VAO Shift Planner

ProcessModel’s new VAO Schedule Planner is designed to find the optimal staff plan. In addition to helping build a complex system faster, this model object has advanced methods to uncover savings from better staffing.

The planner is built to plan and assign many resources on multiple shifts to the same activity (or activities). This planner graphically shows the current staffing, graphically illustrates what is needed, and graphically plans optimized shifts to best meet the goals of the organization. The VAO Schedule Planner does the following:

  • Quickly sets up current shift schedules from a single page form.
  • Assigns “resources to groups,” then to work assignments all from a single page.
  • Analyzes your system to show you the staffing needs as defined by the customer requests.
  • Shows the staffing needs in a graphical format.
  • Updates the model with the modified shifts and group assignments with the click of a button.
  • Determines the effect on any stats in in just minutes.
  • Allows changes for future planning on the one-page forms.

Where to Find the Model Object

The following model object can be found in the model objects directory:

  • Shifts \ VAO Shift Planner

Difficulty Level

  • Ease of Use: Moderate
  • Ease of Modification: Moderate

How to Use the Model Object

  1. Open Your Model: Open your model or create a new blank model.
  2. Insert the Model Object into Your Model
    1. Locate the model object VAO Shift Planner and select the insert button.
    2. Move the cursor to the point of insertion and left mouse-click. The upper left corner of the model object will be inserted at the location of the mouse-click.
  3. Prepare the Model to Use the VAO Schedule Planner: The VAO schedule planner looks for key elements and words to make needed changes to any model. To allow this model object to interface with your model, you need to modify the model to use the key elements and phrases. The needed changes are very simple and consistent.

    If the model was built by assigning resources with connectors, then change the model as show below:VAO Schedule Planner moFromVAO Schedule Planner convert toTo

    1. Change the activity to add a separate input queue. The input queue allows Action Logic in the input queue. This is different from an Activity which only allows action logic after leaving the input queue.
    2. Change the input Queue Capacity to zero.Change the input Queue Capacity to zero
    3. Change the capacity to be large enough to handle the maximum expected usage of resources. Estimate above the expected need.
    4. Remove the time from the time filed and add it to the action logic and free the resource after the processing time. An example is shown below:VAO Schedule Planner example
      1. Add a Storage prior to the activity and give the Storage the same name as the activity, followed by a space, then the word “InQ.” In order to detect a required change, this model object looks for a Storage with the text _InQ on the end of the storage name. Capitalization is not important. An example entry follows:VAO Schedule Planner create inq
      2. Connect the storage to the activity with a percentage route and set the Move Time to zero.VAO Schedule Planner change move time
      3. Add resources to exceed the number of shifts you estimate are needed. Adding too many resources will not cause any problems. Additional resources and shifts may be inserted later, but it is easier to create more than is needed at the beginning.VAO Schedule Planner add resResource graphics can be moved out of the way by sliding them to the bottom of the layout or to a different layer as desired.
      4. Modify arrivals so that they will occur on a weekly cycle. See the daily pattern model object for more information. The weekly pattern will allow the variable arrivals to produce a sufficient sample showing the variation in requests.
  4. Visualize — Set up Resources for Current System: Turn current shifts into an easy-to-read graphical display of resource assignment. These graphics foster understanding and insight of the current system.

    Before using this Excel file for the first time, or after changing your model name, make sure that a manual export of data is done via ProcessModel. From your model, click Tools \ Export Data, click ‘Yes’ to all prompts until the data export file opens, close the data file and then use this Excel file.

    1. Step 1 – Set up Shifts and Assign Resources to Groups: To find the resources in the target model, open the model, and open the VAO Schedule Planner. Select the Setup Workbook button.VAO Schedule Planner setup workbookThe names of the resources automatically enter column “A.” Reorder the names as desired.