Run automatic scheduling

The main automatic scheduling process is used for agents with a contract of the fixed staff employment type. The target is to schedule days off and work shifts in a way that fulfills all work rules defined by their contract set-up.

Select the agents and the period to schedule and open the scheduling options. Use the scheduling options to define any additional rules for the scheduling to consider. This can for example be restrictions like agent preferences or rotations, limitations on the number of agents to schedule or using team or block scheduling. When you selected what to consider, start the automatic scheduling.

Skill activities are only scheduled for agents that have that skill and only within the open hours of the skills. The shifts scheduled for each agent are picked from their shift bag.

When the automatic scheduling is done, you must optimize the schedule. See Optimize schedule for more information. It's usually most efficient to schedule all fixed employees before optimizing the schedule.

For information on how to schedule hourly employees, see Schedule hourly employees.

Prerequisites

  • You have the Global functions > View schedules permission.
  • You have the Global functions > Modify schedules permission and the underlying Modify assignment permission.
  • You have the Global functions > View unpublished schedules permission.
  • Any known activities, absences and meetings are scheduled.

Page location

Client > Schedules > Open schedule

Procedures

Select agents and period and open the scheduling options

  1. Select the agents and the dates to schedule.

    • Click in the schedule view and select Ctrl+A keys to select all agents and all dates in this view.
    • Click and drag to select consecutive dates or agents.
    • Click the week header to select all agents for that week.
    • Click the agent name to select the full period for that agent.
  2. Click Schedule.
  3. If needed, select a schedule tag in the Tag changes with menu.
  4. The selected schedule tag is used for all days scheduled in this round of automatic scheduling.
  5. Continue to go through the scheduling options described in the procedures below.

Select which restrictions to consider when scheduling

Schedule according to the selected restrictions. The scheduling fulfills the restrictions to the extent that is possible. When you optimize schedules, you can choose to what extent to fulfill the restrictions.

NOTE   When you use restrictions that do not cover the target number of days off, a day off can be scheduled on a day that the restriction has defined as a workday. This makes it possible to only define a few days off in the rotation or availability. The scheduling and optimization will add the remaining days off.

  1. In the scheduling options, select the General tab.
  2. Select the Preferences check box to schedule all days in the selected period according to the agents' entered preferences on how to work and when to have their days off. If a day does not have any preferences, a shift is selected based on the business need.

    1. If the Schedule only preference days check box is selected, only days where agents have entered preferences are scheduled.
    2. If the Use preference must have only check box is selected, only preference days that the agent has marked with Must have are scheduled. This can be used for example to set a specific schedule tag on the must have days.
  3. Select the Rotations check box to schedule all days in the selected period according to the defined rotations.

    If the Schedule only rotation days check box is selected, the scheduling process only schedules days where the rotation defines what to schedule. This can be used for example to set a specific schedule tag on the rotation days.

  4. Select the Availability check box to consider the defined availability pattern when scheduling.

    If the Schedule only availability days check box is selected, the scheduling process only schedules days where the availability pattern defines what to schedule.

  5. Select the Hourly availability check box to only schedule the agents at times when they have entered that they are available. This can be used for fixed employees, but only if they have very flexible contracts.
  6. Select the Shift category limitation check box to consider any set limitations on the number of shifts of a specific shift category per week or per schedule period.
  7. If you want to show troubleshooting information, use block or team scheduling or limits on minimum or maximum staffing, see the procedures below for how to handle that.
  8. When the settings on all tabs are done, click OK to run the automatic scheduling.

    NOTE   The selected settings are stored for your user. When you open the scheduling options, the options are always set as the previous time you ran the automatic scheduling.

Show troubleshooting information

The troubleshooting information contains a message about each day that could not be scheduled, to help you understand why.

  1. In the scheduling options, select the General tab.
  2. Select the Include troubleshooting information check box. If there is a day when an agent for some reason could not be scheduled, a message is shown to help you understand why is shown when the scheduling is completed.

Use block scheduling

Schedule the same or similar shifts for an agent within a block. See About block and team scheduling for more information.

NOTE   We recommend that block scheduling is not combined with any other types of restrictions, like preferences or rotations.

  1. In the scheduling options, select the Extra tab.
  2. Select to define a block as the workdays Between days off or the whole Schedule period.
  3. Select how similar the shifts within the block must be; Same shift category, Same start time or Same shift. You can select more than one option.

Use team scheduling

Schedule the same or similar shifts for all agents within a team or group page. See About block and team scheduling for more information.

NOTE   We recommend that team scheduling is not combined with any other types of restrictions, like preferences or rotations.

  1. In the scheduling options, select the Extra tab.
  2. Select which agents to schedule with similar shifts.

    1. Select Business hierarchy to schedule agents in the same team with similar shifts.
    2. Select any group page to schedule agents who belong to the same group with similar shifts.
  3. Select how similar the shifts within the team or group must be; Same shift category, Same start time, Same end time or Same activity. Same activity means the agents have one selected activity at the same time, for example lunch. You can select more than one option.
  4. If you select Same activity, select the type of activity to schedule at the same time for all agents within the team or group.

Use minimum or maximum staffing limits

If there are limits for the minimum or maximum number of agents to schedule on the skills, ensure to consider those limits when scheduling.

NOTE   Scheduling with the min and max staffing options cannot ensure that these rules are fulfilled. The scheduling process prioritizes shifts that help fulfill these rules, but there might be situations where it is not possible.

  • In the scheduling options, select the Advanced tab.
  • Select Use min staffing to consider any limitations on minimum agents on the skills.
  • Select Use max staffing to consider any limitations on maximum agents on the skills.

Schedule a selected shift category

If there are some agents that should have shifts of the same shift category every workday in the selected period, select the Use shift category option.

  1. In the scheduling options, select the Advanced tab.
  2. Select the Use shift category check box.
  3. Select the shift category to schedule.

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