Scheduling Conflicts and BlockOuts

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As you are scheduling people to a plan, you will probably encounter situations when people have a scheduling conflict with the plan time or have the time blocked out on their schedule.

Some conflicts are OK, particularly if you have someone scheduled for two positions that they can do at the same time, like playing guitar and singing on a worship team

If it's a conflict you want to avoid, the easiest way to handle this is to assign someone else on the team to the position. But if you still want to try to schedule people with conflicts or blockout dates, see the following sections to better understand how to schedule around these.

Types of Scheduling Conflicts

A big benefit of using Planning Center for scheduling is that it helps you avoid different types of scheduling conflicts. You might see one or more of the conflicts shown in the following image when trying to schedule a person.

 

See the sections below for an explanation of how to identify each conflict and what it means.

1. Scheduling Preference

Each user can set scheduling preferences for how often they prefer to serve. For example, someone might want to serve twice a month or only on the 1st and 3rd weekends.

If your request clashes with their preference, you will see a preference warning and can choose whether or not to schedule them anyway.

2. Conflicts

If a person is already scheduled for another position and any of the times conflict with what you are trying to schedule them for, you will see a Conflict warning.

You will usually want to avoid that and schedule someone else, though sometimes a person can be scheduled for two things at once, and you can just ignore the conflict. For example, if someone is scheduled to two positions in a worship team, such as acoustic guitar and vocalist, they should be able to do both.

3. Declined Requests

If a person has already declined another position that coincides with the times for this plan, you will see a Declined Request warning.

4. Blockout Dates

Users can log in at any time and block out dates they know they will be gone so that if you try to schedule them, you get a Blockout warning.

When someone blocks out a date, they can include a reason, which can be something like “I’m really busy and would rather not, but if you are out of options, let me know” or "I will be out town this week."

You will see those reasons when you try to schedule them, so you can decide whether or not to request them anyway.

None of the conflicts will prevent you from scheduling someone. You can always choose to ignore a conflict and schedule the person anyway.

It's also possible that when conflicts that show up for a person, they are the result of times that have been set incorrectly.

How Conflicts are Determined

The software looks at all the plans the person is assigned to and sees which specific times they are scheduled for. If any times overlap with the times in your existing plan, you will see conflicts.

If you have already scheduled someone, you can click on their name and see which conflicts currently exist. If you are scheduling a person who has not yet been scheduled to a plan, they have not actually been assigned times yet. However, once you choose what team you are trying to schedule them for, the software looks at the default times for that team and sees if any of those times have conflicts.

 

Troubleshooting Time Conflicts

Sometimes, a person is assigned to a rehearsal or other time that is just on the wrong date. A time can also be set incorrectly, with one time overlapping with another time.

You can only find this by going into a plan to make sure that all the service times, rehearsals and other times are on the correct dates, with accurate start and end times.

Check the times that are assigned to teams for the plan.

  1. Make sure to set separate start and end times that don't overlap with another service.
  2. Make sure that you have a checkmark next to every team that is assigned to this time. If a team is unchecked, they aren't assigned to this time and if someone tries to schedule them for this time, a conflict won't show up.
Still Have Questions? Try Checking Time Assignments

Once the person is scheduled, click on their name, and on the right of the modal, the times they are assigned to are checked.

Take note of which times they are assigned to, and then click Cancel.

If you still have a conflict with another plan or position, then go to the other plan. Click the person in the other plan or position, and repeat Steps 2 and 3 above, seeing which times the person is assigned to and then making sure that each of those times is set up correctly.

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