Volunteer Scheduler ProVSP Help TopicsSchedulingAuto-schedulerAfter running the auto-scheduler, the distribution seems uneven. Why is that and how do I fix it?

After running the auto-scheduler, the distribution seems uneven. Why is that and how do I fix it?

Each volunteer is scheduled in order to distribute the hours and jobs fairly among all of the volunteers qualified for the specific jobs.  If you notice that some volunteers are being scheduled more or less often than other volunteers in their same jobs, some common causes of such imbalances are:

• The two volunteers being compared are qualified for different jobs, and as a result of their differing loads in their other jobs they are being given a different amount of hours in the jobs which the two share.   By default, Volunteer Scheduler Pro gives more hours in a specific job to those volunteers who have a smaller load in the other jobs for which they are qualified to perform.  You may override this behavior and indicate that each qualified volunteer should be scheduled exactly the same number of times in a particular job by checking the "Schedule this job autonomously" option found in the "Edit job" dialog.

• The two volunteers being compared have different shift preferences. If one shift is in particularly high demand, volunteers with that shift preference may not be scheduled as often as those who have selected a shift preference that not many other volunteers have selected, especially if the volunteers’ “Schedule only at these times” option is turned on. This imbalance is a natural result of needing to fill all the positions in the low-demand shifts with a limited number of volunteers while having too many volunteers to fill the positions in the high-demand shifts.

• One of the volunteers has a single-date-range “can’t serve time” that spans a significant portion of the schedule, or many smaller can’t serve times. When a volunteer has can’t serve times during the schedule, the scheduler will give that volunteer fewer shifts to account for this “vacation” time.

• One of the volunteers belongs to a family which has its “Never schedule this family without all of its members” option turned on. Turning this option on can cause a volunteer to be scheduled much less often than he otherwise would be because he can only be scheduled with his family members and his family members may not be able to be scheduled as often as he should be.

• One of the volunteers was scheduled more or less often in past schedules and the scheduler is compensating by scheduling him less or more often in this schedule. These slight imbalances that occur between schedules are normal. You can view a cumulative total of hours given including any number of past schedules by using the appropriate controls in the "View Hours Scheduled..." report, found in the Reports menu of an open schedule. Any imbalances caused by this item will become negligible over time.

If there is an imbalance occurring in your schedules that you do not understand and none of the causes in the above list seem to fit the situation, choose “Send Data Files to Tech Support...” from the Help menu at the top of the schedule that contains the imbalance. We will review your database, configuration, and schedule in our lab, determine what is causing the imbalance, and then respond with an explanation and most likely a quick solution. Please note that it is important when you send us your files to describe the problem in as much detail as possible. At a minimum your message should state which volunteers are involved, how you would expect them to be scheduled, and how they are actually being scheduled.