Principles of Fixed Tasks and Minimum Settings
Fixed Tasks and Minimum Settings are scheduling metrics that, along with the Workload Rules, impact the deployment graphs within Labour Productivity.
Both settings are associated with specific job roles and so will only impact the Area to which those job roles are mapped. It is important to note that, although both settings will generate a labour demand on the graph of the respective Area, any job role scheduled within that Area can satisfy the workload.
For example, in a Location where Bartenders are mapped to FOH and there is a Fixed Task against the Bartender role to count stock on a Monday, any employee with a role mapped to FOH can be scheduled to fulfil this task.
Minimum Settings and Fixed Tasks generate labour demand irrespective of sales and items but interact with the workload rules in different ways.
- Combines with the Workload Rule associated with that specific job role. Creating a Minimum for a job role that does not have a Workload Rule will generate additional workload
- Demand generated by the Workload Rule interacting with items will only be visible once it exceeds the Minimum Setting
- A Minimum Setting should reflect the staffing levels required to open the business and operate safely and legally but potentially not generate any sales
- A Minimum Setting should include allowances for opening and closing as well as to ensure that team demand levels do not diminish too quickly post peak
Minimums are not cumulative. For example, if wanting to set a minimum of 1x server from 0900 with an additional server every hour up until 1200, the following would be entered:
Fig.1 - Additional server every hour up until 1200
Produces this graph:
Fig.2 - Graph showing increase of servers each hour
As opposed to the incorrect method:
Fig.3 - No change in no. of servers each hour
Which produces this graph…
Fig.4 - Graph showing no change in no. of servers
- Allocates labour demand at defined times and days for weekly recurring tasks, e.g. stock count, end of week admin. Allocation is in addition to the workload determined by the Workload Rules.
- For example: The number of items forecast 0900-0930 requires 2 Servers and there is a Fixed Task for a Server to count stock 0700-1000. The system will show that 3 Servers are required 0900-0930
- Fixed tasks should only be used for tasks that are scheduled consistently at the defined times and by a role within the relevant Area. Any deviation from this will cause the system to show this as over/under-scheduling and impact deployment accuracy.
Please note: Where a Fixed Task is set against a role with a Minimum Setting, no additional labour will be suggested until the volume of items drives workload above the Minimum.
Fig.5 - Explanation of Fixed Tasks and Minimum Settings
What to Consider before Creating or Changing Fixed and Minimum Settings
- Any changes made to the scheduling metrics will impact the historical graphs and deployment accuracy reporting within Labour Productivity. However, Fourth Analytics will continue to reflect the settings at the time the data was sent to it
- Minimums and Fixed Tasks effectively “lock” labour into the graphs. Setting Minimums too high will mask the demand driven by the variable workload data (items) and remove the ability to evaluate opportunity
- Minimums should be relative to opening and closing times
- Fixed Tasks may be absorbed within Minimums if both are against the same job role
- Where appropriate Fourth recommends comparable businesses be grouped into buckets and a consistent methodology applied to the allocation of Minimums Settings and Fixed Tasks. This will enable benchmarking and promote consistent ways of working across the estate
- Any changes applied to the scheduling metrics should follow a rationale and consider operational impact
- Access to apply changes should be restricted to trained Gatekeeper(s)
- Changes should be documented (see downloads below)
Recommendations before Making Changes
Download Current Settings
- Go to Settings > Minimum Staff Levels > Download Minimum Staff Levels
- Go to Settings>Fixed Tasks>Download Fixed Tasks
This will download settings for all Locations within the portal.
Fig.6 - Download Minimum Staff Levels
- Note deployment accuracy with current settings either through Fourth Analytics or the Weekly Productivity Analysis report in Labour Productivity
After Making Changes
- Review the impact on deployment graphs across a couple of weeks that have accurate schedules and either forecast or actual sales data
- Is the graph suggesting team where they are not required and where the levels are not supported by sales? Times or levels of team within the Minimum may need adjusting. Fixed Tasks may not be being scheduled
- Visibility of Fixed Tasks can be toggled on/off, as shown below in Fig.7
Fig.7 - Schedule by Demand graph, and Fixed Tasks view toggle
How to Create and Edit Minimums
- Go to Settings > Minimum Staff Levels > Minimum Staff Levels
- To see all entries, select 100 in the Show Entries box at the top of the page
- Select either Edit or Create New
- Select the Job Role (remember this needs to be the same role that has the workload against it or it will generate additional demand)
- Complete the template. Regarding the start and end times, Labour Productivity 24 hour periods run from 0500 to 0500 so if needing to create an overnight minimum from 2300-0700, this would have to be entered as two settings: 2300-0500 and 0500-0700 the following day
How to Create Fixed Tasks
- Same process as for Minimums except task can be named in the Notes box. E.g. “Monday Admin”