In this multi-part blog post we will discuss what was one of the most requested features of TexCom: Shift Scheduling. We are happy to offer this as a part of TexCom and at the same time offering it Free to our users. The goal with this series is to help you understand the best practices in setting up your department to use TexCom as your shift scheduling source. Even though we may discuss this at a fire department level, our shift scheduling scheme is commonly used in other areas of public safety such as police, ambulance companies, and any other organization that has a need for schedule rotation. This first part will deal with the basics of how our shift scheduling started and how it is set up within TexCom.
As TexCom started to grow in popularity a few years ago, one of the most common questions was: “Can you incorporate shift scheduling?” On the surface this felt like a logical expansion and something that would be an easy feat after what we had already created. Even though we felt like we knew a lot already about how shift scheduling worked we decided to meet with several of our best TexCom users to see how their departments operate. After several meetings and online research, we realized that shifts did not operate as similarly as we thought. Many of the differences related around weekly or monthly work hour restrictions and how the department assigned personnel to shifts. Nevertheless, we were able to draw some common characteristics common to all departments. As a result, TexCom shift scheduling is set up with three basic principles:
- Every shift has a repeating cycle. Be it 3 days or 30 days, the cycle repeats itself.
- Assigning users to a shift is done by either a long term assignment or individual single day assignments.
- Shift changes do occur and will occur for any firefighter.
With this we feel we will meet the scheduling needs of your department and are excited to have this functionality within TexCom. In the next part of this series we will cover the basics of principle #1, where we determine the cycle time of a shift and how to set it up within TexCom.