(plan) a rough schedule. When scheduling old jobs, you
will have expience and history to follow. Knowing
what resources (hardware, software, and personnel)
your AIS facility has available will help you see where
the peaks (overloading) and valleys (underloading) are
in the schedule. It will be your job to take the resources,
the time available, the estimated run times, the time jobs
must be started and completed, and whatever other
information is needed to establish a meaningful and
workable schedule with the best job mix possible. You
will prioritize and plan. Once you have ironed out all
the wrinkles and prepared a smooth schedule, you will
submit it up the chain of command for approval. Once
approved, you will distribute the schedules to the
various functional work areas.
THE BENEFITS OF SCHEDULING
What are some of the benefits of having a schedule/
scheduling system in place? One answer is PREDICT-
ABILITY. A scheduling system makes everyones job
easier by adding predictability to the AIS environment.
To your superiors, it provides a means of holding down
costs through better use of personnel and equipment.
Other possible benefits of scheduling areas follows:
Effective use of all AIS resources;
Decreased turnaround time;
User deadlines met;
Users made responsible for providing input on
Improved communications with users;
Avoidance of overloading and underuse of
Job delays more readily apparent;
Documentation of scheduling deviations and
Reduced confusion within the AIS facility;
Better use of multiprogramming capabilities;
AIS facility able to review its own effectiveness;
Predictability of the effects of an increased
Predictability of future equipment and personnel
All of these benefits can be achieved through an
effective scheduling system.
THE SCHEDULING PROCESS
The scheduling process has three moving parts: you,
the information, and the method. Lets look at each.
As scheduler, you must be well organized.
Scheduling jobs through the various work areas within
your AIS facility is much like scheduling the events of
your own personal day-to-day life, except its a lot more
technical and involved. You set aside predetermined
amounts of time to do certain things. Call it a
things-to-do list if you will.
It would be nice if your things-to-do list consisted
of nothing more than having to accept incoming
requests from the users, finding holes to plug their jobs
into the schedule, and waiting for the jobs to show up
on the completed list. If that were the case, your
things-to-do list would be relatively small and
seemingly uncomplicated. If your AIS facility has such
an abundance of resources that any demands made by
the users can be easily met, then your facility is probably
wasting resources and incurring more expenses than it
should. This is probably not the case. To the contrary,
your command will probably have just enough
resources or too few.
As scheduler, you must decide which jobs to
process first, second, third, and so on. Which jobs can
be run together? You need to determine the job mix.
How big are the jobs in terms of memory use? What
resources do they use-disk drives, tape drives, printer,
and so on? How long will each job run? In what
environment must each job be run?
Under ideal conditions, you can work through your
things-to-do list in a relatively short period of time and
come up with a workable schedule. In reality, however,
things do not necessarily go according to plan or, rather,
according to schedule. Equipment, other people, and
outside influences are all problem areas.
A lack of productivity and missed deadlines can be
caused by unexpected problems, such as:
Late submission of input from the user;
Waiting for data entry to complete a job step;
Having to locate a missing file in the library;
Job stream parameters entered into the system