A Three-Stage Manpower Planning And Scheduling Model -- A Service Sector Example

By William J. AbernathyNicholas BaloffJohn C. HersheySten Wandel
1972| Working Paper No. 101

This paper presents a staff planning and scheduling model that has specific application in the nurse staffing process in acute hospitals and more general application in many other service organizations in which de- mand and production characteristics are similar. The aggregate planning models that have been developed for goods producing organizations are not appropriate for these types of service organizations. In this paper the process for staffing services is divided into three decision levels: (a) policy decisions, including the operating procedures for service centers and for the staff control process itself; (b) staff planning, including hiring, discharge, training and reallocation decisions; and (c) short term scheduling of available staff within the constraints determined by the two previous levels. These three planning “levels” are used as decomposition stages in the development of a general staffing model. The planning and scheduling stages are formulated as a stochastic programming problem. An iterative solution procedure is suggested using random loss functions. A non-iterative solution procedure is developed for a chance-constrained formulation which considers alternative operating procedures and service criteria, and permits the inclusion of statistically dependent demands. The discussion includes an example application of the model and illustrations of its potential uses in the nurse staffing process.