This glossary contains brief definitions of SchedulePro's key terms and features.
Needless to say, the schedule is where the magic really happens in SchedulePro. You can create a new schedule in the click of a button. This default schedule is simply generated from any shift patterns that have been assigned to employees. The schedule then indicates which shifts have a surplus of employees and which are understaffed (based on your daily core staffing requirements), and offers you various tools for refining your schedule. Once you’re happy with the schedule, you can publish it to the whole organization; until the schedule in published, it can only be viewed by system administrators and schedule managers.
Our help section on schedules contains all the information you’ll need to know about scheduling in SchedulePro.
AutoSchedule One way of fine-tuning your schedule is the AutoSchedule tool. AutoSchedule will fill as many of your understaffed shifts as possible, all in one go. You determine which methods you want to use to fill your shifts (assigning overtime, for instance, or moving eligible employees from overstaffed shifts into understaffed ones) and then simply hit “OK”. AutoSchedule does the rest, leaving you with fuller coverage across a multi-day period of your schedule.
Assign Employees Assign Employees offers another option for filling your open shifts. Whereas AutoSchedule fills a broad swathe of shifts for you, but doesn’t allow you to choose exactly who goes into which shift, Assign Employees lets you fill a single open shift with an employee of your choice. What distinguishes Assign Employees from manual scheduling is that it pre-screens which of your employees are eligible candidates for the open shift. to help you home in on exactly the candidate you want. Especially for organizations with hundreds of employees, and organizations with strict labour rules, this is extremely useful.
User Roles In SchedulePro, users have different roles and access privileges. Obviously an employee isn’t going to have the same permissions as a system administrator, so “Employee” and “System Admin” are both examples of user roles. The full list of user roles is:
- System administrator
- Schedule manager (creates and edits schedules)
- Scheduler (edits schedules)
- Data reporter (handles reports and analytics)
- HR worker (adds and manages employees)
Not all organizations will have all of these user types available. Access to the scheduler, data reporter, and HR worker roles is a premium feature and most SchedulePro clients just have a system administrator, schedule managers (who are only allowed to edit schedules in the non-premium version) and employees.
Organizations Some of SchedulePro’s clients are small businesses. Others are individual manufacturing plants of big corporations. Others are some different kind of institution entirely. Therefore, the program settings use the catch-all term “organization” to cover all possible cases.
Codes Codes are bundles of information about various aspects of your organization all tied up in a convenient abbreviation. A position code names one of the positions you’ll be scheduling—such as for welders—but also has some extra data attached to help SchedulePro generate a valid schedule. For instance, is there a minimum time between shifts for welders? Being able to specify this information in the position code itself actually makes set-up smoother; it means you don’t have to add the names of all your positions and then go somewhere else to configure them.
Many codes effectively are just a label and a description, but there are some which have important extra attributes. The three major codes are briefly defined below:
Shifts A shift is a set window of time, such as 4:30 PM to 1 AM. A shift code gives a name and description for each shift, as well as start and end times.
Positions Your positions are simply the job titles for which you’ll be scheduling – clerk, welder, senior technician, and so on. Position codes, as mentioned above, include a number of other pieces of information; the details are covered in our article on position codes.
Locations Usually, a location is an employee’s physical place of work, like a dormitory kitchen or the east wing of a hospital. However, for organizations that employ mobile workers such as couriers or plumbers, “location” may not indicate something quite so concrete. In order to accommodate situations like this, SchedulePro actually allows you to rename “position” and “location” to match the terminology used by your organization. Some organizations have ranks and units, others have trades and areas. It makes no difference to the functionality of SchedulePro; be correct for your organization.
Requirements Requirements go hand in hand with codes. Once you’ve specified what shifts, locations and positions you’ll be scheduling, the Daily Core Staffing Requirements let you tell SchedulePro how many of each position you need at each location during which shifts. If you say that you need 3 cashiers working the day shift at your downtown store MWF and only 2 on TThu, and a single person working the night shift all five days, SchedulePro will take these requirements into account when displaying and optimizing your schedule.
There are also Daily Combined Skill Requirements and Hourly Requirements, which help handle a more complex set of scheduling needs.
Ad-hoc requirements Facing an unexpected spike in work, or a special event, schedulers will sometimes have to their requirements for a limited timeframe, maybe even just a single day. These kinds of modifications are known as “ad-hoc requirements” and can be made from the schedule itself. They are a one-off change, and after the end of the specified period the requirements will return to normal.
Shift patterns Shift patterns are templates indicating which shifts are worked on which days. Once created, they can be assigned to employees, and this becomes the employee’s default work schedule, and this becomes the employee’s default work schedule. They are defined for a chosen duration (7-day shift patterns are naturally common) and repeated once an employee reaches the end.
Groups If you’re a large organization, it may make sense to parcel your workforce into smaller groups. This is especially useful if there are different people managing the schedules for different parts of the organization – say Grace schedules the Edmonton facility while Bob takes care of Regina. If that’s the case, you can link together any number of the location codes you’ve created with any number of positions and save that as a group. All employees who work the specified position(s) at the specified location(s) are counted as part of the group. Then you can assign one (or more) of your employees to be the schedule manager(s) for that group and have it operate as a semi-independent unit.
Shift trades Often, an employee will want to call off work on a certain day, but, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to apply for leave. Instead, s/he may try to organize a shift trade, where s/he swaps shifts with an eligible co-worker. SchedulePro makes this process painless and easy to manage by allowing employees to arrange shift trades between themselves in the program, dependent on the approval of a supervisor.
Leave requests If an employee actually wants to take time off, instead of trading shifts, s/he can also use SchedulePro to put in a leave request to a manager.
OT Multiplier The overtime (OT) multiplier, which is set or reset by a system admin in the organization settings, determines how overtime hours are converted into straight-time hours. This is obviously important for payroll purposes. To illustrate, if your OT multiplier is 1.5, when an employee works for 8 hours overtime, this is to 1.5 x 8 = 12 “total” (payable) hours in many fields and reports.
Reports SchedulePro provides its users with a range of reports on workforce activity. They can be exported to PDF, XLS or CSV, or simply viewed in-program. Our Help Desk has a comprehensive section on reports.