Author Topic: Excel for rehearsal scheduling or other program?  (Read 2712 times)

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bound4bway

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Excel for rehearsal scheduling or other program?
« on: Jan 21, 2014, 10:39 am »
Hello,

   I have used this forum a numerous times looking for answers to problems, but this is my first time posting!  I work for a community theater organization and in the last two years our membership and number of people doing our shows has grown a ton.  We were averaging 10-20 people in a production and are now averaging 40-60.

   Because of this it is getting increasingly hard for me to figure out rehearsal schedules with 50 peoples conflicts.

Does anyone know of a program or an excel formula that I can use that would work something like this?

Input dates and times of rehearsal
input scenes and who is in each scene
input all conflicts
have it tell me the dates that everyone in a certain scene can be there

I know there has to be a way to do it in excel, but I am just not that great at manipulating it that much. 

Thanks!

iamchristuffin

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Re: Excel for rehearsal scheduling or other program?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 21, 2014, 12:48 pm »
Off the top of my head, I can't think of a way to do it, without making a long, complicated formula using IF, NOT & AND....

Unless you use 'IF' with conditional formatting or something to highlight conflicts...

Sorry, thinking aloud!

However, www.doodle.com is sort of the thing I'm imagining. Could you use that in the interim?

C

MatthewShiner

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Re: Excel for rehearsal scheduling or other program?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 21, 2014, 12:57 pm »
The issue always come down to the "human fudge" factor.

Okay, so one person is not available to rehearse a scene - a computer program will look at that and say you can't rehearse that scene . . . but a human will know, oh, we can do the scene without Bob, but we need Sally.

In reality, the human mind is still the best way to schedule . . .

I don't think Excel is the right program . . . but, there are scheduling programs that could set it up - or a programming a data base . . . but the reality of the situation is, by the time you set all the rules, and it's flawless in programming, the show will be closed.

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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

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bound4bway

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Re: Excel for rehearsal scheduling or other program?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 21, 2014, 02:00 pm »
Thank you.  I will look into doodle, although I dont know if that will work with a complicated schedule.  Its just so much work!  lol and this is not a paid job but volunteer.  SO i was hoping to find something we could continuously use in the future to make it a little easier. 

KMC

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Re: Excel for rehearsal scheduling or other program?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 21, 2014, 03:27 pm »
I don't think Excel is the right program for this, though there is software that does "shift planning" that might be better suited to what you're looking to do; though for the finite duration of a single production I'm not sure if it would save you any time.

If you were to implement something like this, the software doesn't know who is in your cast and what their conflicts are.  You'd still have to manually retrieve that information (assuming everyone even knows ahead of time - never a guarantee in community theatre productions), input everyone's conflicts into the software.  You lose even more of the benefit if a person's conflicts are not consistent and you have to manually enter a new conflict every two weeks.  I don't have experience in this type of software, but my hunch is that by the time you get done entering everyone's conflicts you're already going to have a fairly good idea in your head of when you can and can't rehearse specific scenes.

Since you've taken the effort to post here I assume this is becoming problematic; IMHO you'd be better served by reviewing how you're handling/sorting conflicts now and seeing if there is a way to improve your current process rather than spending the time and money to implement a piece of software? 

Also - welcome to SMNetwork.  Why don't you head on over to the Intros board and tell us a bit about yourself!
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

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