Recurrence patterns - Best practice

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This article provides a guide on how to effectively manage job recurrences in BigChange. It covers the expected behaviour of the system, including how it handles cancelled jobs, changes to recurrence rules, and job scheduling. It also provides best practice recommendations for managing recurring jobs.

 

Best Practice for Managing Recurrences

To effectively manage job recurrences in BigChange, consider the following best practices:

  • Always schedule the job on the 1st of the month and manually adjust the start date closer to the time. Ensure to never change the recurrence rule as this will change all the job dates even if 'only to this job' is selected.
  • You may find recurring jobs skipping references. This is almost always because the recurrence pattern has been changed. It is important to note that editing the recurrence rule and applying to the whole series deletes all the jobs and creates new ones. This means that the newly generated jobs will take on the next available number in the reference scheme. To avoid this, it is recommended to enable the 'Add suffix after reference' option on the 'Automatic reference type for recurring jobs' general account setting. This means that even if the recurrence pattern is changed, the references will stay the same (e.g. Jobs: 1 2 3 4 > Pattern is changed > New Jobs: 1 5 6 7, Applying the settings will always have the jobs display as 1-001, 1-002, 1-003, 1-004 even if the pattern is changed).
  • Keep group jobs within a group to better track of recurring jobs. Avoid having several recurrence patterns in the same group, especially if the job types are identical, as it makes it very difficult to identify which recurrence is which.

Expected Behaviour of Job Recurrences

Job recurrences in BigChange have specific behaviours that users should be aware of:

  • Job recurrences add a suffix to any recurred jobs (e.g. JOB1-001, JOB1-002...). If the latest job in the recurrence is cancelled, the same suffix is added to any new jobs generated in the recurrence.
  • Cancelled jobs do not appear on the Contact's Jobs tab unless the Job Status – Cancelled is selected.
  • A recurrence is a copy of a job, not a completely new job. This means job details and custom fields will be the same as the first job in the recurrence.
  • Changes to the recurrence rule do not reschedule the recurred jobs. Instead, the system deletes them and creates new jobs in their place, which may also change the job references.
  • If the option ‘Jobs in group are linked’ is ticked, then single job recurrences will not work. This is because linked jobs are designed to start one after the other, so a recurrence on one of the jobs is not possible.
  • A change to the recurrence rule will apply to ALL jobs despite the prompt message "This job is in a series of recurring jobs. Do you want to apply the changes only to this job or to the entire series?" displaying.

Scheduling and Recurrence Generation

When scheduling a job on a different day of the week (weekly recurrences) or a different day in the month (monthly recurrences) than is defined against the recurrence on the job, the user will receive a warning in red. This warning states that the dates do not match and that a job will be generated to fit the defined recurrence. However, there are scenarios where this additional job will occur without warning.

 

For example:

If "First Job Is Created" is selected, you may create a recurrence without scheduling the first job. If you then schedule the first job on a different date to when it was planned, the recurrence has already generated so no duplicate jobs should generate.

If "First Job Is Scheduled" is selected and the day in the month of a monthly recurrence is for instance different to the scheduled date, an additional job would generated. This normally would appear as a warning when creating the job for the first time (shown in the image above) but will not appear in this case as the recurrence has already been created. If you change this setting, recurrences will need to be recreated in order to generate.

 

Within the general account settings, recurrences can be set to generate when "First Job Is Created" or when "First Job Is Scheduled". This affects the dates that subsequent recurring jobs are booked in for.

 

Conclusion

Understanding and managing job recurrences in BigChange is crucial for efficient job scheduling and tracking. By being aware of the system's expected behaviour and following the recommended best practices, users can effectively manage recurring jobs and avoid potential issues.