Virtual & Regional Networking Groups

Our professional community is a unique, safe place to meet and share best practice. Join one of our free member networking events to discuss your challenges and explore new ideas with like-minded professionals. If you are not yet a member, you are welcome too. Please book ahead, as space is limited and they can fill up fast.

Book the virtual events listed below or contact us if you would like an event near you once travel restrictions are lifted. We have recently held events in Ireland, Scotland, NE and NW England, Yorkshire, London and the Midlands.


Managing Assumptions

Understand the need for everyone to realise the importance of managing your assumptions and how targets can drive behaviour

 - Consider the importance of assumptions in your models
 - Ensure understanding of the impact of variances through the day and between people
 - Build your stakeholder engagement

Intro to the Planning Cycle

Date TBC

Learn the role planning plays in implementing your strategic objectives.  Understand the importance of your role and how you can help others.
 - Understand how the strategic objective is implemented into a forecasting, scheduling and real-time plan.
 - Learn about the importance of effective data checkpoints, change governance and hand-overs 
 - Play apart in driving continuous improvement and become the nerve-centre of the business

1-Day Telling A Story With Numbers Workshop

Date TBC

This one-day training workshop is the opportunity for you to discuss the benefits and implications of different approaches and learn about the critical factors to consider. Use this course to help you determine what approach to develop in your own operation.

  • Be able to display complex data in a simple way
  • Have techniques for emotional engagement
  • Have a clear engagement strategy

1-Day Stakeholder Engagement and Communication

Date TBC

Learn how to create your own stakeholder map and communication plan, teaching you basic influencing skills to help you succeed. After this course, you will;

  • Understand how to identify stakeholders and use a mapping tool
  • Create a communication plan and engagement strategies for stakeholders
  • Be able to deploy simple influencing skills at work

Virtual Networking Group for Planning

9th December, 10:00 - 11:30

This group will discuss current hot-topics as well as ideas to engage and influence stakeholders.

Virtual Networking Group for Asynchronous Messaging

10th December, 14:00 - 15:30

More and more of us are using asynchronous messaging to contact our customers. This is the chance to network and learn from fellow professionals in our virtual group. The small group discussions include the issues raised by members. 

Planning Workforce Strategies, Part 2

17th December, 09:30-11:30

Building from the previous networking group, this discussion will focus on supporting technology and the change in performance and culture. How do existing technologies support the new way of working and what other option are available? How has the culture changed, and is this by accident or design?

Best Practice in Planning Assisted Learning Pathway

W/C 1st March 2021, Virtual Learning

Learn how to apply the whole planning cycle, from capacity to scheduling & real-time, with the chance to explore further your role and where it fits in.

After this course, you will;

 - See how each planning stage impacts others
 - Explore the importance of handoffs and the data journey
 - Understand the importance of shrinkage and forecasting in maintaining an effective plan

Capacity Planning, Forecasting & Budgets Assisted Learning Pathway

W/C 1st March 2021, Virtual Learning

This course gives you knowledge to support you in your role and overcome the obstacles you face, to help you create a culture of data-driven decision making.

After this course, you will understand;

 - The key numbers in a capacity plan & how to explain them
 - How plans & forecasts flows from strategy & budgets through the entire planning cycle
 - Managing data to ensure a single version of the truth

Scheduling & Wellness: Managing Flexibility Assisted Learning Pathway

W/C 1st March 2021, Virtual Learning

Learn about lifestyle and wellness options that help balance people with business needs and explore the volatility of your operations’ workload.

After this course, you will understand;

 - How to analyse your flexibility requirements and opportunities
 - What options are available to improve your coverage while supporting wellness & lifestyle
 - How to develop a flexibility strategy that is a corporate asset

Operational Readiness & Effectiveness Assisted Learning Pathway

W/C 1st March, Virtual Learning

Learn how to determine the optimal approach and build an operational playbook, in order to improve your Real-Time function and tactical planning framework.

After this course, you will understand;

 - The role of Real-Time and how to add most value as analysts
 - The predictability/impact of events. How to set effective triggers and actions
 - How to analyse your flexibility demands and manage shrinkage

Planning & Insight in the Back Office Assisted Learning Pathway

w/c 1st March 2021, Virtual Kickoff

Learn how to apply the whole planning cycle, from capacity to scheduling & real time, with the chance to explore further your role and where it fits in.

After this session, you will understand;

 - The key elements of capacity plans and backlog management
 - How to set up effective data, reporting & comms plans
 - Crucial elements of a good plan and their impacts, including shrinkage, models & forecasting

Building and optimising Real-time RAG Models

Hosted on 10th March 2020 by David Preece

Drive decisions and continuous improvement by building effective RAG status trigger for actions, which engage the operation and improve performance. This module follows the “Using RAG models to take action”.

- Learn how to set appropriate thresholds for in-day reporting
- Understand different ways of engaging the operation
- Create a learning mechanism to drive continuous improvement

Free Webinar - 2020 Vision: Crystallising your knowledge Launch

Hosted on 27th April 2020 by Phil Anderson and Paul Smedley

2020 is The Forum’s 20th year and this year we want to look back on our first 20-years and think ahead for the next 20-years. Our vision, back in 2000, was and remains to raise standards in customer operations helping to set standards across Planning, Insight and Quality. Now, having established communities of best practice we can continue to raise standards and prepare for the future.

This year’s theme refers to the clarity and sharpness of vision required to purposely move forward towards your targets, goals and dreams. Whilst recognising the benefit of our fluid thinking over the past 20-years to crystallise our knowledge of best practice and standards.

 - “Purpose, Learning and Self-Awareness” Keynote from The Forum’s Phil Anderson
 - 2020 Best Practice Guide launch and chapter review
 - 2020 Best Practice Programme – how to get involved

Planning & Insight in Field & Branch Operations

Next Date TBC

Learn how to apply the whole planning cycle, from capacity to scheduling & real-time, with the chance to explore further your role and where it fits in.

After this session, you will understand;

 - The key drivers of performance and how to explain them
 - How to set up effective data, reporting & comms plans
 - Crucial elements of a good plan and their impacts, including shrinkage, models & forecasting

Redefining the role and responsibility of Planning; Creating the right team to deliver value

Regenerating, rejuvenating or just reviewing your role and responsibilities is a great way to continuously improve. 2020 has been a year to rethink and reflect on how we used to do things, how we need to respond now and to consider what the future could bring. There may have always been problems which have never been addressed, and the response to handling COVID-19 has exacerbated the problems; you may be under difficult cost challenges and need to adapt; or, you want to stay ahead of the game and look for new opportunities. It doesn’t matter why, what does matter is that you are willing to challenge your current state and think about positive change. Redefining the Planning team is a healthy way of re-engaging with stakeholders and the wider business, so everyone is clear on their role and responsibility.

About us

As an independent association established since 2000, we offer a trusted space for professionals in contact centre, field service, back office or retail operation. Benchmark against the best in class and learn from innovators and pioneers.

Learning Academy

On-demand modules

We have a wide range of virtual modules that you can view at your own pace.

Covid-19 Series

You have a community of support at The Forum. See the series of free webinars to help you through this unusual situation.

Conferences

National Conferences 2020
30th Nov to 10th Dec
Annual conferences dedicated to the needs of their communities.

Customer Strategy & Planning 2020
Catch up on the highlights
Learn first-hand from practitioners and business leaders who are delivering successful change.

Get in touch
The Forum,
67 Europa Business Park,
Birdhall Lane,
Stockport, SK3 0XA

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