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Jackson National Life - 2020

Developing Multiple Algorithms to Assign Work to Processing Associates in Workflow Systems


Jackson Operations is responsible for all client and producer transactions as well as customer functions. Currently, this requires a workforce of over 1,000 full time equivalents (FTE’s) processing transactions delivered via multiple workflow systems, answering phones, and updating various administration systems. In 2014, the Operations Command Center was created to centralize the oversight of each day’s processing efforts. Currently, the Ops Command Center relies upon multiple systems to allocate, track, and assign processing work.


Jackson Operations desires to develop an algorithm(s) that can be used as a basis to assign work to processing associates in three major workflow systems in an efficient way. Additionally, Jackson Operations wishes to: develop multiple algorithms that can be engaged in different business scenarios, minimize staff downtime by optimizing out-of-work experiences, and develop training optimal staffing scenarios to inform training plans.

Workflow Basics

  1. Three workflow systems need to be included as sources of work assignments. They are Data Entry (DE), Document Capture (DOCCAP), and Jackson Processing on Demand (jPOD).
  2. Users capable of receiving work will be logged into an umbrella system that allows them to receive work from any of the underlying systems.
  3. In order to receive work from the umbrella system, user schedules must indicate that they are in “auto-assign” at the time the work is allocated to them.

High-Level Requirements

The final deliverable must:

  1. Include algorithm(s) that can be coded in multiple languages.
  2. Recognize the priority of the work to be allocated.
  3. Allocate the work to associates who are appropriately skilled to complete it.
  4. Recognize that work is received throughout the day from 6 AM to 4 PM.
  5. Recognize that work can be carried over from the previous day (if it isn’t same day work).
  6. Provide projections of work assignments for the remainder of the processing day.
  7. Utilize the expected/optimal schedules of the processing associates.
  8. Provide updated work assignments and projections of work assignments no less frequently than every 30 minutes.
  9. Utilize forecasts of expected work to be received.
  10. Generate a recommend staffing/skilling solution.

The final deliverable must not:

  1. Result in any same-day work not getting completed by 8 PM (assuming enough resources).
  2. Assume staffing requirements greater than the 2019 Operations Budget (adjusted for processing resources allocated to these workflow systems).

The final deliverable should:

  1. Maximize the durations in which users receive the same type of work.
  2. Optimize out-of-work experiences while balancing the need to complete work done as rapidly as possible.
  3. Result in same day work being completed by 6 PM (resources permitting).
  4. Allocate work to users who are not scheduled in auto-assign but who are active in auto-assign.
  5. Assign the oldest transaction of highest priority work whenever possible.
  6. Recognize some level of the order in which work is received and the generalized time-of-day that it is received.

The final deliverable may:

  1. Allocate work types to users who are the most proficient in the work.
  2. Provide opportunities for users to gain proficiency in certain work types.
  3. Recognize users as members of groups with homogenous skilling.
  4. Recognize that some work types will not be completed on the first attempt and may need multiple attempts for a successful completion.
  5. Simplify the number of work objects and user skills.


Measures of Success

This project will be deemed successful if the following conditions are met:

  1. The project produces an algorithm or algorithms that simulate the processing of work in Operations. This includes recognition of different work types, task times, simplified user behaviors, and workforce skills.
  2. The project produces an algorithm or algorithms that simulate the assignment of work to Operations associates. This includes the forecasted arrival of the work, prioritization of same day work over multi-day work, and the skillsets of the available workforce.
  3. The project produces an optimized staffing/skilling model that represents the workforce skillsets and availability necessary to process all work within its required Service Level Agreement (i.e., the number of days allowed to process the work). This should not exceed the portion of the 2019 Operations Budget currently allocated to work within the above workflow systems.