Unique Scheduling Solutions

Confessions of an Optimizer: When is “excellent” good enough?

As we all know, an optimal solution is best when it comes to any scheduling operation. But is optimal always practical? Not necessarily.  If you have an environment with frequently changing requirements like most operational situations, you may need to shoot for “excellent” rather than “optimal.” Optimizing a schedule involves a search for alternative resources […]

Which and When? Are these questions coupled or separate? (Hint: They’re BOTH!)

Scheduling is basically answering the questions, which resources should I use? And when should I use them?  The “which” question gives rise to a set of alternatives (that you can read more about here), and the “when” question gives rise to an infinite set of time possibilities. The coupling of these two questions is what makes scheduling challenging. Nevertheless, there […]

When Dummies are Smart

Pro tip: Using dummy resources is a great tool for creating a winning schedule. For example: We were scheduling surgeries for a hospital. Each surgical procedure required an operating room and, of course, a surgeon. But each surgeon was part of a specialty group like orthopedic, cardio-thoracic ophthalmology, etc. Each of these specialty groups was […]

Mission Impossible? Why Optimizing a Schedule is So Difficult

Imagine a set of islands with mountainous terrains. There are cliffs and crevasses, rivers and ravines all over these islands. Your goal is to find the highest point on these islands. Using an app on your cell phone, you enter the coordinates of a point and it returns the elevation at that point. After you […]