A schedule is not about a shift length or a day on and day off pattern.

Most of our clients aren’t bragging about their 4 – 10’s or their 5 – 8’s or 3 – 12’s.  They are talking about the way they deploy their capital and personnel:

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They have learned the multi-million dollar lesson – a schedule is not about a shift length or a day on and day off pattern.

The shift length and day off patterns are important aspects of the schedule, but they do not define what a schedule really is.  At Coleman Consulting Group we look at schedules differently than anyone else.  A schedule is a system for deploying capital and personnel with employee buy-in, and specific work, pay, and coverage policies.

This definition allows us to look at any schedule in a very detailed manner using a data driven approach.  The first part of the definition “a system for deploying capital and personnel” opens the door to a lot of “Whys?” about the business.  Why do you limit the number of people on vacation? Why do you work every Saturday on overtime?  Why do you have such a high demand in the middle of the day? There are "why" questions we can ask any industry and there are "why" questions that are industry specific.

Armed with this information and an understanding of what the system needs to do to be successful, we can look at the second part of the definition "with employee buy-in." Buy-in never means getting 100% of the employees agreeing on a schedule.  Buy in is about helping employees understand the "whys." Buy in is about explaining to employees the "WIFMs - What's In It For Me."  Ultimately buy in is about a majority of the employees agreeing that the best solution deals with all the "whys" and is not necessarily going to make everyone happy.

The rest of the definition, "specific work, pay, and coverage policies," is about making sure everyone understands the rules of the new system. Who covers when I go on vacation? What happens on a holiday? What if nobody volunteers for overtime?

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