Learning Curve | Productivity Glide-path

In this article, we will learn in detail about Average Handle Time (AHT) or Average Process Time (APT).

Before we proceed, request you to please go through the below link for a small re-cap:


During the course of our last blog on "Training", there was visibility on how the employee is hired and trained to understand the project/process. Let's continue the journey from here:

Once the employee is trained, they are assisted by trainers or subject matter experts (SMEs) initially to overcome any challenges while working on live tasks. This process is called On-Job-Training (OJT) or nesting.

While an employee is being hand-held, the time taken by an employee to complete a task here is much slower than the employees who are already working independently.

This phase in an employees' journey is known as "Learning Curve". During this phase, the employee utilizes time to understand every step involved to accomplish a task successfully; They may be introduced to different scenarios and criteria to perform a specific task which will enhance their ability to perform work independently.

Now, the question arises:

How do we assess learning curve impact into our Workforce Planning?

The learning curve impact is directed on the time taken to complete a particular task successfully. New employee will take slightly longer time than the employees experienced in the same project/process. Hence, WFM team accounts the change in productivity into Resource Planning.

Below is the approach a WFM employee can follow to infer learning curve impact into resource planning:

Learning curve is induced directly to Average Handle Time or Average Process Time or Productivity. This is known as productivity glide-path.

Let's understand this with an example:

ABC Company has hired 10 employees due to shortage in headcount for sales process. This process is outbound wherein tenured employee complete a call in approximately 10 mins (600 secs).

While these employees are new and are in process to get accustomed to call flow and product details, they eventually are on a higher handle time.

Initially in week 1, these employees took on an average 14 mins to close a call

Week 2 followed employees being more familiar with products and could close the call in average 13 mins

Week 3, the employees could close the call in 12 mins

Week 4, the employees took 11 mins

Finally, in Week 5 these employees were now adhering to the Average handle time of tenured employees and could close the call in 10 mins

WFM employees assess these changes week on week to incubate the impact into future capacity:

Mathematically, this is how the variance is applied:

Week 1 = (14mins / 10mins) X 100% = 140%

Week 2 = (13mins/ 10mins) X 100% = 130%

Week 3 = (12mins / 10mins) X 100% = 120%

Week 4 = (11mins / 10mins) X 100% = 110%

Week 5 onwards = 100%

A employee attains steady state once he achieves 100% target on the productivity scale.

This approach ensures a new employee is given an advantage to learn the process-flow at ease and then perform without impacting business.

Please feel free to share your views/insights in the comments section below,

Happy Learning!

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