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Openreach: SD Geo Task Time Trial

7 November 2014

The National Team (NT) were recently given a presentation regarding a trial of Geo task times which commenced on Monday 20 October 2014.

Openreach engaged a specialist consultancy to independently investigate if they could make the on the day schedule more efficient through reducing volatility. This involved analysing a year’s worth of data in order to confirm the potential benefits. Volatility has been defined as the difference in value between the start of day and end of day schedules.

Reducing Volatility

Openreach set out that the first step to reducing volatility and improving schedule efficiency would be to implement new accurate patch specific task times. The consultancy therefore analysed a year’s worth of data in order to determine the variability in task time completion and initially used a mathematical formula to update job times. This revealed that some of the most common task types have a distribution that made it impossible to utilise as simple a mathematical solution as the mean. In order to remove/minimise the impact of tasks not relevant to a ‘standard task time’ consideration of the above fact has been taken into account.

Revised Task Times

The majority of task times will either rise or remain the same with less than 30% of tasks planned to be decreased. The trend towards increasing task times is also largely reflected within the top 20 tasks by volumes nationally.

The Geo task times will be reflected in Work Manager for scheduling and allocation purposes only and they will not flow through to iPOP. iPOP as a component of the team based working measures will remain unchanged for the duration of the trial. The measures in any current plan remain a component part of overall performance and individuals will continue working to the measures in any existing plan, with appropriate support and coaching.

Trial Locations

The trials will take place in three SOM patches (Esher, Exeter and Taunton) reflecting different geographic features (Sub–Urban, Sub-Urban to Rural, Rural). This will enable Openreach to measure the effectiveness of altering task times in the scheduling system to reflect historic task times. The CWU Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) have been briefed by the company prior to the trial starting and will be kept up-to-date with progress.

The trial will run for four weeks at which point the success, or otherwise, of introducing the changes to task times utilising the new method of calculation will be evaluated and the SPOCs will be invited to the meetings with Openreach.