How do I use the auto scheduler?

While you can manually assign your volunteers to the various jobs and shifts in your schedule, you can also take advantage of VSP's automated scheduler.

The schedules that VSP produces are of the absolute highest quality. We made developing a state-of-the-art scheduling engine our first priority when we began working on VSP.  The engine is based on a proprietary, highly sophisticated multi-pass algorithm that guarantees the fairest possible shift distribution in every single schedule and even balances job loads between schedules. We are confident that you and your volunteers will be extremely pleased with the schedules VSP produces.

To use the auto-scheduler, you will create a schedule for the time period of your choosing.  You should manually assign those positions which volunteers have specifically requested before running the auto scheduler, so that VSP fills the schedule in around those positions.  For help manually assigning volunteers, please read the following article: How do I manually fill in positions in a schedule?

When you are ready, click the "Auto Schedule..." button in the upper right hand side of the schedule window.  VSP will then present you with a variety of options for running the auto-scheduler - click the "Show more options..." button to see all of the options.

You have the choice of having the scheduling engine fill in all available positions, or choosing certain jobs, shifts, a date range (or a combination of those) to be filled in.  

For example, if you'd like the auto scheduler to only fill in all of your Weekdays, 9 AM - 4 PM shifts, you would select the option that says "All empty positions in shifts I select or during a time period of my choosing..." and then click the "Continue" button in the lower right.

The next screen will ask which shifts you would like VSP to schedule for you, and you can manually select the shift(s) - in this example we are only scheduling one shift.  When you are ready, click the "Commence Scheduling" button and VSP will schedule the jobs at those shifts for you.

All of those shifts will now be filled in.  To auto-schedule additional shifts, click the "Auto Schedule..." button again.