However, if you admit that there is room for improvement, this series of articles could benefit you. You will understand the negative effects caused by simple shortcomings in the communications surrounding schedule management.
The case addressed here is that of leave requests.
This Is the True Story of Pierre, My Oldest Daughter’s Boyfriend
A family dinner is organized for my oldest daughter’s birthday. I invite my two daughters, their boyfriends (Pierre and Marc) and my mother.
Pierre works as a waiter in a restaurant on the weekends. Two weeks before the dinner, Pierre arrives at work and requests a leave to the schedule manager.
Time passes by and Pierre doesn’t receive any news. He assumes that his time off was not accepted. The schedule in Excel format is posted without modification.
The day of the dinner in question, in the afternoon, Pierre tells us that he will join us as soon as his shift is over, but that he won’t be there to have dinner, not having had any news about his request.
- 6:15pm: Pierre puts on his uniform
- 6:30pm: Pierre leaves for work. He works in a restaurant 25 minutes from home.
- 7:00pm: When he arrives, he notices that he has been crossed off the Excel-table schedule posted in the staff room and replaced by another employee. He interrupts the manager on the floor and talks with him. The latter confirms that Pierre is not working that night. He failed to confirm this with him. Pierre did not have the opportunity to see the change on the paper schedule since he does not work during the week.
- 7:20pm: He leaves the restaurant and sets out towards home
- 7:50pm: He stops at home to change
- 8:20pm: Pierre joins us
When he arrives, Pierre shares his disappointment with us. He drove an hour for absolutely nothing, and he missed his girlfriend’s dinner party. There is an obvious awkwardness…
Now, How Would It Happen If the Restaurant Used Agendrix?
- Pierre would have made a leave request directly on the Internet, from his mobile device or web browser, even before the schedule was designed by the manager.
- While making his leave request, he choses the start and end date and justifies it by writing:
- "I want to be off for my girlfriend’s dinner party. This dinner is important to me."
- At the same time, instantly, a notification is sent to the schedule manager to notify him of a new leave request.
- The schedule manager has three choices: approve, decline or begin a conversation to explain his point of view or change something about the request. In the request received from Pierre, the manager also sees the history of past requests. He can also see pending leave requests from other waiters for the same period.
- Next, he approves the request with a simple click. There is nothing else for the manager to do. The leave request is then transposed into the schedule planner interface.
- A notification is automatically sent to Pierre who's informed of the good news.
The schedule manager does not have to share his personal information (email address, Facebook profile, or personal phone number) with the employees. The latter receive communications straight from Agendrix and not from the manager’s phone number, email address or Facebook account. Thus, schedule managers using Agendrix conserve their information private!
The revised and corrected scenario:
- Pierre is a part of the birthday dinner.
- No awkwardness for Pierre.
- No interruption for the manager during peak time on a Friday night.
Communications errors cause a lot of lost time and plenty of headaches. A vast majority of these inconveniences could be avoided with the use of adequate technology. The good news is that it is never too late to improve the systems you have in place!