The booking grid is a feature that allows a scheduler to quickly create new jobs, then instantly see what capacity they have to complete those jobs–for any given week. Once a job is assigned a time "slot" or "block" via the booking grid, the scheduler can choose which resources to allocate. The job becomes booked ("Queued") and is allocated two-time constraints (these time constraints are visible in the job details swimlanes). To finalize the job before dispatch, the scheduler must select the exact time (satisfying the applied time constraints) to allocate the job to the resource.
Administrator settings must be configured first to enable this feature.
Also, see Admin Settings: Booking Grid.
Accessing the Booking Grid
The booking grid is easily accessible within the scheduling console of the web app. It is located next to the swimlane tab in the actions bar.
Figure 1. How to locate the booking grid from within the scheduling console.
Tip: Remember you can easily access the scheduling console by selecting the scheduling button on the navigation bar on the left-hand side.
Loading the Booking Grid
At first glance, the booking grid appears empty. This is the default uninitialized state when the page first loads. The (create) quick job panel is located to the left and booking grid to the right.
Figure 2. The initial view of the booking grid.
To initialize (see) the grid, all of the required fields (those marked in red) in the left-hand "Quick Job" panel must be filled out first. This includes:
- Job type.
- Contact name.
Once these fields are completed (and validated), the respective booking grid will appear in the right-hand panel (as seen in Figure 3).
Figure 3. The booking grid once the required job details have been entered.
Note: If you have not configured your booking grid yet, you will get a display that informs you there are "no time slots are defined for this job type". Administrators must configure at least some default time slots for the booking grid to work.
Also, see Admin Settings: Booking Grid.
Note: If you have no active resources available, you will get a display that informs you that there are "no active resources found". Ensure you have at least one active resource to use the booking grid.
Understanding the Booking Grid
The booking grid is made up of cells, each of which contains information about their respective time slot. You can immediately tell if a time slot is available based on its color.
A white cell is available for selection. A darker, grayed out cell reflects that it is unavailable for selection.
Cells that are available have the following associated icons:
- A resource count–showing how many resources there are available to dedicate to a job. In Figure 4, there are seven of nine available in the first cell, followed by five, and two respectively.
- A colored horizontal bar–which shows the percentage of how many resources are available from the total resource pool, making it simple to read at a glance. For greater than 66%, it will be green. For greater than 33%, it will be blue. For lower than 33%, it will be a dark gray.
- A suitcase–representing the number of jobs allocated (booked) for this period of time.
Figure 4. Available cells in the booking grid.
Hovering over the suitcase icon will tell you how many jobs have been booked for this time slot.
Figure 5. An example showing zero jobs have been allocated to this cell.
At the top right of each cell are three dots. Clicking on the three dots will show "Capacity Insights" for that particular time slot.
What are Capacity Insights?
In this case, "capacity" is a term used to represent an aggregate of time information within a time slot. It is the sum of all capacities of all resources that can perform the job–measured in minutes.
With that in mind, we can derive from the example shown below that from 180 minutes of total and available capacity, there are only 120 minutes of actual free capacity still available.
Figure 6. The capacity insights for a cell.
Booking a Job
Once the quick job details are complete, the booking grid becomes available (initialized). To allocate an available resource to this job, click the cell in the booking grid that matches your time and date criteria.
Figure 7. A quick job being booked using the booking grid.
Important! If you enter a time that exceeds the booking grid cell values, the resource availability will show as unavailable.
For example, if the booking grid cell values are set to 30 minutes, i.e., 10:00-10:30 am, entering a job duration of greater than 30 minutes will result in no time slots being available (all cells will be grayed out).
Once the time slot has been selected, a modal will open so that resource(s) can be allocated to the scheduled job:
- Select the required resource(s) from the list.
- Click "Save" to save the allocations and return to the booking grid. This will set the job status to "Queued".
- Click "Save & View" to save the allocations and go to the job details view.
Figure 8. The select resource modal.
Note: You can select a resource here that is not in the selected region.
Once resources have been selected and saved, the job's details are presented. The job is "Queued," the allocated resources are waiting "Pending Dispatch." Once a time is specified (that conforms to the time constraints), the resources can be notified.
Figure 9. An allocated job with booking grid time constraints applied, awaiting dispatch.
Figure 10. Selecting the time for an allocated job with booking grid time constraints applied.
Figure 11. Time and resource allocated to a job with booking grid time constraints applied.