Linked Job Groups

  • Updated

BigChange's JobWatch system makes short work of scheduling jobs and allocating them to resources.  Creating ‘Group Jobs’ makes this even simpler, as it allows you to keep together jobs of a similar theme or which form part of a project.  

Often, elements of the job are ‘linked’, in that all the jobs in the group are performed by the same resource and follow on consecutively from one another, ie, when the first job in the group has been completed, the second job will start and so on.   

Where this is the case, Linked job groups can significantly speed up your scheduling. Behaving as a single unit, these Job groups can be dragged around the Schedule with a single action and make rescheduling or setting recurrences a breeze.



Creating Linked Jobs

Where the jobs which will make up the group are themselves new types, begin by setting up each of the jobs.

  • Navigate to:[Top menu]Profile (icon)Admin Settings[side menu] Schedule Job types → Add

Complete a Job type form for each of the new Job types eg

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Once all of the new Job types have been created, you can set up a Linked Job Group.

  • Navigate to:[Top menu]Profile (icon) → Admin Settings [side menu] Schedule Job Group Templates

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  1. The reference number your Job Group Template will use
  2. The name you wish to attach to your group of jobs. For ease of use, it should be something which clearly indicates within your company the different jobs it will contain eg site clean up, double collection, single delivery.
  3. This is the checkbox which enforces the linked job functionality and therefore must be ticked.  When this is done, (5) 'All jobs within the group are scheduled to the same resource' will grey out because all linked jobs must be performed by the same resource.
  4. This should be ticked when all jobs will be carried out at the same site.
  5. See 3.  This is a pre-requisite for Linked Job Groups.
  6. Decide whether or not the Jobs will appear as a group on a resource's device
  7. This is where you add the individual jobs which will make up your Job Group

Below is an example of how a completed template might look:

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Once jobs are linked, they act in unison.  The red outline around the jobs below shows the group:

Where jobs are unscheduled, you will be able to identify them as linked by the symbol on the right of the job Contact:

Linked Job Groups 4.png

Selecting and dragging one of those jobs onto the schedule will move all of the jobs in the linked group, in unison.

When an unscheduled linked job group is dragged onto the schedule, the user is provided with a prompt 'The job you are scheduling is part of a linked group job. Do you want the job or the group job to be scheduled to start at this time?'

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This allows the user more control over job timings.



Template Documents for Group Jobs

In many instances, you may want to create emails, texts, etc for Group Jobs.  For more detailed information on how to do this, please read the separate Templates and Word Add-in articles.

A series of keywords have been specially created to facilitate this:

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Linked Job Groups at the Same Site

Linked jobs frequently take place at the same location, as with the Deep Clean Job Group Template below.  

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If we were to now schedule a job using this template, it would look like the example below:

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Note the Linked jobs start in the example.  Since the jobs are interdependent, when the start time of the first job is set, the others are automatically calculated and scheduled to follow on from the first and the same is true for rescheduling.  

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Since 'All jobs within the group are at the same contact as the group's contact' for this Job Group Template, JobWatch knows that no additional travel time needs to be calculated between jobs.

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Linked Job Groups at Different Sites

Where a type of Job Group encompasses different job sites, the choices you make when creating the Linked Job Group Template will differ slightly, with only the first checkbox being ticked:

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If we were to now schedule a job using this template, it would look like the example below:

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When the linked job group is scheduled, travel time to and between each of these locations will need to be added ie:

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So when viewing the job you will notice that although only 3, 30 minute jobs are displayed, the gaps between jobs are much larger in order to allow for the travel time between the job sites:

Linked Job Groups 14.png

When scheduled, the job group will display like this:

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Removing a Job from a Linked Group

If needed, it is possible to remove a job from a Linked Job Group, however, please be aware that once this has been done the link cannot be restored. To remove a job from the group:

  • Navigate to:Schedule → click on the job group → [sub-menu] [tab] Detail

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Go to the Jobs in group are linked field and untick the box. 

The jobs will now behave independently.



Applying a Recurrence to a Linked Job Group

A: Simple Recurrences

First, click on the Linked Job Group which you would like to set a recurrence for and then in the sub-menu, open the Detail tab.  Now go to the Recurrence of job group field and click on the Edit button:

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Complete the popup window which opens.  In this example, the recurrence has been set to take place on the first Monday of each month, ending after 12 occurrences.

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Automatically Reschedule Unstarted Jobs

Where a job within a Linked Job Group has not been started, you can opt to transfer it to another Linked Job Group for completion. For example, imagine we are carrying out the Linked Group Job 'Deep Clean', which we set up earlier. 

Unfortunately, the office staff are working late making it impossible to carry out the job 'Tidy Desks'.

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However, as well as a monthly 'Deep Clean', we also carry out a weekly 'Quick Clean' at the same site:

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The BigChange system can automatically reschedule the 'Tidy Desks' job, adding it to your next site visit for a 'Quick Clean':

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Please note, you can configure JobWatch so that it will not add a job which already appears in the new Linked Job Group, ie 'Empty Bins' or 'Clean Kitchen' in the above example, since the same job cannot need to be carried out twice at the same location, on the same day. This setting can be found at the bottom of the Linked job group settings:

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First, click on the Linked Job Group which you would like to set a recurrence for and then in the sub-menu, open the Detail tab.  Now go to the Recurrence of job group field and click on the Edit button:

At the bottom of the recurrence popup which you completed earlier, you will see a heading Linked Job Group Settings.  Tick the checkbox next to Reschedule jobs in linked groups.... and additional fields will open.  Populate these as desired, choosing to reschedule the jobs to another specific Job Group, eg 'Quick Clean' or to the next group of any time, scheduled to take place.

The final option allows you to determine how you wish to display duplicated jobs: completed/completed with issues/cancelled.

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Additional Features

1. Re-Allocating and Rescheduling 

    • Jobs can be rescheduled or allocated to a different resource simply by dragging and dropping, or via the Detail tab. 
    •  You will notice that the dotted blue outline is sized for the entire linked group, rather than for the individual job. 

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2. Changing Job Location

    • For Linked Job Groups where no element has been started, changes can be made to the site address for any of the jobs.  Simply open the job and adjust the start time. 
    • You will notice that once this is saved, all of the job times adjust.

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3. Adjusting Start Times

    • Similarly, if none of the jobs has been started, the time for one of the jobs can be adjusted.  For example, if you have a specific delivery or collection slot at one of the sites, you can alter the time of that job and the other jobs in the linked group will adjust, as shown above. 
    • If you wish to change the start time of a job once a job(s) in the group has been started, the job group link must be broken.

4. Cancelling Individual Jobs

    • Prior to any of the jobs starting, an individual job in the group can be cancelled without it cancelling the entire group.  Unless the cancelled job is the last one in the group, you will be asked whether you would like to move the remaining jobs forward to fill the gap in the schedule previously occupied by the cancelled job

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