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The Old Vicarage
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C-Desk Technology

If you would like to know more about shift pattern design then go to our sister website

We now also have an on-line school to help you learn how to manage your shift pattern. Go to

today and find out more

Workload Analysis Tools

When you are analyzing your workload, a good place to start is with the data you already have. Most workloads are dependent upon your customers. So when will your customers want your products and services?

For the majority of products, customers are humans and they are affected by society. Hence demand will revolve around the day and the week. Some will also vary by the season too. So start breaking your data down into periods. Start by plotting each individual product or service across the year. Separate it into weeks, then look at how many products/services were requested/sold each week.

You can then look for trends in the data. A good tool is Excel, you can use Excel to sort the data and assess trend lines. Below is an example of three products to see how they sold over the year. The year is set out into weeks where week 1 is the first week in January.

workload year

The three products are behaving very differently across the year. Product A is more desirable in the Summer, Product B is more desirable in the school holidays and product C is more desirable in the winter.

Then you go down and look at the individual days. A good idea is to plat them against the week. So looking at how many products/services were requested/sold on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the year.

Below is an example of three products to see how they sold over the week. They all sell at the same rate over the week days, yet on the weekend product A is less desirable, and products B and C are more desirable at weekends then during the week.

workload week

Then you go down again and look at it by hours so each hour across the 24 hours in the day how many products/services were requested/sold.

Below is an example of three products to see how they sold over the day. Product A is more desirable at night, Product B is basically flat across the day and Product C is more desirable during the day time.

workload day

By building up an idea of how your products and services are sold, you can start to build up your workload. Services tend to be at point of sale, so once you have your sales data you can predict when each skill will be required across the day, week and year.

Products on the other hand mostly have to be manufactured before they are sold. So once you have your sales data you can work backwards to estimate when you need to start ordering raw materials, starting production etc.

Templates are a good way of viewing and summarizing your workload. When we at C-desk Technology go into a company to create a shift pattern, we always like to start with the workload. So we ask our clients to fill in a template like the one below for each skill set.

hours table

It is a good starting point for matching the workload. If you think how many people of each skill you would like on shift for each hour of the day and each day of the week, then you can start to match your skills and staffing levels to your workload.

Workload can be in time, or location. When a client asks us to assess their workload, it can be for multiple locations. Each location could have a very different requirement, so they need to be treated as an individual.

We have included the workload template in our new on-line course shift scheduling. As part of this course the workload tamplate enables you to estimate the number of shift workers for any given workload, so that you can correctly staff your operation. Go to today and find out more.

If you would like help assessing your workload please contact us to discuss your work. Please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or phone us on +44 (0) 1636 816466