FAQ: How To Use A Shift Calendar
|28. November 2011||Posted by Martin Karlowitsch under Tips, Tricks & FAQ, VARCHART JGantt, VARCHART XGantt|
After we started with the Gantt tips & tricks series a few weeks ago, we decided to complement this by a similar content category: FAQ.
So what’s the difference? – Well, let’s look at what both have in common first Both tips & tricks and FAQ should give you some straight-forward and down-to-earth ideas what exactly you can and should do to make better use of the plethora of functions that VARCHART XGantt and VARCHART JGantt offer. The difference is that tips & tricks deal with a specific Gantt chart methodology, while FAQs simply tackle one concrete question that had been asked to our support folks.
OK. Here we go:
Customer question:We have no idea how to use shift calendars. Would you please send us a sample about this question?
“Normal” calendars define working times and work free periods by specifiying rules and exceptions on the basis of days, weeks and so on.
Shift calendars, on the contrary, define arbitrary recurring working times and work free periods. You define one “cycle” and VARCHART XGantt will “unroll” this cycle again and again, beginning at the specified start time. Such calendars are typically used in factories, hospitals and alike, where shift work is done. For example: 8 hours early shift (starting at 6:00 a.m.), then 8 hours late shift, then 8 hours night shift (crossing day boundaries!).
Well. That’s pretty much straightforward. Let’s look a concrete, but more complex example and let’s start with a screenshort first:
Imagine a security company that has watchmen, who continously care about some buildings. Lets assume, that a day consists of 2 shifts, 12 hours each, and that the company has 2 teams with 2 watchmen each. These people have a labour contract, that they have to work 36 hours within 6 days. In order to distribute the service times equally between the people, planning could be as follows.
- Starting at a Monday morning, 11.July.11, 8 o’clock, watchman 1 starts his work for 12 hours, then watchman 2 makes the night shift.
- After 3 days (Thursday, 14.July), the other team takes over and watchmen 3 and 4 cover the service.
- After 6 days (Sunday, 17.July), the watchmen swap from day shift to night shift and vice versa.
- After 12 days (Saturday, 23.July ), the cycle automatically repeats.
As you can see in the pictures, two “shift ribbons” are specified at the bottom of the time scale:
- The upper one shows, which PERSON works in each shift (D1 means watchman 1 makes the day shift, N2 means watchman 2 makes the night shift, a.s.o.)
- The lower one shows, what TEAM is responsible for the current 3 days.
Mainly, such calendars are used to display shift times in the time scale, as described. You can use shift calendars as working calendars for tasks, too. However, exceptions of the normal working cycle can only be implemented by adding deviating “intervals”.
Which questions do you have? How can we best help you? We are happy to get challenged! Let’s go!