Scheduling: Meaning

Let us take a look at some of the definitions of scheduling to understand what scheduling means.

According to Leon Alford and Henry Beatty, “Fitting specific jobs into a general time-table so that orders may be manufactured in accordance with contracted liability, or in mass production, so that each component may arrive at and enter into assembly in the order and at the time required.”

According to Richard Lansburgh and William Spriegel, “Scheduling involves establishing the amount, of work to be done and the time each element of the work will start, or the order of work. This includes allocating the quality and rate of output of the plant or department and also the date or order of starting of each unit of work at each station along the route prescribed.”

In simple terms, it is assigning an appropriate number of workers to the jobs during each day of work.

Determining when an activity should start or end, depending on its

  1. Duration,
  2. Predecessor activity (or activities),
  3. Predecessor relationships,
  4. Resource availability, and
  5. Target completion date of the project.

Meaning of Scheduling

The principle aim of scheduling is to plan the sequence of work so that production can be systematically arranged towards the end of completion of all products by due date.

The meaning of scheduling is explained by below diagram:

Meaning of Scheduling

Scheduling is the last step in production planning alone. However, it is the second step in production planning and control.

It comes after routing. It is a time-table of production. It gives the starting and completion date and time for each operation of job (task or work). It is just like a railway time-table.

The production process is divided into many different jobs. Scheduling arranges all these jobs in the order of priority. That is, it tells which job must be done first, which job must be done second and so on. Then it fixes starting and completion date and time for each job.

It gives a lot of importance to the time element in the production process.

It is also done for materials, parts, machines, etc.

The main purpose or objective of scheduling is to see that all production operations are completed in a given time. If the production is completed in an allotted time, only, then, the delivery of goods can be made on time. If this happens, it will increase the goodwill of the company

The functions or procedure of scheduling is as follows:

  • Make a list of all the production activities.
  • Fix the starting time for each activity.
  • Fix the finishing time for each activity.
  • Prepare the time-table.

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