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  • Writer's pictureTesfahun Tegene Boshe

How many heads do you really need?

We discussed in other blogs that the FTE requirement should be analyzed at low enough granularity to capture the variation of volume across different intervals. This is because it is almost certain that the volume changes across days and across hours of the day. Calculating the FTE requirement at lower intervals such as 1-hour or 30-minutes helps capture the variations appropriately.

Given that your FTE requirement curve is not a straight line, to properly staff such a support team, you will need to create shift formats which align with the requirement line of course considering several schedule assumptions. Some of them are listed below:

1. Is the workforce a contractual (full-time, only part-time, and partially part-time) or Gig economy?

Full-time employees have 32 or 40 weekly contractual hours requirement. Part-time employment carries fewer hours per week than full-time. Part-time employees often have rotating shifts. The shift start and end can sometimes be a part of the contract discussions but are mostly left for the workforce management team to decide.

To the contrary, Gig economy workforce does not have any contractual hourly duty but operates flexibly providing the service through digital platforms. Another term for gig economy workforce can be Independent contractors. Businesses find the best fitting contractors through different freelancing platforms belonging to the same business or another. Companies like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb have similar arrangements. The contractors sign up for the available hours based on their pre-approved skills.

2. Whether shift rotation is possible

3. Whether shift length can change across days

4. Whether there are maximum and/or minimum contractual hours requirement

Next, we will see few examples of generating schedule shells for various scenarios using RWFM. RWFM is a comprehensive R package developed to cater to the workforce management and call center analytics requirements. One of the core functionalities of RWFM is its ability to determine the optimal number of agents (headcount, not just the per-interval FTEs) to meet business objectives while minimizing costs.

You will need at least the basic level of experience with R programming language to effectively follow these examples. Here is a short tutorial to R if you wish to learn.

Install from GitHub Repository

Schedule Generation

Example 1: for a full-time staff with 5X8-hour weekly shifts targeting 80% schedule efficiency. Also note that the capacity plan output is hourly FTE requirement for 1 week.

B. For a part-time and full-time staff

C. For a Gig-Economy type workforce


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