National Planning Conference 2021

See details about each session at the Planning Conference below.

Check out the outline of our other conference agendas | Planning | Insight & Quality | Community Connection |

Our 2021 National Planning Conference offers a community focus of thought leadership and discussion designed specifically for Planning Professionals.

Unlocking Opportunities - Monday 1st November, 09:30

In this powerful conference opening keynote, Phil Anderson and Dave Vernon, Directors at The Forum, ask: how has our thinking changed during 2021? They explore the ever-changing business environment and different approaches being taken to drive forward with improvement. Be inspired and open up your minds for the conference week ahead.

Real-time Keynote - Monday 1st November, 10:30

An interview with Paddy Coleman, founder and CEO of QStory, Paddy will be sharing his journey into planning and driving innovation with Real-Time automation. Learn how he identified opportunities, dealt with blockages and short terms failures, and his view on future industry trends and what the world of Customer Contact will look like in 10 years.

QStory Technology Showcase - Monday 1st November, 12:30

QStory's David Preece talks about why Agility is the only defence your Contact Centre has against volatility and why Intraday Automation is the key to achieving it.

Agent Wellbeing and Mental Health Keynote - Monday 1st November, 13:15

The role of the agent has changed forever. The exponential growth and explosion of automation and self-service technology is helping organisations reach their market in the way their customers want to engage. But what impact is this having on our agents? Without the simple, repetitive tasks that are now handled by self-service applications, agents are dealing with more complex, emotional and urgent interactions than ever before – the average handling time of these interactions are increasing too. Combine this with remote working initiatives imposed by the global pandemic which may be making our agents feel isolated, we have created the perfect storm. A storm where mental health issues are on the rise.

Operationalising Technology Keynote - Monday 1st November, 14:15

Understanding and changing the business mindset to implement and operationalise technology, engaging key stakeholders and achieving results. This keynote presentation will explore the common disconnect between strategic change and day-to-day operations. Looking at the value of business cases and effective tracking, along with stakeholder engagement.

Optimising Technology for Real-Time Workshop - Monday 1st November, 15:15

Are you fully utilising your current technology stack for real-time and operational planning & performance? Understand how to drive value for customers and colleagues to become more effective and identify further value and new opportunities (and not just efficiency savings). This workshop will help you to unlock opportunities, with practical takeaways and long-term considerations.

  • Understand how to monitor and track value to support business cases.
  • Review your current technology platforms to identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • Discuss different approaches to real-time management and engagement.

Insight Keynote - Tuesday 2nd November, 09:30

How do we shape the future as an analyst, not just explain the past? Explore the latest ideas and developments from the past year and the pandemic. Take the chance to ask your own questions of our speakers and expert panel.

  • Understand from our specialists and leaders at The Forum how forward-thinking teams are developing the role of insight.
  • Gain insight from our expert panel of members on how to build a data-led culture that drives practical improvement.
  • Consider where we can repurpose our time and what new systems or skillsets we need to evolve.

Predictive Analysis Workshop - Tuesday 2nd November, 10:30

Release the potential of our data and insight, by exploring how to use the techniques we have developed for forecasting or reporting to shape the future. We will consider how to apply these techniques to answer key questions, with the chance to talk together in small groups. This interactive workshop will help you to:

  • Understand better what customer service will look like in five years’ time, whether we follow existing trends or take the lead in shaping it.
  • Learn from experienced practitioners and other members on where we might ‘take control’ for forward thinking 
  • Take away practical ideas on how we can shape the future as forecasters or analysts

Calabrio Technology Showcase - Tuesday 2nd November, 12:30: The potential to work more flexible shift patterns and in remote locations has thrown resource planning into a new era.

The migration to homeworking raised some key challenges for those responsible for planning resources in the contact centre. With the move back into the office, hybrid working is becoming main stream and contact centre leaders are working through how to make it work most effectively for both the organisation and colleagues. New opportunities have surfaced that will offer employees greater choice, whilst organisations look at the best approaches to maximise productivity and meet customer demand.
We are delighted that Ed Creasy will be bringing his near 30-year career in customer experience to lead this highly interactive session. With a team of experts in the session, we will explore what best practice could look like for your operation, sharing real life examples and giving you a chance to ask questions, raise the challenges you’re facing and share ideas in to how to optimise the workforce.

NICE Technology Showcase - Tuesday 2nd November, 13:15: Planning for Digital

We are no longer in control, the consumer is. In the past businesses controlled when and how a customer could engage with the operation. The introduction of multiple social media platforms and messaging services, and their adoption, means contact centres are having to respond. Smaller start ups are entering the market and leveraging these platforms further complicating the completive landscape. WFM as a discipline needs to embrace this change and provide planning that accurately meets staffing requirements and ultimately delivers a consistent customer experience across every channel. 

In this session, Graeme Gabriel and David Kay share practical top tips, tactical insight and strategic vision for digital planning, and how NICE’s Digital Management capability addresses these challenges.

Investing in People Keynote - Tuesday 2nd November, 14:15

Hear from Paul Milloy (Intradiem) & Mark Brown (Virgin Media) on the challenges currently faced by contact centre operations and planning teams from remote & hybrid working, team engagement & the employee lifecycle, right through to performance support & delivery. Mark & Paul will explain why supporting and developing team members, alongside targeted investment in technology to simplify, automate and streamline activities, is key to delivering the customer service of the future.

Hybrid Working at Scale Workshop - Tuesday 2nd November, 15:15

Focus on working patterns and best practice approach for shift reviews. This workshop will discuss the improvement framework for workforce strategies. There will be a live panel Q&A along with group discussions, so you can:

  • Learn how to conduct a shift review looking at the future, not the past.
  • Hear practical examples of effective working patterns.
  • Discuss different approaches and ideas, along with pitfalls to avoid.

