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Operational Research

You can always be more efficient

Operational Research is all about using analysis to improve decision making. Dr Angela Moore uses mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, optimisation, sequencing and scheduling techniques to create simple heuristics you can employ to run your operation more efficiently.


How to Manage your Shift Pattern:Holidays and Absence

"How to Manage your Shift Pattern" is the first shift pattern textbook. An essential management reference book that no manager should be with out. It is unique in its analysis of the problems facing shift pattern managers today. This book outlines the main problems in running a shift pattern and offers a set of solutions to encompass all circumstances. Complete with summary pages, worked examples and example shift patterns this book will help any manager run their shift pattern perfectly and effortlessly.Book

 The main problem facing all shift pattern managers is how to accommodate all of the holidays within the year and not have it effect the operation. The answer is of cause to plan for the holidays in advance. With the correct shift pattern with the proper holiday management planning in place a shift pattern manager can manage the holidays of over a 100 people on less than ½ hour per day. This book contains a range of solutions for holiday management along with examples and detailed explanations of how to implement them with in your organisation.

Once the holidays are sorted the next problem facing shift pattern managers will be absences. Absences have always caused problems because often they are at short notice and whatever cover arrangements are in place there is always that chance that they will still break down at the vital moment. In "How to Manage your Shift Pattern" the different types of absences are discussed, including what an absence rate of 3% actually means in practice. A wide range of solutions is discussed along with examples of how to incorporate the cover arrangements into the shift pattern.

Along with holidays and absences a host of other issues are also covered in this book including: · Banked Hours · Training · Skills Mix · Fatigue · Terms and Conditions of Employment · Annualised Hours

However what makes this book truly unique is that it answers the age-old question "How many staff do I need?" This book takes you through the calculations with several worked examples so that you can ascertain quickly and easily if you are under or over staffed.


The Book of Shift Patterns:Book 1Book 2

"The Book of Shift Patterns:Book 1" contains 300 Individual Shift Patterns. These provide the tools for setting up shift patterns with any number of staff on any shift.The reasons for owning a library of shift patterns are:

  • The workload has changed and the business needs to change with it
  • The current shift pattern might incur too much overtime
  • Staff are working excessive hours
  • There are possible fatigue problems
  • There is a loss of continuity of the operation


  • Holidays Excluded Shift Patterns
  • HESP Holidays Included Shift Patterns
  • HISP Includes Shift Patterns using all 8-hour shifts
  • Shift Patterns using all 12-hour shifts, including for 5-day working.
  • Shift Patterns using 8-hour and 12-hour shifts together.  


The aim of this book of shift patterns is to provide a reference guide for the types of available shift patterns by way of supplying, in an easy to print out format, a total of 300 unique shift patterns. Future planned books will increase this to 5000 shift patterns all laid out in an easy to find indexed file. These books will cover having multiple staff on shifts and shift patterns for specific types of workloads. It is aimed for managers in all the departments that use shifts in their operation. Staff Representative Committees and Unions may also find this book useful when looking for improvement in the ways of working shifts. A common aim for the organisation, and the staff, is to achieve a good work and life balance. For most types of workers this is deemed impossible to control as they will be on an 'Office Hours' Monday to Friday operation using an 8-hour shift pattern where there is no possibility to change it. Whereas, staff working on any type of shift pattern have a totally different situation. They can have a great deal of choice in how and when they would like to work, when they can take their time off, the duration of each of these, the duration of their holidays, and therefore they feel more in control of the time periods at work and periods of time off. Examples in this book include shift patterns for 5-day operations that are normally in fixed rotations that now can encompass flexible working. If you would like to see if there is a better shift pattern available for the current operation, or the next time your organisation is looking at shift patterns, it can now have its own internal library.

We maintain an extensive library of shift patterns and you can now purchase these shift patterns. From this library we have designed and implemented shift patterns for every type of situation you could image. No matter how complicated the staffing requirement, we have never failed to produce the most appropriate shift pattern for our clients using the building blocks in this library. The book contains the details of how this is done.

Shift Patterns

Book 1 has 300 shift patterns, each set out for a complete year along with the statistical calculations. Shift Patterns to provide one team on duty at a time or to provide one individual on duty at a time. Instructions in the book show how we combine these shift patterns to provide asymmetrical combinations of staffing such as; two staff on a Day shift and one staff on the Night shift; or two staff on weekdays and one on weekends. The shift patterns are set up for a complete calendar year with instructions on how to start it on any day of the year and any date in the year. The tables of statistical results show the number of shifts each person will work and the number of hours they will work in the year and in shorter periods of time.

The book shows how to calculate these quantities for all types of contract hours; such as 42, 40, 39, 37.5 and 36 hours per week. The book shows how to include any amount of unpaid breaks on a shift into the statistical calculations. The shift patterns include 5-day working with 'Office Hours' shifts, double and triple shifts and continuous 7-day working. The book includes all the popular and traditional types of shift patterns where staff can request a holiday. These are known as Holiday Excluded Shift Patterns (HESP) and are where the staff have to request their holidays days. This often requires providing cover arrangements, which are either provided within the team or additional personnel need to be provided. It also includes versions of these shift patterns that include the holidays. Holiday Included Shift Patterns (HISP) are very popular. These shift patterns are where the staff are rostered off in turn on holiday all the way through the year. This does not require any cover arrangement from inside a team or from other sources as it forms an integral part of the structure of the shift pattern. A HISP would normally provide about 15 weeks of holiday a year to each person. HISPs are proving very popular especially when there is an extended Summer break of at least two weeks and so each HISP has at least one version that includes an extended Summer break for all staff. If you are not familiar with Holiday Included Shift Patterns (HISP), this book provides you with what is a growing trend among organisations.