Manually planning work schedules can be quite the jigsaw puzzle. There are many complicating factors, from designing shifts meeting a department’s needs, to assigning employees to the shifts, to following all regulations. In addition, there are very reasonable, yet complicating factors to take into account. Factors such as fairness among employees, organisational rules, and different kinds of shifts, like on duty and on call, where you do not work, but are available on short notice.
Optimal shifts necessary for the best schedules
The first step for the planner is to create good shifts. But the implications of a shift propagate to the very end, when all employees are assigned. Knowing what shifts work well can be difficult before doing the actual scheduling. That’s why we in Visma Resolve have tackled the problem of shift design and creation. We are extending our Automatic Rostering service to not only optimally decide what employees should be assigned which shifts, but also design and generate the shifts themselves. The final schedule is as good as possible, with regards to covering the department’s needs, ensuring fulfilment of employee contracts, and taking into account fairness among employees.
Users stay in control
More specifically, shift generation identifies the best possible shifts given a template. A template is similar to a shift, but not as strict, and can be reused between departments. Instead of having a start and end time, the template contains a start and end interval – telling our algorithm what shifts are allowed to be created. Based on the planners’ needs, they can create templates that can design any shift, or direct the creation towards specific kinds of shifts, like morning or evening shifts.
Shift generation ensures that planners no longer need to make shifts for each department’s needs. Instead, templates are used to automatically create optimal shifts for each department for the entire organisation. The benefits of shift generation are plentiful. By reusing templates, different shifts can be created for the different departments with varying needs, thereby reducing the time spent creating shifts. And with better shifts created, more efficient work schedules can be identified that employees are more satisfied with.
Visma Resolve develops optimisation and machine learning modules for other Visma companies. Want to learn more about shift generation and Automatic Rostering, or other artificial intelligence modules? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.visma.com/artificial-intelligence/resolve/.