15 Tips & Tricks for Scheduling Rules

Improve your schedule auto-generation with these tips!

1. Ensure all personnel and assignments have scheduling rules

If there is not a rule associated with the personnel/assignment, the system can potentially schedule it in error. 

2. Utilize Personnel and Assignment groups

Reduce the number of rules in your scheduling rules list by grouping together common scheduling needs by location, subspecialty, or type.

3. Use Do Not Auto-Schedule rules

If an assignment is only automatically scheduled for a subset of personnel, you can use the Do Not Auto-Schedule rules to ensure it isn’t scheduled for the other personnel who should only be manually scheduled.

Note: Regardless of the priority, Do Not Auto-Schedule rules will never assign the provider/assignment.


4. Ensure providers are always scheduled

Fixed Pattern rules are a great way to ensure a provider is always scheduled (when setting the rule to maximum priority or higher). Only approved requests will supersede Fixed Pattern rules.

5. Tier priorities for similar rules

For example, if you’d like for Weekend Call to be spaced out as much as possible, you can create tiered rules for the number of weekends they should be spaced apart. ex: not two weekends later, not three weekends later.

6. Use a standard rule-naming convention

Follow a standard rule-naming convention that reflects the rule’s purpose. This will help with schedule troubleshooting and searchability.

7. Filter down your rules list with Filtered Mode

Toggle on the Filtered Mode option in the Scheduling Rules page for a more advanced method to filter down the rules list.

Note: If you filter based on personnel or assignments, the rules list will include all rules that reference that item individually or in a group. 

8. Export or print your rules list for easier review

Navigate to the Analytics report “Standard: Rules Report” found under the Configuration section to download or print your scheduling rules list.


9. Review example rules with Tool Tips

The scheduling rule Tool Tips are a great way to review example rules and provide a description of the rule sentence.


10. Activate or deactivate rules in bulk

Rules can be activated or deactivated in bulk by selecting the checkbox to the left of the rule name and then clicking Take Action. Only the active rules are applied when generating a schedule. 

11. Ensure your most important rules are followed

Our pre-set rule priorities range from low (1k) to maximum (1mil). However, custom priorities can be set anywhere from 1 - 999,999,999 allowing for maximum flexibility to ensure your more important rules are always followed.

12. Create an unbreakable rule with your consultant

Reach out to your Lightning Bolt Consultant to create an unbreakable rule that ensures a rule is always followed.

13. Adjust schedule generation time

The schedule generation time can be modified to potentially achieve a better scheduling result.

Note: This setting can only be adjusted by a Lightning Bolt Consultant, contact our team for more information.

14. Know which rules were violated in a schedule

Almost all schedules will have some rule violations due to conflicts with the rules. RunStat is a great tool to better understand what rules were violated/weren’t followed when your schedule was generated. 

15. Use the Schedule Validation tool against your current schedule

The Schedule Validation tool allows the scheduling rules to be run against the current schedule. It’s a great tool for troubleshooting and better understanding why rules weren’t followed on the schedule.


If you have any questions or want to improve the auto-scheduling for your department, set up a consultation with your Lightning Bolt Consultant today! Not sure who your Consultant is? Reach out to our Support Team ( and we'll connect you with the right team member.

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