Are you working this week? Test your staffing model

While some of us are enjoying warmer climes (guilty) or stuffing ourselves, you are working. Thank you for taking care of business for us.

It’s pretty quiet this week in most support organizations, so this is a great opportunity to take care of important, but never urgent tasks. Exhibit A: the staffing model. When was the last time you worked on yours? If it’s more than a few months, take a moment to reacquaint yourself with this central tool and ask yourselves these 5 questions:

  • Do you have a quantitative support model based on customer/case load?
  • Have you validated it against recent metrics (last quarter’s)?
  • Do you properly forecast headcount by role (e.g. enterprise CSM vs. SMB CSM or support engineer for product line A vs. product line B) and not by specific assignment (e.g. first shift of product X vs. first shift of product Y)? Headcount planning for tiny teams is doomed to errors, and is also a lot of work.
  • Are you actually operating close to your model, including open reqs? If not, the model is a headcount wish, not a headcount model!
  • Is the model simple enough to be understood, and ideally driven by the average line manager? Complicated models dilute adoption, and adoption drives improvements.

Go ahead, take a few hours to improve your model and to ensure that you are collecting the essential metrics to drive it: customer base numbers, productivity, time on task. It’s really not that hard!

(If you’d rather not start from scratch, see here.)

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