Manage schedule periods
The schedule period is the period within which you must balance the agents’ target work time. This means that you can optimize the schedule and for example move days off within the schedule period but not between schedule periods.
Define the length of the schedule period. Use the same schedule period length and start for all agents that you want to schedule at the same time. See How work time is calculated for more information on what to consider when deciding the length of the schedule period.
If no following schedule period is created, that implicitly means to continue with identical periods. That is, a new schedule period with the same length and details starts when the previous schedule period ends. If the settings remain the same between periods, there is no need to create new schedule periods manually.
The other parameters for the schedule period are not mandatory.
You can choose to override the work time calculations based on the contract, contract schedule and part-time percentage. This is done by using the three Override columns for average daily work time, number of days off for the schedule period and total contract time for the schedule period. In most cases, this requires a target tolerance and a day off tolerance on the contract.
The schedule periods can also be used to balance work time between schedule periods if some periods of the year are busier than others or to keep track of agents’ work hours if they deviate between periods.
When you work on a future period for multiple agents, select a date within that future period in the ribbon bar to ensure that you are viewing the correct schedule period for all the agents.
- You have the People permission and the underlying permissions Add person and Can change and save.
- The agent is added, basic information entered, and a person period defined. See Add or edit WFM agents manually and Manage WFM agent work rules.
Client > People > Schedule periods tab
Add a new schedule period
- Select the agents to add a new schedule period for.
- Click New.
Enter a start Date for the new period.
The start date must be the first day of the week for week-based schedule periods and the first day of the month for month-based schedule periods. If for example a new agent starts their first person period on a Wednesday, and the organization uses 1-week schedule periods, the agent’s first schedule period would start on the first day of that week, even if the agent has not started yet.
- Enter the Number of months, weeks or days to define the schedule period.
- Select the schedule period Type, that is Month, Week or Day.
The values in the columns Hours per day and Days off are calculated based on the agent's contract, contract schedule, part-time percentage and the length of the schedule period. Verify that these values are correct.NOTE
If the first person period starts later than the schedule period, there are some additional considerations for the first schedule period.
- The Hours per day value for the first schedule period is zero. Override this value according to the agent's contract.
- The Days off value for the first schedule period per default only shows the days off after the person period starts. If needed, override this value.
- Create the next schedule period. Remove any overrides to use the values calculated based on the contract settings.
- Enter the number of available Must haves for the agent for the schedule period. The must haves are shift or day off preferences that are particularly important to the agent. The must haves can for example be used as a benefit for agents reaching their targets.
- Click Save.
Override calculated period values
Override the calculated work time or number of days off for a schedule period. If you override a value, the new value is used when scheduling this schedule period. In most cases where you override calculated values, this requires a target tolerance or a day off tolerance on the contract.
NOTE If the override is only valid for this particular schedule period, remember to create another schedule period to follow it, with the override values removed.
- Create a new schedule period, see the procedure above.
Enter a value in the appropriate column to override any values calculated based from the contract.
- Override hours per day—to override the average work hours per day.
- Override days off—to override the number of days off for this schedule period.
- Override period time—to override the total contract time for the schedule period.
- Click Save.
Balance work time between schedule periods
Balance the work time by transferring any deviations for one schedule period to the next schedule period. The deviation is calculated by comparing the agents’ schedule in the default scenario to their work time target for the schedule period. Balancing time between schedule periods requires that you create each schedule period manually.
EXAMPLE An organization has 1-week schedule periods with the target of 40 hours. An agent worked 44 hours one schedule period. When that period is closed, the additional 4 hours are transferred to the next period. This means that the agent only needs to work 36 hours the following period. If they work 40 hours that schedule period, the 4 hours will be transferred again to the next period.
- Create schedule periods manually for each schedule period. See the procedure above.
- The Balance in for a schedule period is filled in automatically when the previous schedule period is closed. If the agent was scheduled on more hours than their target for the previous schedule period, this is transferred to this period. If the agent was scheduled on less hours than their target for the previous schedule period, this is transferred to this period as a negative value. The Balance in adjusts the work time target for the period. The adjusted target for the period is shown in the Schedules module.
- Enter a value in the Extra column to adjust the work hour target. For example, enter -4:00 to deduct 4 hours and adjust the schedule period work time in connection to a half working day the day before a bank holiday.
- If you want to keep the normal target time for a schedule period, you can transfer any Balance in from a previous period to the next period. To do this, manually enter the value from Balance in in the Balance out field. Otherwise, the Balance out is filled in automatically when that schedule period is closed, based on the schedule and the period target.
- The Balance out value is added as the Balance in for the next schedule period when closing the schedule period.
- To close a schedule period, first create the next schedule period and select a date in that period. Click Close previous period.
- Click Save.
Adjust schedule period targets for seasonality
In some organizations, the work hours fluctuate over a longer period of time. Use the seasonality factor to adjust the schedule period target.
- Create schedule periods for the season, for example the whole calendar year. See the procedure above.
For each schedule period where the target differs from normal, enter the Seasonality percentage. That is, in relation to the normal target time, how many percent do you want to schedule for this schedule period.
EXAMPLE The schedule period is 1 week, and the normal target is 40h. To schedule 44 hours for one schedule period, enter 10% in the Seasonality column. To schedule 36 hours for one schedule period, enter -10% in the Seasonality column. To balance the seasonality over a year, the average seasonality should be 0%.
- If needed, transfer the deviation from the normal target time by closing each schedule period once it is done. See the procedure to Balance work time between schedule periods above for details.
Delete a schedule period
Delete a schedule period if it has been registered by mistake. Otherwise keep it.
- Select a date within the schedule period to delete in the ribbon bar to show that schedule period.
- Select the schedule period rows to delete.
- Click Delete.
- Click Save.