Unique Scheduling Solutions

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 […]

When the Spreadsheet Hits the Fan

Most of us use spreadsheets for all sorts of things. The spreadsheet and the word processor are the work horses of most computer tasks in the home or the workplace. It is not surprising that when faced with a scheduling task, we have turned to the tools we know best. And sometimes they work great […]

What if? How You Can Take the Guess Work Out of Hypothetical Planning

We’re planning a big promotion for our new product. What if sales go through the roof? What if next June there are lots of weddings on top of the Acme Sales meeting that’s already booked? After the merger, what if we close the Springfield Plant? Will we be able to keep up with demand? What if Joe quits and […]

Lessons from My Dad: Packing the Family Truckster (and why scheduling things “left-to-right” is sometimes wrong)

As a kid, I watched my Dad pack the trunk of the car for a vacation. His golf shoes were not a priority item–at least from the perspective of the rest of the family. However, they were the only item in the stack of awaiting luggage that would fit behind the spare tire, so in […]

Scheduling by Any Other Name is…

If you looked up “scheduling” in my thesaurus, you might find an interesting list of alternate terms: Resource Allocation Resource Management Capacity Planning Order Management Promise Date Determination Operations Management Materials Resource Planning …and many, many more. Call it what you will, it’s all the same. In fact, most of these terms have broader meanings […]

What’s a “Good” Schedule?

What’s your objective when building a schedule? Do you want to get as much done with the fewest resources? Do you want to distribute the work load as evenly as possible? Do you want to minimize cost? Do you want to satisfy the preferences of your workers? Do you want to minimize the failed promise […]

Ready? Set? GO!

Many activities in factories, event centers, hotels, construction projects and other industries require some kind of set-up—or “predecessor”–before the activity can occur. But not all predecessors are the same.  Most predecessors need to finish any time before the actual activity starts. For example, a meeting room needs tables and chairs to be set up at […]

The NOUNS and VERBS of Scheduling

Do you schedule activities, projects, tasks, events, cases, games, meetings, processes, or procedures?  Does your scheduling application force you to use one of those terms? Do you schedule people, trucks, rooms, machines, computers, fields, or equipment?  Does your scheduling application assume one of those terms? In a previous blog – (http://www.schedulingdoneright.com/the-search-for-a-common-format-why-generic-is-a-good-thing/)-  I discussed the emergence […]

The Search for a Common Format: Why “Generic” is a Good Thing

A generic scheduling format is the way to go. Here’s why: A domain scheduler is designed and implemented for a particular application area.  Here are a few examples : Service schedulers have trucks, technicians, test equipment, and “calls.” Medical schedulers have physicians, nurses, labs, operating rooms and instruments and appointments. Event schedulers have conference rooms, ballrooms, dining […]

Five Steps to Successful Scheduling

If you are a schedule builder or you maintain a schedule as revisions become necessary, you can do this exercise. Try to keep track of the types of decisions you are making;  my hunch is that you’ll probably come up with a list something like this: Decide how to define the activities that are to […]