Photo: ”Encore520_call_center_man_standing_22AUG14” by plantronicsgermany / CC BY-ND.

Managing an IT Operation in terms of team capacity seems to be pretty easy but is not as it looks like. It’s not a simple coordination on scheduling working hours just to ensure Service coverage. Quite the opposite, it’s much more than that.

Thinking about on when will be the best approach to have this done, I’ll emphasize in two main milestones: contract negotiation and during operative support.

Basically, I highlight these two aspects because in my opinion, the contract negotiation refers to have a clear understanding about the business, operation, SLAs and a few more which I’ll describe further on. And when I said operative support, means that the responsible of the operation, should perform a continuous monitoring about all useful information in order to analyze, decide and take preventive actions in order to not impact the service. This information could be daily/weekly/monthly reports, trends, etc.

Below I’ll give a brief summary of all the main aspects we should consider:

Service Scope

This is one of the most important. It’s really important to understand which will be the core hour, as normally, the majority of the customers will contact the operation in that hours range. Also, it’d be very helpful to have an estimate on how many contacts we’ll receive during the whole week.

With this information, you will be able to coordinate and schedule the operation in terms of how many agents the service will need, level 1 support, level 2, etc.

Backup Team

Besides we could have a full service coverage, no less important that we can plan to have a backup team for massive events and call overflow.

Service Reports

As said previously, during the operation, the SM should take advantage on daily, weekly and monthly reports. This information, analyzed in a proper way, could anticipate any issue within the operation and the responsible will be able to take decisions and preventive actions.

There are plenty reports and programs that could monitor in real time different KPIs (key performance indicators), such as average time, talking time, etc, and this information will help to analyze if, for example, we have the correct number of agents in core hour or if we have to re-schedule the team. This is directly related to capacity and the ability to handle our operation.

SLAs (Service Level Agreement)

This has no direct relation with the capacity, but the topics mentioned above should take into consideration to accomplish them, guarantying not interruption in the service.