Work Force Apps Track Employees

Blue Pumpkin, Changepoint deliver modules that ease HR management.

New software tools from Blue Pumpkin Software Inc. and Changepoint Corp. will enable companies to automate dealings with their work forces.

Blue Pumpkin, of Sunnyvale, Calif., this week will introduce the next iteration of its Workforce Optimization Suite, which optimizes employee performance and management processes and delivers information on those subjects to any desktop.

The suite includes Blue Pumpkin Advisor and Activity Manager modules, which help supervisors track and report on employee productivity and performance. The Advisor module creates indicators to measure and improve organizational performance. Activity Manager provides a picture of how employees are spending their time.

The suite also has Director and Planner modules that enable users to optimize staff schedules and create staff development plans and budgets.

Longtime Blue Pumpkin customer Timberline Software Corp., of Beaverton, Ore., recently purchased Blue Pumpkins Advisor module to provide daily performance updates to its 110 support agents. "One of the things that seems to be missing in most call centers is letting people know how theyre doing," said Mark Brannan, operations director for client services at Timberline. "The bulk of our staff is out there saying, How am I doing? How can I improve? [With Advisor,] we set up eight different parameters called key performance indicators."

Brannan uses metrics such as how well employees are adhering to their schedules, how much time they are spending in unavailable mode and how many support calls they are closing to automatically measure performance.

Separately, Changepoint, of Richmond Hill, Ontario, this week will release Version 7.5 (see screen) of its namesake software for enabling professional services companies to manage workers and their output. Central to the upgrade are capabilities for performance management that provide a holistic view of an enterprise from a performance perspective by consolidating information and providing dashboard-type access to feedback and analysis, officials said.

The new Individual Performance Improvement module provides an integrated real-time view of personal achievements and progress along with targets and individual score cards—with customizable metrics such as customer and peer feedback.

Project Portfolio Management adds the capability to combine and group projects into multiple performance modules for analysis. The Customer Radar module provides visibility into customer integration, opportunities and current project activity.