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How and why you should implement a Shared Service style study on Operational Utilisation.


Operational models are more often than not designed with quality service delivery in mind without a truly detailed look at efficiency or potential under utilisation. Through a focus on service delivery is extremely important, this often leads to significant pockets of under utilisation and very often the misconception of how much work can and should be completed.

As a planner you have the skill set in which you could potentially uncover those gems of underused FTE, leading to improvements within the company.

The Idea

To use resource planning best practice across operational delivery operations to understand your capabilities more fully. 

Use the lessons learned from your Shared Service or Contact Centre work with the aim to implement, a robust, accurate resource utilisation study. In order to gain operational efficiencies without compromising the quality of service delivery.

Look at historical profiles and determine forecasting techniques and put your planning hat on and consider how this would look in a true Capacity plan.

Key features of the approach

  • Bringing Shared Services methodology to Operations to help improve visibility and granular efficiencies.

  • Gain visibility of actual resource requirements and pinpoint inefficiencies by building a true Capacity Plan or Resource Model based on times taken etc and not a service delivery model and financials.

  • Focus on basic principles of Shrinkage, Conformance and potential granularity in Utilisation

  • To spread the principle of detailed yet flexible end-to-end planning to identify potential savings through a greater understanding of capacity.


Application of a standardised methodology to assess operational staff utilisation - for example, side by side observations. It is important to remember that as a planner you are looking for utilisation and shrinkage not the quality of work.

  • Application of a short term Contact Centre style based adherence monitoring - through telephony means, clocking in & out etc.

  • Speak to all levels of staff, to find out how long activities last and then benchmark against your own findings. (expect some surprises here!)

  • See and hear all! - if you are doing observations also monitor other working activities, phone use, away from working environment, unplanned meetings etc.

Outcomes and Benefits

By the end of your study, you should have more than enough data to create a basic Capacity Model. At the very least this model will give Operations a far better idea of where time is being spent and even potentially what gains are to be made.

Potential Benefits

  1. Potential to increase capacity within existing FTE.Ability to use methodologies to identify over and understaffing by pots of work.

  2. Using 'smarter' capacities to achieve a greater understanding of future work and ultimately reduce overall FTE need.

  3. Future-proofing work by installing these methodologies so as to make delivery structure changes easier to understand from a resourcing perspective.

  4. Do not be afraid to suggest what appears as obvious solutions to any issues you may have identified.

  5. Potential quick wins if there are obvious bottlenecks when looking at your Capacity Plan.

  6. Experience for yourself and your organisation with very minimal investment.

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