Schedule

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For other uses, see Schedule (disambiguation).
"Timetable" redirects here. For other uses, see Timetable (disambiguation).
A volunteer adjusts the schedule board at Wikimania 2007. The board indicates the times and locations at which events will take place, thus assisting participants in deciding which events they can attend.
A train schedule informs travelers of the trains going to various locations, and indicates the times of departure.
Hours of operation posted at a FEMA office following a disaster inform the public of when FEMA employees will be available to assist them.
A weekly work schedule indicates which employees of a business are going to work at which times, to insure the effective distribution of labor resources.

A schedule or a timetable, as a basic time-management tool, consists of a list of times at which possible tasks, events, or actions are intended to take place, or of a sequence of events in the chronological order in which such things are intended to take place. The process of creating a schedule - deciding how to order these tasks and how to commit resources between the variety of possible tasks - is called scheduling,[1][2] and a person responsible for making a particular schedule may be called a scheduler. Making and following schedules is an ancient human activity,[3] though perhaps not a universal one.[4] Some scenarios associate "this kind of planning" with learning "life skills".[5][6] In a wide variety of situations[which?] schedules are necessary, or at least useful.

Schedules can usefully span both short periods, such as a daily or weekly schedule, and long-term planning with respect to periods of several months or years.[7] They are often made using a calendar, where the person making the schedule can note the dates and times at which various events are planned to occur. Schedules that do not set forth specific times for events to occur may instead list algorithmically an expected order in which events either can or must take place.

Kinds of schedules[edit]

Publicly available schedules[edit]

Certain kinds of schedules reflect information that is generally made available to the public, so that members of the public can plan certain activities around them. These may include things like:

Internal schedules[edit]

An internal schedule is a schedule that is only of importance to the people who must directly abide by it. It has been noted that "[g]roups often begin with a schedule imposed from the outside, but effective groups also develop an internal schedule that sets goals for the completion of micro-tasks".[8] Unlike schedules for public events or publicly available amenities, there is no need to go to the time and effort of publicizing the internal schedule. To the contrary, an internal schedule may be kept confidential as a matter of security or propriety.

An example of an internal schedule is a workplace schedule, which lists the hours that specific employees are expected to be in a workplace, ensure sufficient staffing at all times while in some instances avoiding overstaffing. A work schedule for a business that is open to the public must correspond to the hours of operation of the business, so that employees are available at times when customers are able to use the services of the business. One common method of scheduling employees to ensure the availability of appropriate resources is a Gantt chart.[9] Another example of an internal schedule is the class schedule of an individual student, indicating what days and times their classes will be held.

Project management scheduling[edit]

A schedule may also involve the completion of a project with which the public has no interaction public prior to its completion. In project management, a formal schedule will often be created as an initial step in carrying out a specific project, such as the construction of a building, development of a product, or launch of a program. Establishing a project management schedule involves listing milestones, activities, and deliverables with intended start and finish dates, of which the scheduling of employees may be an element.[10] A production process schedule is used for the planning of the production or the operation, while a resource schedule aids in the logistical planning for sharing resources among several entities.

In such cases, a schedule "is obtained by estimating the duration of each task and noting any dependencies amongst those tasks".[2] Dependencies, in turn, are tasks that must be completed in order to make other tasks possible, such as renting a truck before loading materials on the truck (since nothing can be loaded until the truck is available for things to be loaded on).[2] Scheduling of projects, therefore, requires the identification of all of the tasks necessary to complete the project, and the earliest time at which each task can be completed.[2] In creating a schedule, a certain amount of time is usually set aside as a contingency against unforeseen days. This time is called scheduling variance,[11] or float,[12] and is a core concept for the critical path method.

In computing[edit]

Scheduling is important as an internal process in computer science, wherein a schedule is a list of actions from a set of transactions in databases, and scheduling is the way various processes are assigned in computer multitasking and multiprocessing operating system design. This kind of scheduling is incorporated into the computer program, and the user may be completely unaware of what tasks are being carried out and when. Scheduling operations and issues in computing may include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ See Hojjat Adeli, Asim Karim, Construction Scheduling, Cost Optimization and Management (2003), p. 54.
  2. ^ a b c d Ofer Zwikael, John Smyrk, Project Management for the Creation of Organisational Value (2011), p. 196: "The process is called scheduling, the output from which is a timetable of some form".
  3. ^ James, C. Renée (2014). Science Unshackled. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 14. ISBN 1421415003. "This obsession with timekeeping isn't anything new, though. Ancient schedules revolved around annual, seasonal, monthly, or daily rhythms, and innumerable examples of timekeeping structures and rock carvings from these early cultures still pepper our planet in famous places like Stonehenge in Wiltshire County, England, and in less famous places like the V-V Ranch Petroglyph site near Sedona, Arizona." 
  4. ^ Compare some aspects of hunter-gatherer society: Lee, Richard B. (1998). "What hunters do for a living, or, how to make out on scarce resources". In Gowdy, John. Limited Wants, Unlimited Means: A Reader On Hunter-Gatherer Economics And The Environment. Island Press. p. 52. ISBN 9781559635554. Retrieved 2014-09-09. "The hunters[' ...] schedule is uneven. it is not unusual for a man to hunt avidly for a week and then do no hunting at all for two or three weeks. Since hunting is an unpredictable business and subject to magical control, hunters sometimes experience a run of bad luck and stop hunting for a month or longer. During these periods, visiting, entertaining, and especially dancing are the primary activities of men." 
  5. ^ Kohl Coston, Phyllis (2013). Celebration of Success. Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse. p. 26. ISBN 9781491802311. Retrieved 2014-09-02. "[Allison] and Evan believe this kind of planning teaches responsibility and consideration for others as well as helping the boys learn life skills such as time management, the importance of being a team member, and ownership of calendar details." 
  6. ^ Karniol, Rachel (2010). Social Development as Preference Management: How Infants, Children, and Parents Get What They Want from One Another. Cambridge University Press. p. 129. ISBN 1139484001. "[P]arents have agendas that dictate how they prioritize their own behavior. These agendas necessarily require them to plan and set up schedules and children's preferences may play a subsidiary role in these schedules." 
  7. ^ Dennis Coon, John Mitterer, Psychology: Modules for Active Learning (2007), p. 7.
  8. ^ Michael E. Gorman, Transforming Nature: Ethics, Invention and Discovery (1998), p. 308.
  9. ^ Gantt chart scheduling "Planning shift work" CEITON technologies
  10. ^ Identifying milestones "Identify and Describe MILESTONES and CONTROL POINTS" Phil Richardson
  11. ^ Calin M. Popescu, Project Planning, Scheduling, and Control in Construction (1995), p. 522.
  12. ^ Project Management Institute. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide). Project Management Institute, 4 Original edition (December 31, 2008). 

See also[edit]