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Manage schedules

The Scheduling function in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is simple to use, requires minimal set up, and answers the question: How much work is assigned to a person for a given time period, such as per– day, week, or month?

Scheduling lets you forecast how busy someone is based upon the known and estimated things they will spend time doing in the future. This means that scheduling is about planning, not tracking, which is handled by time slips (see also Analyze time spent working on a task or a project).

There are three types of records that track future time and therefore affect a contact’s schedule:

  • Tasks: The estimated time of a task due in the future represents an estimate of how much time the task will take to complete.

  • Project Estimates: Estimates items associated with a project with a due date, service, contact and a quantity represent an estimate of how much time the project will take to complete.

  • Calendar Activities: Future activities on a contact's calendar with a start and end date/time represent an estimate of how much time the activity will take to complete.

Prerequisites

Enable scheduling for your site

To use the scheduling feature, your admin must enable and configure it for your using the Scheduling settings on the Site Settings page (see also Configure site settings). For more information about how these settings affect scheduling, see the “How time gets scheduled” section later in this topic.

Required privileges

To see the schedules, you must have View Schedules privileges. More information: Work with user accounts and staff contacts.

View schedules

To view schedules, go to Projects > Job Management > Scheduling. The Scheduling list page opens. You can do the following here:

  • Use the show hours/intervals toolbar button to switch between viewing single days or intervals of days (weeks, months, quarters, years, etc.), respectively.

  • Use the search and filter controls here to locate a span of time and/or collection of contacts to focus on.

  • View a list of contacts scheduled for work during the time span you have specified, together with the work commitments each of them has.

  • To view more details about what a given contact is working on, choose that contact’s name in the list.

  • This page provides many of the standard controls for searching, sorting, filtering, and viewing items in the list, plus other common features. For details about how to use these common controls, see Learn how to work and get around in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing.

Set custom scheduling options for individual contacts

Part of the site-wide configuration for scheduling includes default settings for start time, end time and maximum hours. These will apply to all contacts by default, but you can also make custom settings to override the defaults for one or more contacts as follows:

  1. Open the maintenance page for a target contact. This will typically be a staff contact, but might also be a client or vendor contact.

  2. Choose the Details related-information tab.

  3. Expand the Scheduling heading.

  4. Set the appropriate values for start time, end time, and maximum hours per day. (For more information about how these settings affect scheduling, see the “How time gets scheduled” section later in this topic.)


Caution

Changing a contact's schedule will require Microsoft Dynamics Marketing to update all of the contact's scheduling records. This can take a few minutes.


How time gets scheduled

When calculating schedules, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing uses your site-wide (by default) and contact-specific scheduling settings as follows:

  • Week days only: The scheduling function in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing assumes that contacts work Monday through Friday. It is not designed for 7-day work weeks.

  • Maximum hours per day: The Maximum Hours per Day value limits the amount of time that Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will allow a single task or estimate item to last during a single day... regardless of start and end time. Example: Person A's start time is 8:30 am and her end time is 5:30 pm. Her maximum hours per day is 6. If a task is estimated to take 12 hours Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will schedule no more than 6 hours per day, even though there are 9 hours between her start time (8:30 am) and her end time (5:30 pm).

  • Start time: Microsoft Dynamics Marketing never schedules work before a contact's start time. Example: A task is due at 10 am; your start time is 8:30 am. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will schedule 1.5 hours of work from 8:30 am until 10:00 on the day the work is due.

  • End time: Microsoft Dynamics Marketing never schedules work after a contact's end time. Example: A task is due at 10 pm; your end time is 5:30 pm. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will schedule work up to 5:30 pm on the day the work is due.

  • Hourly Level: The scheduling function in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing tracks time at the hourly-level to enable users to see how busy a contact is during each hour of the day. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing breaks tasks, estimates, and activities into hourly 'chunks'.

  • Time zones: Microsoft Dynamics Marketing takes time zones into consideration when it schedules time.

In addition, the following rules apply:

  • The scheduling function doesn’t prevent under or overscheduling; rather it provides users with information to schedule work and time appropriately. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing won't prevent users from creating tasks, estimates, or activities because a contact is 'too busy'.

  • Projects typically have a due date and duration. Sometimes work will have a start date; rarely is the duration equal to the total time between the start and end date.  Calendar activities typically have a start and end date. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing schedules task and estimates time assuming that people work backwards from the due date.

  • Time is not scheduled for canceled, completed or deleted tasks, estimate items, and calendar activities.

  • Time is only scheduled for tasks, estimate items, and calendar activities with a due date or end date.

  • Time is only scheduled for one estimate for each project; if a project has several estimates, the default estimate is used to schedule time.

Applies To

Dynamics Marketing