Effective 121 Scheduling

Topic Views - 2007

We schedule for in excess of 3000 agents over multiple sites looking after multiple call types.

Every agent is elibible for 1hr a month 121 with their teamleader and we are currently looking at ways to improve and streamline this process.

We currently issue an excel document to each site that the teamleader fills in outlining when they want the 121 slot booking for their agent.

Once complete this is sent back to us in planning where we then upload the details direct into our WFM tool.

We currently have issues from both planners and teamleaders regarding this process as the teamleaders are saying the process at their end is time consuming as they have to check their agents availability in the WFM tool and then complete the sheet (15 agents to a team. The Planners have issues at our end as when the 121's are imported the timeslot selected often clashes with breaks etc... which means there is a lot of manual intervention to rectify the error.

Does anyone know of or utilise a more effective/efficient way of planning 121's for their agents that they could outline?

Any help or suggestions are hugely appreciated.

Workforce Manager

SAB Ltd South Africa

Hi there Fatburt

Same issues here. I worked out a manual time grid based on the quietest time of the month/week/day/intraday etc.

Each team leader updates the time grid with a specific agents name in a central folder

The workforce co-ordinator accesses the central folder then inputs the 121's on the schedule by precoding in advance.

Break optimising using the WFM tool sorts out any break/121 clashes before the schedule is published to the agents

Personally, I cannot wait for my WFM tool to be up and running as I intend to use the tool to input the monthly 121 criteria into my break scheduling template and I expect the schedules to generate the best 121 times automatically

Team Lead


Hi Fatburt,

I'm guessing you dont have a scheduling tool? For the number of agents you are dealing with i suspect this is an investment worth looking into. The contact centre where I work have just moved to EWFM / Aspect Applications. In addition to arranging the agent schedules this also allows PEP's or 121-s to be scheduled, training, meetings and so on. I am lucky as we have a workforce management team that work with the tool. I'm sure they are costly but the potential benefits (not least reduced stress and frustration) may counter that cost. I am sure there are many scheduling tools out there, Excel based scheduling is fine for a small team with fairly standard 9 to 5 hours covering only one line - move beyond that and I personally feel a scheduling tool is the best option. It wil also 'learn' once it builds up call flow history - which excel probably cant do.


Scintella Solutions

Hello FatBurt,

I think that the best way to improve the process is for you to take charge of it. You are the one who has information at hand about when agents are working, when their lunch / break schedules are, and most importantly, when there is availability to allow agents off the phone without affecting your service levels. You may want to think building some of this availability into your schedule design process: by increasing your shrinkage allowance during parts of the day when most agents are scheduled you can build up some overstaffing; the wfm tool will schedule more staff than is strictly necessary for the anticipated workloads. This usually works out well, also because team leader schedules tend not to be totally in line with the agent resource distribution, they tend to bunch up around peak times.

Planning Analyst

Hi Fatburt,

eWFM can plan the 1-2-1 for you if you have an Intra day Performance in place. We work with eWFM and in order to plan our 1-2-1 we schedule our teams according to the Intra day Performance, normally we schedule 5 weeks in advance. Once this is done we use the Official Segment worksheet, and the Generate projects tool. You can configure the tool to give you minimum and maximum one meeting per agent, and it will do so by looking at the most appropriate times, always looking at the segment entry rules so it does not clash with breaks, and at the intra day performance so it finds the quietest times of the day. You will always find that in order to schedule everyone there will be a violation of the minimum staffing rule, as unless you are overstaffed you will never have enough agent hours to have all the meetings you need to have. But it works. Then you can extract the meetings and plan your team leaders accordingly.

How to optimize brea...
How to optimize break of 2 different locations on same data from ewfm


Call Centre Helper

Contact Aspect
Hi Nina

I suggest that you contact Aspect - they should be able to answer your query.

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