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How validation can boost the accuracy of your resource model

Philip Stubbs explains the importance of validation for accurate resource modelling

In today’s complex operational environments, accurate resource modelling is essential for ensuring efficient response to customer needs. Yet achieving such accuracy often hinges on a crucial but often overlooked step: model validation.

Why Validation Matters
Validation is the process of scrutinising historical data within the model to ensure alignment with the real world. Validation helps to ensure that assumptions underpinning the model, and the workings of the model itself, align with actual operational dynamics.

Without validation, resource models risk delivering inaccurate results, leading to inefficient resource allocation and poor service delivery. Failure to validate can result in costly inefficiencies, impacting customer experience and future revenues.

Validation in Practice
Model validation requires a look back at recent historical periods to gauge whether the model results mimic what actually happened. For example, place last week’s actual metrics such as volumes, timings, performance and resource levels into your model. If your centre was struggling with large queues and growing backlogs, then the model should indicate that the operation was understaffed.

For best results, validation should be an ongoing process. Regular validation is recommended to ensure consistent alignment between model predictions and actual outcomes. This proactive approach minimizes the risk of inaccuracies creeping into future planning efforts.

If the validation process suggests that the model doesn’t accurately reflect what actually happened, then it’s necessary to check all assumptions used in the model, and maybe also question the soundness of the model itself. This may lead to a new understanding of how the model needs to change to adequately simulate reality, or perhaps a key assumption has not been correct.

Results of no/poor validation
Within client studies, I have seen models that have an in-built inaccuracy of 10-20% without validation. The consequence of failing to validate is that while the model may be suggesting that staffing is fine, in reality the organisation is suffering from significant excess cost and/or a poor delivery of customer service levels.

Key takeaways
Validation is an essential part of resource modelling. Without it, the accuracy of models can drift away. The risk of inaccurate resource allocation looms large, leading to detrimental effects on customer experience and revenue potential.

Incorporating validation into resource modelling is essential for organisations aiming to optimise operational performance. It serves as a safeguard against costly errors, helping to ensure that resource allocation aligns with actual requirements.

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