The Preassignments pane in MSP allows us to set up more complex preassigned scheduling patterns for specific volunteers or groups of volunteers. For instance, you can specify that a particular volunteer should be scheduled every single week for a certain service time, or as another example, just the third week of every other month. You can even specify that this rotation only occur during a certain date range, or only begin after a particular date, which can be useful for seasonal scheduling patterns.
Setting Up Preassignments
Preassignments can be set up in the Preassignments pane or directly in the open schedule. If you will be scheduling many volunteers on fixed rotating patterns, it’s recommended to set these patterns up in the open schedule. See the next chapter for a discussion on setting up Preassignments in the open schedule. Any preassignment created in a schedule will then appear in the Preassignments pane.
The Preassignments pane makes it easy to view which volunteers are set up on a fixed rotating pattern. Click on the Preassignments heading on the left side of MSP’s main screen. You will see a list of volunteers that are set up on repeating patterns.
You can click the column headings to sort your existing preassignments (i.e., click “In Ministry” to sort them by ministry. Alternately, you can use the Filter to find preassignments containing a particular volunteer, in a specific ministry, at a specific service time, in a specific pattern, or that are active or expired.
You can also create a new preassignment by clicking the “New Preassignment…” button. New preassignments that are created (or existing preassignments that are edited) will only be applied to a current schedule if that schedule is open in the background. If no schedule is open in the program, that preassignment will only be applied to future schedules. Preassignments are added to the schedule when the “Create” button is clicked in the Schedules pane.
Choose which volunteers will be given this specific repeating pattern.
To this ministry
Choose the ministry (and subdivision, if applicable) where this volunteer will serve.
At this service time
Choose the service time of this repeating pattern.
Choose to set this rotation from:
- Every week of the month
- Every other/rd/4th/etc week of the month starting with the week of [date]
- The first/second/third/fourth/fifth/last week of the month
If choosing the last option, you can optionally choose “calc using the following Sunday/preceding Sat”. See below for more information on this option.
Then choose from:
- Every month of the year
- Every other/3rd/4th/etc month of the year starting in [month]
Calc using the following Sunday/preceding Sat
Using this option allows you to choose how weekends are grouped within MSP to determine when this preassignment falls.
For Saturday services, choosing “calc using the following Sunday” will look at the day after the Saturday service to determine which weekend of the month to schedule a volunteer. This only really effects the schedule when the first day of the month is a Sunday. In this case, the last day of the prior month will be treated as the “first” Saturday.
For Sunday Services, choosing “Calc using the preceding Sunday” will look at the day before the first Sunday to determine which weekend of the month to schedule a volunteer. This will also only effect months where Sunday is the first day of the month. In this case, Sunday the first will be linked as the last week of the prior month, so Sunday the 8th wold be considered the “first” Sunday.
Setting dates in these boxes will ensure that preassignments for this rotation will only be given during a specific time period. If not checked, preassignments will continue indefinitely.
Note that if you would like to make a single, non-repeating assignment of a volunteer to a particular service in a current schedule, you should not use a preassignment. Instead, simply add the single assignment to the open Schedule during the scheduling process. The exception to this rule is when a volunteers requests a position on a day for a schedule that has not yet been created. In this case, use the starting and ending date to limit this preassignment to the desired date.
Only schedule this volunteer for his or her preassigned services
By default, the “Only schedule this volunteer for his or her preassigned services” option is not checked. Leaving this option turned off allows the scheduler to schedule the volunteer for additional services when needed. However, if you would like to ensure that a volunteer is only scheduled for the services which you specify as his preassignments and no other services, then check this box.
Allows you to edit the selected preassignment. Note: Any edited preassignment will only take effect on a current schedule if that schedule is open when you make the change to the Preassignments pane. Otherwise, changes made in the Preassignments pane will only apply to future schedules. It is recommended that changes to preassignments be made in an open schedule to avoid this.
Deletes a preassignment. Note: Any deleted preassignment will only take effect on a current schedule if that schedule is open when you make the change to the Preassignments pane. Otherwise, changes made in the Preassignments pane will only apply to future schedules. It is recommended that changes to preassignments be made in an open schedule to avoid this.
Allows you to export a .csv list of all of your preassignments.