Load Balancing the Human Resource

January 19, 2017 | Operational Excellence, Productivity, Workforce Management

load balancing

Many businesses have expanded to multiple administration offices across different locations. This can lead to situations where load balancing the human resource becomes more difficult, and ultimately the workload ends up being unevenly distributed. This can result in some locations becoming stretched whilst others have an easier time, with less work/demand to process.

In agile operations, there are team meetings / stand ups or huddles (depending on what you like to call them) once or twice a day. At these meetings, the team leader can have a report or view of the incoming work, the backlog, and who they have in today.  Often the demand is made up of:

  • Today’s scan and index work loaded early in the day
  • The backlog of work from yesterday
  • A prediction of new work coming in

These meetings should consider the Service Level Agreements because often, work coming in ‘today’ to the back office is not the highest priority, either against the backlog or helping out other teams under pressure.

If a team leader looks at the demand they have, and the resources, and finds that they have more capacity than is required for the day, then they should offer some of the extra capacity out to other team leaders.

Through the workflow optimisation tool OPX, you to assign team members temporarily to other teams – without them moving desk – meaning they get the work allocated from this other team. They can be assigned to several teams at the same time if we want to have ‘prioritised work’ more important than the source of the work for the same person. This allows team members to get away on time, through team work.

Resource sharing for the overall operational performance

Using OPX reports and dashboards, managers above the team leaders can get a real-time view of many of the managerial statistics needed to encourage this behavior including:

  • SLA data per team or per process
  • Capacity available
  • Capacity required to clear the Queues

With a little effort, you can easily create a dashboard that takes into account the Service Level Agreements, the work in the queues, and the AHT (average handling time) to show the capacity required to meet the SLA for the day (and any spare capacity this day per team). This would allow you as the manager to assist in the resource sharing for the benefit of the overall operational performance. Having one team ahead of target and another causing service credits is not an ideal outcome.

Workforce management to ensure load balancing the human resource

OPX can help with identifying where the load is not evenly split across the teams or sites – we think of this as Load Balancing the Human Resource.

OPX tracks what an administrator is doing, from coming in, to leaving. It tracks the backlog of work and the new demands created during the day. It also identifies what skills are required, along with the skills present in the business, to process the work.

So, looking at the demand and the resources allows us to create dashboards and daily (or intra-day) plans for managing the resources in an optimal manner. Looking at the idle times at a team level also allows us to see historic patterns where teams did not have any work to complete (or were being mismanaged).

If you are interested in seeing a demo of OPX in action please send us an email.

(Image courtesy of Joseph Janney Steinmetz/Wikipedia)

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