Workforce Management Glossary


Term  Description
Agent Person who handles inbound interactions in the Contact Center. These interactions can be phone calls, email, or chat conversations.
AHT Average handle time, includes after-call work.
Business Hours Hours the contact center is open. Business hours may vary for individual teams and/or queues.
CC Contact Center.
Channel The way the customers bring work into the contact center. Examples of specific channels include Inbound Phone, Email, and Chat.
Combined Queues  When a user selects multiple queues to get total statistics. Alternative terms are aggregated or grouped.
CVO Contact volume offered.
Deferred Interaction Interaction that does not require immediate action from the Agent, allowing it to be deferred to a later period, e.g., email.
Draft Schedule  A schedule that isn't available to employees.
Edition Versioned set of configuration data, forecasts, and schedules. Alternative terms are Scenario or Instance.
Event Block of time that is on the schedule.
Event Type Type of work that people are scheduled to do. Examples of specific event types include Calls, Emails, Break, Lunch, Meeting, and Vacation.
FTE Full Time Equivalent. The unit is a number of people (two part-timers who work 20 hours are equivalent to one full-timer who works 40 hours).
First Day of Week The day on which the official workweek begins.
Flexible Meeting An event attended by multiple people that can be optimized to different times.
Forecasted Statistics that represent forecasted data.
History Statistics that represent past data.
Immediate Interaction Interaction that requires immediate action from the Agent, e.g., call, chat.
Interaction Individual unit of work, e.g., call, or email.
KPI Key Performance Indicator.
Occupancy Percentage of time agents spend handling incoming contacts against the available or idle time.
Patience An estimate of the amount of time a customer is willing to wait when the ring group is not meeting the Service Level.
Pay Status Indicator for whether or how an employee is paid for an event. Paid events are accounted for total shift length. Unpaid events are not accounted for total shift length.
Predicted, Projected Statistics that represent future projections.
Predicted Staffing Aggregated predicted contribution of agents to each of their queues, based on their schedules and the results of the simulation.
Queue Grouping of work, representing agents with a certain set of skills that are able to perform certain tasks. Called Ring Group on the Talkdesk contact center platform, and a wide variety of terms are used in the industry, e.g., skill, call type, work type.
Released Schedule A schedule available to Agents. Some WFM tools might refer to this as a published schedule, official schedule.
Request A schedule change request performed by an Agent, that is to be reviewed by the Supervisor.
Required  Statistics that represent desired goals.
Required Staffing Amount of staff needed in each interval to support the forecasted workload and achieve the specified service objective.
Resource Planner The person responsible for planning the contact center scheduling.
Schedule Trade or Shift Trade When employees exchange their shifts.
Scheduling Rule Rule that controls how an Agent is scheduled by WFM.
Scenario All the information required for scheduling. This includes agents and their scheduling rules, account info such as account time zone and business hours, and team info such as the team’s time zone.
Service Objective The goal that drives the required staffing. Examples of possible objectives include average speed of answer and service level percentage (x% of interactions handled within a time threshold).
SG Skill Group. A skill is a specific ability an agent has that pertains to a specific portion of the CC’s business. A skill group is a collection of agents who all have the same set of skills.
SGW Skill Group Weight. A measure of how much effect a multi-skilled agent has on one queue vs another when a shift is placed on the schedule for that agent.
Shift Template Types of shifts an agent can work.
Shrinkage Time lost from the schedule. Can also be referred to as overhead.
Summary When a user views interval statistics totaled across a longer time period,e.g., Daily summary, Weekly summary.
Supervisor Person overseeing the Agents.
Team Grouping of people, based on the Team feature on the Talkdesk contact center platform.
Time Off Time taken to be off work, such as vacation, sick leave, or personal time.
WFM Workforce Management.

WFM Personas

Persona Description
Agent Handles a variety of inbound calls, email and chat.
Supervisor Supervises one or more teams on the Contact Center. Schedules meetings, monitors intraday, and takes action when required to maintain defined service goals. Approves or denies agents’ requests.
Resource Planner Using WFM, plans the Contact Center staffing in order to ensure proper staffing and attain the desired service goals. Adjusts forecasts, manages agents’ schedules, approves or denies agents’ requests.
Talkdesk System Admin Administers WFM including creating accounts, managing users’ roles and permissions.

WFM Metrics and Time Series


WFM processes the following metrics:

Acronym Metric Unit Time Aggregation / Space Aggregation Description
CVO Contact Volume Offered Quantity Sum Contacts expected to arrive in the specified interval.
AHT Average Handle Time Seconds Weighted average with Contact Volume Offered (CVO) as weights. The average amount of time expected to handle a contact. Note: This typically includes talk time, hold time and after call work for inbound voice media.
AWT Average Wait Time Seconds Weighted average with Contact Volume Offered (CVO) as weights. The average amount of time customers wait to have their contact handled.
ATA Average Time to Abandon Seconds Weighted average with Contact Volume Offered (CVO) as weights The average amount of time contacts wait in queue prior to abandoning. Note: During simulation, once a call has waited for the configured patience value, it is immediately abandoned. ATA corresponds to the configured Patience value.
AV Abandoned Volume Quantity Sum Contacts that abandon.
SL% Service Level Percentage Percentage Weighted average with Contact Volume Offered (CVO) as weights. The average percent of contacts answered within the service level threshold.
Occ Occupancy Percentage Weighted average with Contact Volume Offered (CVO) as weights. The average percent of an agent's potentially available time spent handling contacts. For inbound voice, this includes after call work.
Staff Staffing Quantity Number of hours / Sum Agent time that supports the workload in achieving the specified service objective, including shrinkage.
Backlog Backlog tickets (for deferred queues) Quantity Max / Sum The total number of contacts accumulated in backlog as of the specified interval.

To learn more about how Talkdesk calculates these metrics, visit our Data Dictionary.

Time Series

Metrics are grouped into Time series. Each time series has a specific role and meaning and is processed differently on WFM. The table below summarizes the existing times series, the metrics available on each time series, and their usage/meaning.

Time Series Metrics  Description
History CVO
Set of metrics pertaining to what really happened in the contact center.


Set of metrics pertaining to what will happen to the contact center in the future. Forecast is calculated by specialized algorithms based on History timeseries.
Required Staff WFM takes the forecasted time series and calculates required staffing (in hours) for the forecasted workload and service goals.
Predicted, Projected SL%
Set of metrics pertaining to what will happen on the contact center in the future. Predicted/Projected is calculated by simulation, considering the forecasted CVO, AHT, and scheduling.
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