Using Iventis for Workforce Dot Planning & Operations

Workforce are at the heart of major events, but the task of planning and managing what can be tens of thousands of staff across multiple departments and locations is immense. Workforce are a significant cost for events but are crucial to their success, so getting the right number and keeping them happy is critical for safety, visitor experience and budgets.

Dot Planning

'Dot planning' is the process of plotting the locations of staff across a space, to calculate a total headcount and plan workforce operations. This is usually achieved by printing a large scale map/drawing, and adding coloured stickers to represent the position of staff members.

This type of dot planning has served its role well, but it is a time consuming, manual process and is made almost impossible when working remotely. Additionally, it's hard to bring the plans of different departments together to identify efficiency savings or gaps. It can get even more problematic as plans are refined and adjusted to ensure departments and workforce teams are aligned.

Iventis offers organisers a better way to manage workforce dot planning and wider operational planning. Below we explain how this can deliver efficiency savings and ensure the best possible visitor experience, while keeping your workforce happy. For existing users, there is also a step-by-step guide to dot planning at the bottom of this page.

Dot Planning on Paper
Dot planning is usually carried out by sticking stickers onto a printed CAD drawing. This makes it difficult to capture and manage plans across departments.

Dot Planning

Large-scale events require a huge workforce. As an example, 40,000 security personnel were drafted in for the London 2012 Olympic games, which also consisted of external partners such as:

  • Private security firms
  • Police
  • The military

And that’s just for security. When you take into account other personnel who are needed to run an event — for example, volunteers, medics, stewards, drivers etc. — the number of staff can easily reach over 100,000. Getting a handle on these numbers early is essential for financial planning and budgeting. Even for an event with an army of volunteers, there are still associated costs such as food, uniforms and training.

Naturally, not all events are on this scale, but events that are more modest in comparison such as music festivals still require a huge number of personnel. Some events require close co-ordination between multiple agencies providing different staffing elements.

With Iventis, every department/team can develop their plans which can be easily accessed on-premises, via the cloud and via the web.

If plans are refined or changed in response to budget cuts or other factors, everyone can stay up-to-date.

Using the software in real-time means everyone has immediate access to updated plans. If plans are refined or changed in response to budget cuts or other factors, everyone can stay up-to-date. Costs can be obtained and calculated, enabling managers to make more informed decisions.

One of the key features of Iventis is the seamless integration of city or country-wide mapping and architectural plans such as CAD drawings. This means the entire workforce can be planned in one place, whether it’s volunteers at train stations and remote transport hubs, or technical officials on the field of play. Every venue can be planned simultaneously, keeping this data in one place.

Dot planning within and around facilities is quick and easy.
You can break down each sector into minute detail. Using our security example, you can station contracted guards at each entrance and exit, while plotting a route for other guards to walk at designated times. You are not limited to people either, other key assets such as patrol vehicles, CCTV cameras and anything else can be covered too.

You have complete control over how your plans are displayed. For example, different colours can be used for different functional areas, or shapes could indicate the type of staff.

In fact, you can capture a wide range of data about your staff using ‘attributes’, which could be hourly costs for contracted staff, radio call signs, equipment and anything else you need. All this data can be exported and analysed. You can even capture shift patterns, enabling a day-by-day or minute-by-minute timeline of staffing.

Iventis also integrates with ‘What3Words’, a system which divides the globe into 3x3m grids with a unique identifier. This could be used when deploying staff to specific locations. Equally, deployment plans could be exported or shared with links.

Workforce Analysis
Workforce data can be analysed and extracted. What3Words integration can assist with deployment.

While we’ve used security as an example, everything we’ve discussed can be used by all team members. Our software makes use of layers, so you can create one for security, another for medical staff, a third for your logistics crew and so on. If the visual map starts to look a little crowded, you can turn a layer off to focus on one specific team.

Different users/teams can manage each Layer, and they can be brought together to find overlaps (such as too many staff in a certain location), or gaps. This can all be carefully managed, controlled and analysed.

Workforce Operations

As well as calculating staff numbers and deployment plans, Iventis can be used to plan wider workforce operations. This could include check-in areas and facilities to create a better working environment.

Venues and events come in all shapes and sizes, and each one needs to be meticulously planned for the staff’s benefit. It doesn’t matter if you have 50 workers or 50,000, the layout of your venue is crucial.

Let’s say you’re hosting an event at an arena. The site covers a huge amount of ground, and you have several teams operating across the entire venue. Iventis can be used to strategically plan where your facilities need to be.

As an example, you will need to have several break rooms to ensure staff actually have some time to themselves. With our software, you can quickly calculate how long it takes employees to walk from their post to the break area.

Workforce Facilities
Other aspects of workforce operations can be planned, such as break areas.

If it takes 10 minutes for staff to reach the break area, you know a new area needs to be designated. A break room that takes so long to reach means employees lose 20 minutes by simply walking every time they have a break. The break area itself can also be planned and designed - such as a catering facility for a large workforce.

Iventis can also be used as a training tool before an event to help orientate new staff members.

You can also plan signage schemes on the software, not only for visitors but also back-of-house areas. This can help staff members get around more easily. Iventis can also be used as a training tool before an event to help orientate new staff members.

We’ve discussed a wide range of benefits to using Iventis for workforce planning and operation here, but there are many more uses across a variety of industries and sectors. To learn more, download our free Features Guide.

Effective Workforce Planning & Operations With Iventis

Iventis was created to make planning major events more efficient and effective. Traditional workforce planning and resourcing takes up a significant amount of time (and a significant amount of little round stickers), but our software offers you a new and better way to keep track of large staffing plans.

Workforce can be one of the biggest operational costs, but is crucial to a successful and safe event, so getting the right number is essential.

We understand that visual planning software needs to be seen and used in order to find out if it’s right for you, your workforce and the event itself. This is why you can claim a free demonstration to discover the benefits of workforce planning through Iventis for yourself. Make sure to request your demo today.

And of course, if there’s any aspect of Iventis you want to discuss with us in further detail, you can always contact a member of our team.

Finally, for our existing users, here's a step-by-step guide to workforce dot planning.

Step by Step Guide

Step 1 - Create your Layer(s)

Iventis lets you create any layers you like. The most important consideration at this stage is how you need to control permissions, as this is determined by layer. The most common approach is to make a layer per department/functional area e.g. security, event services etc. We can then ensure only members of those teams can edit their plans.

Create a new Layer

Step 2 - Set up Data Attributes

This is the information you want to capture about your workforce. For example, their job role, daily costs, radio call signs and anything else. It's useful to make lists where possible, as we can use these to determine styles such as colours.

Layer Attributes

Step 3 - Choose a Style

There are many style options in Iventis. For example, each department can have different coloured dots, and different shapes or icons could be used for staff types (e.g. paid, volunteer, contractor). You can change this later, or have multiple styles for different purposes.

Layer Styling

Step 4 - Set Permissions

It’s important to control who can edit the layer to maintain control and avoid accidental (or deliberate!) changes to plans.

Layer Permissions

Step 5 - Start Dotting!

Iventis makes it easy to quickly plan hundreds of staff in minutes.

Refine, analyse, combine, export. Once your dots are in place, you can count them, filter them, and export the data to spreadsheets or other systems such as scheduling and rostering software. You can also overlay different departments plans to look for gaps or overlaps

Workforce planning is a simple but very effective use case of Iventis. But that’s just the start, almost every aspect of operations can be planned in Iventis keeping everyone up to date.

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