Newbie Needing Help

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New Member
New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue 05 Mar 2013 6:30 pm

Hi... Hoping someone can have a bit of sympathy to a newbie project manager and offer some help.

I have been appointed as project manager on a project setting up a contact centre. It's a contract position and I've been brought in to manage from the outset. There is nothing in place. No mandate, no business case, nothing.

So I'm now writing my first business case from scratch and I'm a bit confused. I appreciate its only an outline business case at this stage, but how can I put together a project approach and a project brief without having gone through the gathering requirements and wants and needs. I'm stuck in the initiation stage / starting up stage, but to ensure a water tight business case, I'll have to go through a lot of requirements gathering etc to put one together. Benefits, costs, timeline, requirements. Does this all really sit in the starting up phase?

Once the BC is together, only then can we apply for the capital funding. Is that correct?

And finally, how far do I take this? For options.... do nothing v. An in-house solution v. A third party solution? When do I know to look externally? How big do I want to make this?

I probably sound like the amateur that I am. Apologies. Did anyone else have these panics when they were new to this?

Please help!
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu 07 Mar 2013 7:48 am

Hey Newbie,

To begin with, you must note that a Project Charter is a high level document, it lists the problem statement you're trying to address, proposed solution, project budget, team details, etc.

My advice is, you should begin by stating high level requirements, example: is there a MSA in place, if not, when will MSA be signed between the parties, when will SOW be signed, what kind of contact centre is it (inbound / outbound), nature of queries (email / voice / chat / blended), type of queries (technical / non technical, customer service, sales, upselling, etc), how many transactions on an average in a day / week / month, support languages, etc.

Then you should move on to what will be needed to fulfill the requirements. The nature of resources, number of resources, training duration, etc.

You also need to mention customer / client name, their nature of business, any other existing contact centers that are in operational phase etc.

Then you need to mention the budget, and time duration for the activity of setting up call centre operations.

At the end, you need to specifically state what will be a measure of success, it could be time scale based (set up call centre in 3 months), cost & time scale combined, etc

You also need to mention at what stage you will handover the project to operations team. Will you continue to handle it post set up, or will there be a separate team.

Then after preparing, reviewing and submitting your Project Charter, you move to the planning phase. Here you need to work on finer aspects of everything that you defined in the Charter.

Now, coming to your specific query to set up contact centre operations, in addition to the above mentioned details you will require host of other information to successfully complete various activites related to set up and running a contact centre, example given below:
  • Who will do manpower planning for hiring resources.
  • What are the assumptions for manpower planning, in terms of expected volume of transactions, average handle time per transaction, shrinkages, etc.
  • How will you manage schedules on daily / weekly basis
  • How many support resources are needed? And what roles? For example, Supervisor, QA, floor walker, SME (in case of technical transactions), MIS, CCOD (call centre operational desk), Manager, etc.
  • Define support ratios, i.e. do you need one supervisor for every 15 people or for every 50 people
  • Cost of hiring resources, what manpower agency will you engage
  • What is the profile of resources (only graduates), have JDs been defined for each role, etc.
  • Training timelines, knowledge transfer & how, where, and by whom the training will be conducted
  • Do training resources (manuals, processes, process flow charts etc) exist or need to be created. If they need to be created, by whom?
  • What will be the measure of successful training
  • Are the SLAs defined for transactions that you will handle (typical SLAs : Service Level, Abandon %, AHT, Resolution rate, CSAT, etc)
  • How will you measure, track, monitor and report SLA performance
  • How will you formulate, measure, track, monitor & report action plans for improvement
  • What are the consequences of non adherence to SLA (financial penalties)
  • How will you manage back filling of resources?
These are just a few, though I have tried to cover all major activities. You are welcome to contact me should you need more details on any point.

You may also refer to Simplilearn blog posts available at for more help on various topics. I find their resources particularly helpful.
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Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 301
Joined: Thu 08 Dec 2011 1:34 pm

You have at least some Prince2 experience, I presume from the terms you use.

The SU (starting up project) phase is really there to ensure you do not spend time/money on a project which the sponsor will then decline . In SU, you need to do the bear minium in order to get the project approved and started (go into IP stage, Initiation).

You need to indentify the project sponpsor, site down with them, and find out their requirements. Then, put together a Business Case. You don't know the reasons why the project is needed as there is no mandate; only the Sponsor can answer WHY the project is needed.

Do you know the funds are there for this contact centre? has the project already been agreed? If so, then there is no need to do SU stage as you know the project has been accepted already. I would urge that you get confirmation that the project is definately needed and then skip SU if the answer is yes. Tailor Prince2, don't follow it rigidly.

Also, what is the purpose of the contact centre? Is it a call centre of some form? I am interested as my organisation might be able to assist you.

I hope this helps,
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Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 301
Joined: Thu 08 Dec 2011 1:34 pm

The Business Case should cover the following topics.
  • Executive Summary
  • Reasons
  • Business Options
  • Expected Benefits
  • Expected Dis-benefits
  • Timescale
  • Costs
  • Investment Appraisal
  • Major Risks

Remember, the Business Case answers the question WHY is the project needed.
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