Scheduling the Future

By Cliff Stevenson, Principal Analyst, Talent Management and Workforce Management, Brandon Hall Group

Want to review the latest Brandon Hall Group research on Workforce scheduling? This exclusive Research Brief, based on data from three Brandon Hall Group Workforce Management studies, examines ways organizations leverage technology and practices to use the scheduling process to boost revenue, manage compliance and deliver great service. Here’s the link.

I recently reviewed some older research about scheduling in preparation for the Brandon Hall Group Workforce Management Technology survey (now in the field).

I was struck how far scheduling technology advanced. Just four years ago, the biggest thing in scheduling was automation, with some vendors able to integrate schedules with sales figures or other forecasts. Now, it’s pretty common to see machine learning used in scheduling software, opening up a massive range of possibilities.

In my position as an analyst at Brandon Hall Group, I am lucky enough to see demos of emerging technologies and even early designs or concepts months or years before they come out. Let me share with you what now exists or will be available very soon.

The biggest movement in scheduling is how machine learning allows systems to learn from past schedules to create new, optimized schedules. By taking input from what worked in the past, some software can create schedules that balance worker needs (preferred shifts), business needs (customer demand) and other factors such as seasonal expected volume, labor contracts, and in some cases worker preferences, by allowing them to rate their schedule and bringing that feedback into the calculations.

This is almost always done in real time, so when a worker calls in sick, the scheduling software can change the schedule on the fly and send out the appropriate notifications. As someone who’s had to create schedules in a hospitality setting, this type of flexibility and adaptability was beyond anything I had even considered at the time.

It should be mentioned that all of this is happening in a self-service setting, so employees have the ability to check their schedule on their mobile device, request time off and in some cases swap shifts with other workers.

Coming next will be the ability to factor in external data such as weather forecasts and traffic, market conditions and greater use of artificial intelligence — one company even partnered with Amazon to allow schedules to be accessed and changed through voice command with Alexa. For many of us salaried employees, we may not have thought about scheduling for a while, but for those with hourly schedules or create those schedules, this will be welcome news.

Cliff Stevenson, (Twitter: @CliffordDarrell) Principal Analyst, Talent Management and Workforce Management, Brandon Hall Group

For more information on Brandon Hall Group’s research, please visit

Like what you see? Share with a friend.

Mike Cooke



Stay connected

Get notified for upcoming news subscribing

Related Content

Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.

Resubscribe to our email distribution list.