When scheduling jobs for resources it is essential to know when they might be available or unavailable to perform that work. Availability management within Skedulo allows resources to define when they are available and unavailable. This can be defined using a standard "availability template" (a rolling period of standard availability, e.g., Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm). You can also specify global or regional holidays. Additionally, resources can create unavailability from their mobile using the Skedulo mobile app. These availability settings all work together to produce a comprehensive availability management function.
The availability console is where schedulers are presented with a single availability request table–for all their resources. This enables the scheduler to approve or decline requests without having to navigate to the individual's activity tab.
Short Video Explainer
Intro to Availability (3 min 27)
Access the Availability Console
Access the availability console via the navigation menus at the top of the console. Two options are provided:
Figure 1. How to navigate to the availability console.
The availability calendar provides a scheduler with a view of all their resources' availability, unavailability, and requests, per a day, week or fortnight. There's a control at the top-right of the console, allowing you to switch between each calendar view.
When viewing a single day in the timeline, it is also possible to overlay allocated jobs and activities (in the form of job cards), this way it is easy for a scheduler to assess a resource's availability before they grant approval. There are checkboxes to enable the option to "show jobs" (or overlay them) and "show activities" above the action bar at the top-right of the calendar.
Figure 2. The availability calendar and its view switch buttons.
Figure 3. The availability calendar set to view a single day overlaid with jobs and activities.
Dates on the calendar marked with a small dot are public holidays observed by your organization. Rollover the small dot to display the name of the holiday.
Each block in the calendar contains information about the resource's availability or unavailability. Clicking on one of these colored blocks exposes more information about that request:
- The type of request (e.g., unavailability).
- The request's status (e.g., approved).
- The request's start and end date (and time).
Dark aqua blue labels, reflect a resource's general availability (i.e., typically their working hours, say 9 to 5).
Gray labels (marked "U") indicate periods of resource unavailability (where light gray text on a white background indicates pending approval or declined, white text on dark gray background indicates approved).
Clear labels with an aqua blue border reflect periods of availability. Aqua blue text on a white background indicates pending approval or declined, aqua blue text on a pale aqua blue background indicates an approved request.
Where a request spans several days, clicking on one request label will highlight all the associated labels.
Figure 4. The availability calendar demonstrating several pending and approved types of availability requests.
Figure 5. The availability calendar showing a global template and an approved unavailability request.
To take a look at an individual's availability, click on a resource's name–this will take you to a filtered view of that person. To close out and return to the main calendar, click on the small "x" button (at the top-right of the individual's profile panel).
Another way to view availability is to perform a comma-separated search. You can search for first names, last names, or a mixture of the two. To search for multiple resources, separate each name using a comma (e.g., "Dexter, Rowe"). The search box is located above the resource list. To clear the search, click on the small "x" to the right of any search text.
Figure 6. An individuals availability for a month. Note the location of the small exit button above the user's profile panel.
Note: Resources will only appear when looking at (filtering) their primary region in the availability calendar, i.e., they will not appear in any secondary regions.
Availability templates allow schedulers to adjust a single resource's availability, or apply the same availability times to multiple resources in one go.
To access an availability template, in the availability calendar select the "Day" view of the swimlane (from the time-span drop-down menu). Clicking on an availability template (the aqua blue blocks) will bring up the "Availability Template" modal.
Figure 7. How to access an availability template from within the availability calendar.
Create New Availability Templates
To create availability templates and add resources from scratch, click the "Add new" button at the top-right of the Availability Console. Once clicked it opens up the "Availability Template" modal in create mode. The modal has navigation buttons to help you through the creation process.
Figure 8. A new blank availability template, ready to tailor to your needs.
Within the modal, there are two tabs: "Template details" and "Resources." The template name, dates, days, and times can be changed in the template details. Once the details are complete, click on the "Next" button to toggle over to the "Resources" tab.
Tip! There is a quick way to populate dates and times in this modal. First, check a day of the week and select a start and end time (or check "All day"). Next, check another day of the week—the start and end times are automatically populated with the previous values.
Figure 9. How to adjust the template details for a resource.
The resources tab allows the scheduler to see which resources are assigned to a template. Uncheck the box marked "Only show selected" to add multiple resources to the template. Remember to save any changes made. Use the same process to remove resources from a template.
Figure 10. How to view and change resources on an availability template.
Also, see Resource Availability (Global Availability Template).
Create an Unavailability Request Using the Web App
Schedulers can create new availability requests at any time–directly from within the web app. In the top-right corner of the console, there is a large "+" (plus) button, clicking on this reveals a drop-down menu with options to "Create Unavailability" or "Create Availability."
Availability Filter Options
In the top-right corner of the availability request view filter (a drop-down menu) that allows a scheduler to view upcoming requests only, past requests only, or all requests.
Figure 11. The availability request view options filter.
Additionally, the filters in the filter bar can be really useful to locate specific assets or resources. The following filters are available to be used on the availability request list:
- Resource type.
- Availability type.
- Availability status.
For instance, if a scheduler wants to see all requests for a single resource (in this example "Dexter"), then all they do is add and apply a resource filter.
To remove a filter click on the small cross next to the filter in the filter bar.
Figure 12. The filter options for availability requests.
Approve or Decline Availability Request
When either a resource or a scheduler creates a request for "Unavailability," the request will be logged in the availability console.
From here, the scheduler can approve, decline or delete a request using either the three-dot menu (to the right-hand side of the request) or by selecting the individual and using the "Decline/Approve" buttons just beneath the main filter bar.
The following details are available on the console:
- Resource (name).
- Type (e.g., sick leave, occupied).
- Notes (text comments).
- Created (date).
- Start (date/time).
- End (date/time).
- Conflict (Job Name).
- Status (Pending/Approved).
Some of the columns (type, created, start and end) can be sorted. The default sort is based on the column named "Created" (with the most recent date first). When you go off-page and return, this default will apply.
Figure 13. An availability selected for approval or decline.
An alert warns the scheduler if a request for "Unavailability" overlaps (or conflicts with) a scheduled job. Any conflicting jobs are listed in the "Conflicts" column. The scheduler can click on the job name to inspect the job's details.
Figure 14. A conflict between an unavailability request and an allocated job.
Figure 15. A conflict between an unavailability request overlapping an allocated job in the swimlane.
Reschedule Jobs Conflicting with Availability
When a resource's availability request conflicts with a job, the scheduler can reschedule the resource's allocated jobs to a period when they are next available (within seven days after their unavailability ends). Or can reschedule the jobs to a different resource if required. This can be useful in the event a resource falls sick, for instance.
To reschedule a conflicting job, click on the options menu (3-dots) at the end of the table row where the conflict is displayed. Then select "Reschedule jobs" from the options provided.
Figure 16. Rescheduling a job that is at conflict with the availability of a resource.
The "Reschedule Jobs" modal provides the following options:
- Reschedule the job(s) using the same resource to the next time they are available.
- Reschedule the job(s) using the best available resource (i.e., a different resource), while retaining the allocated job times.
Choose one of the above options.
The rescheduling of jobs is performed using Skedulo's intelligent scheduling engine.
From the results select the option that provides the best outcome and click the "Reschedule jobs" button. The job (or jobs) will no longer conflict with the unavailability.
Figure 17. The reschedule jobs modal.
Note: To reschedule jobs, the Beta admin setting "Enable Reschedule Jobs" must be enabled.
"Reschedule Jobs" is not available for organizations that have enabled "Resource Requirements."
Up to 100 jobs can be rescheduled.
If the job conflict is outside the seven-day time frame, the option to reschedule will not be available.