What is a Schedule?
Schedules can be added to a group to manage which of its group members are on-call at a given time. When an alert is triggered, schedules define member roles that determine how escalation rules will notify the on-call team.
A group can have zero, one, or more schedules. When a group does not have a schedule, escalations are based on the group members sequence.
Creating a Schedule
A group with group members must exist before a schedule can be created. In this section, read about schedule details and how to add a schedule to a group:
- Click on Groups & Schedules in the menu-bar.
- Select the desired group.
- Click the Schedules tab. Then, click Add Schedule.
- Enter a Schedule Name. Each schedule must have its own unique name within the group.
- The Enabled status option allows you to turn off and turn on your schedule.
- Select a Schedule Time Zone. Your schedule will be based on this time zone.
- Choose a Color to represent the schedule on the Group Calendar. As a best practice, choose contrasting colors to distinguish between schedules on the calendar view.
- Select a Start Time and End Time to set the times that start and end the schedule shift period. A common example would be for a schedule to cover on-call hours during the week, setting the start time for EOB on Monday and the end time for the start of business on Friday. Such a schedule will only be active each evening during the defined hours.
- Check the Continuous option to create a schedule without a break in the shift. This produces 24 hour coverage during the defined period.
- Select a schedule Type. A Fixed schedule contains the same fixed team members over a defined schedule period. A Rotating schedule allows you to automatically move users between Primary, Secondary, and Off (blank) roles.
- For Fixed schedules, you can set a schedule to be in effect always (perpetual) or for a set time period. To set a schedule that is perpetual, select the No Start Date radio button. Otherwise, enter a Start Date and End Date for the schedule.
- For Rotating schedules, you must enter a Start Date and End Date. This allows for periodic review of the rotation, and is commonly set for six months or a year out. You must also set a Rotation Frequency to determine when and how many group members rotate in the schedule.
- In the Advanced Settings section, you may select specific days for which the schedule will be in effect. Additionally, for rotating schedules, you can check the Repeat Schedule option to repeat the rotating schedule every [x] amount of weeks.
- For Fixed schedules, when the All Group Users option is checked, the schedule will be in effect for everyone in the group. Add specific users to the schedule by unchecking the All Group Users option.
- For Rotating schedules, you must always add users to the schedule manually. To Schedule Users, click and drag users into the Users in Schedule box. Then, set the sequence and select a member role for each user in the schedule. A best practice is to set the top member in the list as Primary to align with the start date of the rotation.
- Click Save.
- After saving your schedule, you may view the schedule in the group calendar.
How to Remove a Schedule
- Click on Groups & Schedules in the menu-bar.
- Select the desired group.
- Click the Schedules tab.
- Under Action, click the Delete Schedule icon next to the schedule you wish to remove.
- Click OK to confirm.
Member Roles and Scheduling Users
In each group, users can have one of three active member roles: Primary, Secondary, or Manager. Additionally, a member may have no role (blank), allowing for members who are not active during the current period, but who will rotate into active status in later periods. These member roles determine escalation behavior when an alert is received. A group does not need to have a member with the Manager role, but it needs at least one Primary member or one Secondary member.
Member Roles in Schedules
When schedules are implemented, alerts will deliver to the group members based on the scheduled users' member roles. Escalation Rules define the way notifications are sent to group members depending on their member role.
For fixed schedules, you may give users the Primary role or Secondary role:
The sequence in which members of a fixed schedule will follow the order of Primaries being notified first, followed by secondaries, then managers. However, if you have multiple group members of the same role, the Sequence determines the order. This can be accessed from the group's main page.
For rotating schedules, you may select the Primary and Secondary member roles for group members who will be on-call for the first period. Then you may choose the blank role for users on Standby and will be rotated into a role. Users that are on Standby for a shift will not be notified till they are rotated in to a on-call role.
When you create a schedule with multiple members on-call, The order in which the Members will be notified is based on the order moving from top to bottom based on the order they are listed:
If no members of the schedule acknowledge or close an alert, the alert will be escalated to Manager members of the group:
The rotation of on-call roles within a rotating schedule will occur from bottom to top based on the listed order. The user at the top will be moved to the bottom of the list. As users rotate, they assume the role that the previous member of that rotation held.
For example, in the rotation presented below, The current primary will be moved to the bottom of the queue and assume the role of standby for the next rotation. The current secondary will be come the next primary and the user at the top of the standby will become the next secondary.
This example shows a rotating schedule with three members: one Primary member and two blank members. By default, when adding a user to a schedule, the first user will be a Primary member. Primary members receive primary member role alerts defined by escalation rules. Blank members will become Primary members when it's their turn in the rotation.
This example shows a rotating schedule with one Primary member, one Secondary member, and one blank member. You can set up as many primary and secondary members as you want in a schedule. Depending on the schedule setup, users will rotate between primary, secondary, and blank member roles.
This example shows a fixed schedule with two Primary members and one Secondary member. In this case, for escalations, user will be notified first, followed by Ann, and then Harry. Escalation Rules and Member Roles define how the users in the schedule will receive notifications. Ann and user receive notifications defined for Primary members and, Harry receives notifications defined for Secondary members.
Example 4 (ADVANCED EXAMPLE)
This example shows a fixed schedule with two Primary members and two Secondary members. In this case, for escalations, Gary will be notified first, followed by Boris, then Tony, and finally Johnny. Escalation Rules and Member Roles define how the users in the schedule will receive notifications. Gary and Boris receive notifications defined for Primary members, while Tony and Johnny receive notifications defined for Secondary members.
This scenario has a more complicated rotation order. After two shifts of being primary the user is shifted into a secondary role. After two shifts of secondary, the user is shifted into a standby role.