Help me use Excel to save my job
June 19, 2014 4:59 PM Subscribe
So, I just got promoted to a new position at my company (Yay!). Unfortunately, the new requirements involve scheduling a ridiculous number of people. It turns out my predecessor has just been doing dozens of iterations manually until one kind of worked, but every slight change puts a bunch of other things out of wack.
I feel like Excel could probably be capable of doing it, but I have no idea how I would go about designing such a spread sheet.
posted by cacofonie to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Here is an analogy I've constructed, with the analogy of having to fill a maintenance schedule.
- I have a table with a list of names, their rank, their days off.
- Every night has to have a plumber and a sweeper on.
- Workers can’t work 2 shifts in a row.
- There are 3 ranks. Master plumber, Plumber, and Junior plumber. Junior plumbers can only sweep when a master plumber is on with them.
- The workers are very sticky about equal distribution. They’ve agreed to a “point system” where sweeping is 3x harder than plumbing, and that weekend shifts are 2x harder than weekday shifts.
- They really want every worker to have a similar (if not equal) number of points.
- They each have a list of days off.
- Ideally, the shifts are as far away from each other as possible.
Is such a thing even possible in Excel? To plug in the table and out comes a schedule, or several schedules?
I imagine it would require VBA, would it be difficult to do in VBA?
If so, where would be a reputable place where I could pay someone to build this for me and what would be a reasonable cost?