The new Work Hours calendar – review of 2021 Release Wave 1 Enhancements

The heart of every field service-related business (sales, service or operations) is 'scheduling'. If you do it well, customers are happy, assets are up and working, and faults are happening less frequently (descending rate of failures) and getting fixed quickly. In this backdrop, anything related to 'scheduling' is of paramount importance to keep the entire machinery running well. One key area in this context is rostering (work hours and calendars) of resources. This needs to be set up properly in the system to enable planners and automated AI-powered scheduling (RSO) to schedule resources that are available to do the work. This is easier said than done though as in real life, work hours patterns differ in many different ways; few examples are:

  1. Same working hours (eg 9a - 5p) on Mon-Tue, Wed off, and then same working hours (9a - 5p) rest of the days Thu-Sun

  2. Different working hours on different days (9a - 5p Mon-Wed, 8a - 4p Thu - Fri, Sat & Sun off)

  3. Different meal breaks times on different days

  4. Different shifts on different days

Above patterns were possible to be configured in pre-UCI screen upgrade with the following control, however, it was not initially supported in the new user interface:

The good news is with the arrival of 2021 Release Wave 1, this gap is abridged. Click on Bookable Resource → Work Hours.

Click on New → Working Hours

Click on Repeat and then click on Custom

Now set different times on different days. You can also set different break (lunch) times:

Click on Apply and Save. Give it a moment and it'll update the entire work hours calendar:

Now that the work hours calendar is updated for a resource, you can use this resource to update the calendar and apply that to the rest of your team (here is an article I wrote on the subject: https://akhan.me/2020/01/23/how-to-setup-roster-for-resources/).

If that piques your interest (as I hope it did!😊), have a look at this video by the Microsoft development team to view other recently introduced features.


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