SERIOUS BUSINESS
Playing serious games to accelerate learning & deliver better outcomes
David Colls - dcolls@thoughtworks....
A BIG CALL CENTRE
How do we re-design a big call centre for better performance?
2
THE GM STRUGGLED
to improve his call centre. Time for changes was running out. He was down to his
last $3. The crowd urged...
4
$3?
Crowd?
Simulator?
What kind of business is this?
CONTEXT
A BIG call centre
200,000 calls per day
10,000 agents
500+ products
24 hours
7 days
5
CONTEXT
A BIG improvement program
New paradigms for:
■  Staff management, and
■  Telephony technology
To better design whic...
APPROACH
Big Bang Launch is Risky!
New design can’t be tested on current systems.
We can build new technology and implemen...
UNRESOLVED QUESTIONS
8
Can we find a
design that
works?
Success of improvement
program at stake!
UNRESOLVED QUESTIONS
9
Can we find a
design that
works?
Maybe games
can help us…
BUSINESS VS GAMEPLAY
10
Goal
Environment
Limited Resources
Moves
Taking Turns
Scoring
Results
More
freedom.
Don’t break
th...
THEORY IN PRACTICE
11
Goal
Environment
Limited Resources
Moves
Taking Turns
Scoring
Results
Build a
simulator
Devise
and p...
VISION FOR SIMULATION
12
Call Arrives Call Classified
Class.
Rules
Call Targeted
Targeting
Rules
Call Queued
Agent With
Ski...
GOAL – TO MINIMISE
ABANDONED CALLS
Abandon = when a caller hangs up before talking to an agent
13
ENVIRONMENT
The state of the world
14
LIMITED RESOURCES
$20 and 4 minutes – later reduced to 2 minutes
15
MOVES
Given the information so far, your choices determine your performance
16
TAKING TURNS
Competitors take it in turns to move, under constraints, with helpful and less-
than-helpful suggestions from...
SCORING
Simulation is run and the crowd waits anxiously for the result.
18
RESULTS
Scores are posted, Top-Gear Style
19
20
“What [the winner] has done is add
agents and implement default
routing, just like [our newest
operation]!”
CONFIDENCE BOOST
21
Can we find a
sufficiently good
design to launch?
The game
produced the
same design as
the real world!
MORE OUTCOMES
22
We have a great
communications and
training resource
Management and
technology change teams,
and other st...
AND THEN WE
CHANGED SOME
MECHANICS AND DID
IT ALL AGAIN
This time with the aim of minimal transfers
23
NEW GOAL,
ENVIRONMENT
AND SCORING
Transferred calls now part of the game
24
NEW RESULTS
New measures of performance yield a new strategy
25
MORE OUTCOMES
26
What we measure will
affect what we design
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
More people played the game
Effective communications about the program
Simulator scaled to
production c...
BUSINESS OUTCOMES
Validation
Focus
Knowledge sharing
Accelerated program
Better launch design
28
NO SIMULATOR?
29
Goal
Environment
Limited Resources
Moves
Taking Turns
Scoring
Results
Simulation
Live systems
A/B tests
U...
THANK YOU
For questions or suggestions:
David Colls
dcolls@thoughtworks.com
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Serious Business: Playing serious games to accelerate learning & deliver better outcomes

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Transcript of "Serious Business: Playing serious games to accelerate learning & deliver better outcomes"

  1. 1. SERIOUS BUSINESS Playing serious games to accelerate learning & deliver better outcomes David Colls - dcolls@thoughtworks.com p l a y i n g g a m e s
  2. 2. A BIG CALL CENTRE How do we re-design a big call centre for better performance? 2
  3. 3. THE GM STRUGGLED to improve his call centre. Time for changes was running out. He was down to his last $3. The crowd urged him to upskill agent Charlie. We ran the simulator. 3
  4. 4. 4 $3? Crowd? Simulator? What kind of business is this?
  5. 5. CONTEXT A BIG call centre 200,000 calls per day 10,000 agents 500+ products 24 hours 7 days 5
  6. 6. CONTEXT A BIG improvement program New paradigms for: ■  Staff management, and ■  Telephony technology To better design which agents get which calls With the aim of continual learning-led performance improvement: ■  Customer satisfaction ■  Cost 6
  7. 7. APPROACH Big Bang Launch is Risky! New design can’t be tested on current systems. We can build new technology and implement new management processes. But, when we switch it on, Can we be sure the design will work? 7
  8. 8. UNRESOLVED QUESTIONS 8 Can we find a design that works? Success of improvement program at stake!
  9. 9. UNRESOLVED QUESTIONS 9 Can we find a design that works? Maybe games can help us…
  10. 10. BUSINESS VS GAMEPLAY 10 Goal Environment Limited Resources Moves Taking Turns Scoring Results More freedom. Don’t break the law! Less freedom. Don’t break the rules! Simplification highlights essential features Simplification conceals necessary complexity
  11. 11. THEORY IN PRACTICE 11 Goal Environment Limited Resources Moves Taking Turns Scoring Results Build a simulator Devise and play a game scenario
  12. 12. VISION FOR SIMULATION 12 Call Arrives Call Classified Class. Rules Call Targeted Targeting Rules Call Queued Agent With Skills Available Agent Skill Assignment Call Serviced Customer Calls Agent Connected Classified call arrival file Production Systems Production Systems Simulation wrapper Simulation of real systems Call event log Real behaviours Real behaviours Simulated customer patience behaviour Simulated agent transfer behaviour Reality Process Design Simulation
  13. 13. GOAL – TO MINIMISE ABANDONED CALLS Abandon = when a caller hangs up before talking to an agent 13
  14. 14. ENVIRONMENT The state of the world 14
  15. 15. LIMITED RESOURCES $20 and 4 minutes – later reduced to 2 minutes 15
  16. 16. MOVES Given the information so far, your choices determine your performance 16
  17. 17. TAKING TURNS Competitors take it in turns to move, under constraints, with helpful and less- than-helpful suggestions from the crowd 17
  18. 18. SCORING Simulation is run and the crowd waits anxiously for the result. 18
  19. 19. RESULTS Scores are posted, Top-Gear Style 19
  20. 20. 20 “What [the winner] has done is add agents and implement default routing, just like [our newest operation]!”
  21. 21. CONFIDENCE BOOST 21 Can we find a sufficiently good design to launch? The game produced the same design as the real world!
  22. 22. MORE OUTCOMES 22 We have a great communications and training resource Management and technology change teams, and other stakeholders, now understand one another There is value in further simulator development
  23. 23. AND THEN WE CHANGED SOME MECHANICS AND DID IT ALL AGAIN This time with the aim of minimal transfers 23
  24. 24. NEW GOAL, ENVIRONMENT AND SCORING Transferred calls now part of the game 24
  25. 25. NEW RESULTS New measures of performance yield a new strategy 25
  26. 26. MORE OUTCOMES 26 What we measure will affect what we design
  27. 27. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? More people played the game Effective communications about the program Simulator scaled to production complexity To find the launch design New system launched! Which was the real game after all 27
  28. 28. BUSINESS OUTCOMES Validation Focus Knowledge sharing Accelerated program Better launch design 28
  29. 29. NO SIMULATOR? 29 Goal Environment Limited Resources Moves Taking Turns Scoring Results Simulation Live systems A/B tests User testing Role playing SMEs Excel
  30. 30. THANK YOU For questions or suggestions: David Colls dcolls@thoughtworks.com
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