You’ve got shifts and now you need to assign them.
Different measures may influence the way you place shifts:
- Fairness: do you distribute weekend or night shifts fairly
- Shift count: do all weekdays have the same amount of shifts
- Constraints: do you have complex constraints to look at
The first thing to do is to identify the days with the most shifts to assign. The planner will need to start with these days since they are the days where most people are needed (and the days that in theory, the planner kept the most capacity).
While placing these shifts, the planner will start with the shifts that will be measured for fairness and that need to be distributed fairly. Usually, counters are kept on fairness to determine who’s next to get the bad shift (or the good shift depending on what you measure).
The constraints are looked at when you get to assign the other days (usually the ones surrounding the busiest days and working outwards). You would then complete your schedule finishing with the day that has the lowest number of shifts to assign.
To make this step easy, the planner must be prepared with measures and counters. The more prepared the planner and the better the previous three steps are accomplished, the easier this step will be.