afford it.

- Raymond Foster, Clientlogic
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12/1/2004
Guest
Here's our standard calculation for adherence: Minutes in Adherence/(Minutes in Adherence + Minutes out of Adherence). You could also represent (Minutes in Adherence + Minutes out of Adherence) as scheduled time, which is a good double check. Where we differ from what has been represented in this string is as follows: Borrowing from Mr. Foster… “Smith goes to lunch from 10:03 a.m. – 10:33 a.m. = 3 out of adherence off phone minutes.” We would consider this 6 minutes out of adherence (3 at beginning, 3 at end). This is where it becomes important to consider Adherence side by side with Conformance. Conformance is Minutes Worked / Minutes Scheduled, and you can look at it as a function of on phone time or total time (on and off phone), whichever you like. Just understand what it is you're measuring and what it means to your business.

- Michael Hoffmann, DIRECTV
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1/27/2006
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Measuring and managing schedule adherence is an integral part of managing our workforce; hence it is an utmost imperitive to have the right measure. A better way to do it is if we can list down all possible exceptions and from that list segregate negative impact and acceptable positive impact on adherence. We can adjust our WFM tool's setting for calculation of adherence by positive impact on certain pre-decided exceptions. The rule is that any offline activity which is unplanned whether system down or bio breaks is non-adherence, as the scheduled time for that period is lost forever. What we can do is to have threshold limits for the same as acceptable: 5% or 7% per day non-adherence from the schedule. Over and above is penalised.

- Vikram, Wipro
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1/27/2006
Guest
Adherence=minutes in adherence/total scheduled minutes

- Vikram, Wipro
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2/10/2006
Guest
There were very good computations that were given above in terms of schedule adherence. I, for one, am a firm believer that if there are certain situations which are not under an agent's control to be non-adherent, then we should not count it against them. One way we did it in our center is to create a "Bridge Management" team or what is more commonly known as "Real-Time Managment" team. These specialists do real-time monitoring and ensure proper adherence to plotted schedules. Thus, you now can concentrate on just pure non-adherence to stipulated threshold by just computing schedule adherence as (total target adherence time - time out of adherence)/total target adherence time.

Hope this helps.

- Jay Tuazon, SMART I-Contacts Corporation
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3/31/2006
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I do agree with Mr. Foster's example, except for the fact that the break time while the agent was on call would also be calculated as schedule adherence as that is the time when the agent does not have an open time to take calls. So, when we calculate the schedule adherence then that particular time should also be added to the non-adhered schedule time.

- Pravin Bhateley, Teletech India Pvt. Ltd.
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4/28/2006
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In my point of view, and according to Mr. Tuazon's oppinion, agents shouldn't be charged or penalised for those adherence exceptions that are going to be aproved (i.e., calls taking long, consuming break time partially). I think that we would find the right point just between strict adherence and conformance. In an environment like the regular Spanish one, some times we could find that a strict adherence tracking and its direct influence in, for examples, salaries, could be more a con than a pro -- since most times we tend most to focus on overall conformance. But, if we could find a software that helps us on tracking adherence, but giving us the opportunity to authorise any exception found on-line, it would be just what most call centers have been praying for.

- David Gómez, IZO System
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9/8/2006
Guest
Measuring schedule adherence is pointless unless you are measuring minute-by-minute what a person is actually doing compared against what you rostered them to do.

Why? Because you go to great lengths to build a forecast and roster to meet call demand every interval and you need to make sure people are following that roster, otherwise you won't meet service level.

The best formula is total minutes in adherence divided by total minutes scheduled.

That is, if I was actually doing what I was rostered for for 400 minutes out a total shift of 425 minutes, then my adherence would be 94%. The closer to 100% the better, but you are dealing with people and you should not expect such a high level. The point is, as an organisation set a target level that is high but achievable, and performance manage staff to that level.

- Michael Galbraith, Open Wave Pty Ltd
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9/21/2007
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I quite agree with the last response. However, the formula of (total adherence minutes/total schedule minutes) may not give true picture of the WFM team's efficiency.

For example, I was supposed to work between 2 pm to 10 pm. Now, let's suppose I adhered 100% to the schedule till 10 PM. However, because of high volume, I had to be logged in for another hour and I logged out at 11 pm.

Now, if I take 100% as my adherence, it doesn't give the true picture as far as the forecasting (WFM) team is concerned. Having said this, if schedule adherence is part of Agents' KRA, then we should take 100% for agent, but a lesser value for the process (the real adherence).

However, if there is no Adherence in Agent KRA, then we could take the adherence which is less than 100% for all purpose.

I would say this is more applicable in 3rd party BPO centers, where agents' morale, customer experience, client satisfaction and gross margin is at stake.

- Vijay Srikonda, Aditya Birl Minacs
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1/28/2008
Guest
Penalizing an agent's adherence, however you choose to calculate it, because they were on a long call that carried over into their assigned break is counter-productive to some of the biggest issues for almost every call centre - agent morale, stress/burnout, and call quality.

You know what the AHT (Average Handle Time) is for your centre, so when forecasting and scheduling, assume that every agent will be as much as AHT/2 early leaving for a break or AHT/2 late leaving for their break and build that flexibility into the adherence calculations.

Would you prefer they rush a call or drop it to start their break on time?

- Dan Best, Service Canada
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9/22/2008
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We define schedule adherence as the percentage of time an agent "adhered" to the scheduled break/lunch.

Taking the following example:

1st break schedule 10:00 am taken at 10:06 am
Lunch break schedule 12:30 pm taken at 12:35 pm
2nd break schedule 3:15 pm taken at 3:10 pm

1st break out of adherence: 6 minutes
Lunch break out of adherence: 5 minutes
2nd break out of adherence: 5 minutes
Total minutes out of adherence: 16 minutes

Total login time = 8 hours

100% minus (16 minutes divide by 480 minutes) = 97% schedule adherence

Target: 85% schedule adherence - we would only expect agents to adhere 85% of the time their scheduled breaks and lunch to allow for extra long calls. The calculation we use is also "forgiving" in that we don't factor in the minutes lost if the agent returns from break/lunch before or after the scheduled time they are expected back on the phones.

- Annie Perez
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12/29/2008
Guest
We have talked about planned time on the phone, but how about the unplanned activities? They need to be plugged in too -- e.g., system downtime, unplanned meetings, etc. My view is that the adherence should be calculated this way:

{(AHT*# of calls taken)+unplanned activity}/ scheduled time.

This gives a true representation of schedule adherence. The agent cannot be penalised for system issues, etc.

- Arvind Harinarayan
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