Customer Keynote - Wednesday 3rd November, 09:30

How do we transform customer experience? Explore how we can truly understand customer needs and use it to deliver the customer desired outcomes. Our inspirational speaker is David Leather, Director of Transformation at BT, EE and Plusnet Customer Care. He will talk about how they drove EE to the top of the service table, improving both quality and cost base at the same time and used this method to repeat the transformation in BT. He will share practical experience and brilliant insight into how we can take our customer needs and drive improvement from there, and how this is truly a team game if you’re going to win. This session will be of value to any kind of analyst or manager as well as Take time to set yourself up to really focus on what matters. 

Customer Outcomes Workshop - Wednesday 3rd November, 10:30

Compare insight on what customers feel, eg surveys/QA with what they do after (outcomes). Every measure opens a window, but no single window shows everything. How do we spot the gaps in insight in our organisation and stitch the different perspectives together into a joined-up story that drives the right outcomes?

This workshop follows the opening keynote and is relevant to anybody who uses insight to improve customer service, whether you are in a customer experience, quality, insight, or management role. This interactive workshop will help you link insight to outcomes and understand how to capture:

  • What are your customers saying?
  • What do they want and feel?
  • What do customers then do, the outcomes?

Sensée Technology ShowcaseWednesday 3rd November, 12:30: Optimising Communications, Training and Scheduling in a Hybrid World 

A panel discussion on the tools and processes required to deliver flexible work-from-home options for employees, as well as high productivity, cost savings and great CX.  The panel will feature Sensée founder and CEO/CIO of Cloudworks, Steve Mosser; and Andy Springall, Head of Sales & Service at Utility Warehouse.

Machine Learning Showcase - Wednesday 3rd November, 13:15

Get started on Machine Learning with a practical introduction for analysts of every kind, by one of our award-winning members. David Bruce, winner of a Forum Hero Award, and a colleague from the award-winning team at Openreach builds on practical examples of their award-winning work to help you understand how to get started on your Machine Learning journey, identify the skills you will need to develop and see examples of the benefits you can expect.

Intradiem Technology Showcase - Wednesday 3rd November, 14:15: The evolution of workforce management with Intelligent Automation from Intradiem

Hear from Matt Rumins (Intradiem) & Kate Dent (AXA) on the reasons why workforce management continues to evolve and see them showcase why the capabilities that are provided through Intradiem’s Intelligent Automation solution is allowing organisations to deliver that evolution, by exploiting real time data, simplifying, automating, and streamlining activities, which in turn is changing role of planning teams and empowering the role of the Team leader.

Unlocking Automation Workshop - Wednesday 3rd November, 15:15

Take time to explore how automation can help you, from automating reporting to process robotics, and help you take the next step on your own automation journey. This interactive workshop will help you to:

  • Understand the opportunities for automation in your role/organisation and the benefits this can drive.
  • Learn from experienced practitioners about three different approaches and levels of automation, such as Excel, PowerBI, Power Automate in MS Teams and specialist robotics systems.
  • Take away practical ideas to move forward on the next steps in your automation journey

End-to-end Planning Keynote - Thursday 4th November, 09:30

Understand different approaches of joining up the end-to-end customer journey and employee lifecycle with a strategic plan. Hear from award winning and leading organisations who each describe their approach to creating an end-to-end plan and operating model.

Capacity Planning - Thursday 4th November, 10:30

What does best practice look like for Capacity Planning? This workshop will explore the fundamentals of Capacity Planning along with the new considerations for digital channels and hybrid working operating models. Hear from leading examples from across our member community then discuss how you can improve your current Capacity Planning models.

Verint Technology Showcase - Thursday 4th November, 10:30: How does Knowledge Management help close the Engagement Capacity Gap? 

Learn how Verint’s clients adopted Verint KM to close the gap between ever increasing customer interactions, channels, and expectations, with the same or reducing resource levels, by:

  • Delivering a scalable, cost-effective solution to ensure every question can be answered correctly and compliantly – whether customers are in self-service mode, or engaging with an agent.
  • Reducing cost by lowering call handling time and time to competence. 
  • Supporting agents in finding the best guidance in less time, with less effort, leaving them more time to engage with customers, increasing first-time resolution.
  • Simplifying the creation and publication of knowledge, ensuring up-to-date content is published quickly while mitigating risk.
  • Decreasing escalations and powering increased customer satisfaction scores

Workforce Strategy Keynote - Thursday 4th November, 13:15

Senior members share how they have introduced temporary and possible long-term solutions to proactively evolve new ways of working. Over the past 18 months many new approaches have been tested but which will be looked back on as “good contingency” and short-term fixes? Hear from different members who share their journey and describe their plans for the future.

Quality Management: Calibration Workshop - Thursday 4th November 15:15
How do we focus on what matters most? This interactive workshop explores new ways to approach consistency in Quality, by prioritising value, and defining what good looks like. You will: 

  • Learn more about how others calibrate or level  
  • Focus on the key pitfalls to avoid and why these matter 
  • Understand how to calibrate to drive improvement in behaviour, customer outcomes and process/systems.  

Conference Endnote - Friday 5th November, 09:30

Learn how to invest your time wisely to help you spend time on the things that matter most. Doing something different on a daily basis. Phil Anderson demonstrates some great principles to apply and habits to build, working with a panel of members to showcase how people put these into practice. 

Persuasive Presentations Workshop - Friday 5th November, 10:30

End your conference week with this interactive workshop to take your storytelling to the next level. Take away practical top tips and member examples of how to bring to life your data and reports. Led by Phil Anderson and Ian Robertson at The Forum.

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National Conferences 2021
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