An action that an employee is scheduled to do and is required by locations to be performed. Activities can be paid (such as a meeting) or unpaid (such as a lunch break). Activities are configured as part of the staffing requirements.

Advanced Search

A set of search criteria based on location names, location types, property values, or any combination thereof. You can use advanced searches to perform complex searches across the location tree to find entities that meet the specified criteria.


The days and hours that the employee is available to be scheduled to work.

Break Rules

Rules around which employees can (or must) perform activities other than their regularly scheduled work. For example, an employee working a shift of a certain length might be required to take a meal break.


Firm parameters the application must follow. If the specified constraint conditions cannot be met when assigning the shift, the shift is not be assigned. Constraints are part of staff rules.

Corporate Entities

A high level organizational unit used in the model of your corporate structure. These units contain sub-units such as districts, regions, and stores.


Logical areas used for scheduling and belong to a store. Frequently departments correspond to physical areas of a store, such as the “Front End” or the “Hardware Dept”. Departments have details like hours of operation, and properties. Entities like staffing requirements are associated with departments, and can also reference multiple drivers all aggregated and optimized to drive labor for that department. Departments enable you to account for employees working in multiple jobs and performing multiple tasks at once. For example, in smaller stores, where one employee supports a selling floor with multiple selling areas.


Divides a location’s volume among time intervals to create a traffic pattern. Distributions are based on a volume indicator, such as revenue, and expressed as a percentage of the daily total during time intervals you define. For example, a distribution would show that a store received 25% of the store’s revenue between 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM and only 5% between 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM.

Distributions are used with forecasts to anticipate future staffing requirements. Schedulers use distributions to determine when more or less staff are required.

Distributions can be applied to departments as well, if they have been defined.


Logical forecasting entities that typically correspond to groups of products or an area of a store. Historical point of sale data is loaded and drivers are forecasted using a configured algorithm. These details can then be rolled up into stores for scheduling.

Employee Job

Jobs with which employees are associated so they are able to work. Employees cannot be assigned to a shift (either manually or by the Optimizer) unless they are associated to the shift’s related job.


The individuals working within your organization who are managed by the application. Employees need to be configured for the application and for use with LFSO.

Employee Skills

Skills with which employees are associated that they are expected to have in order to perform their assigned work. Employees cannot be assigned to a shift (either manually or by the Optimizer) unless they have the shift’s related skills.

Employee Teams

Teams to which employees are assigned in order to be scheduled at the location where they are expected to work. Employees cannot be assigned to shifts unless they are associated to the related team.


The generic term used for items comprising your organization’s set-up within the LFSO module. You can act on individual entities in a variety of ways, such as adding, editing or deleting them using the Configuration Editor feature.

Entity Types

The major components comprising your organization’s set-up within the LFSO module. Entity types currently supported by the Configuration Editor feature include corporate entities, stores, distribution types, distributions, forecast groups, drivers, departments, jobs, skills, activities, and staffing requirements.

Fixed Shifts

Allows schedulers to make a consistent shift assignment pattern to specific employees. Fixed shift patterns are established for a defined number of days (typically a multiple of 7), specify a set of shifts, and specify how those shifts are broken-down (shift labor details). The pattern repeats from schedule period to schedule period for the duration of the fixed shift pattern.

Forecast Groups

Used to aggregate data for displaying and editing on the Forecast page, based on volume type.


The process of creating projections of business volume for a future scheduling period. Forecasts can be created manually or based on historical data. They are specific to each store location and department, if necessary. You can use forecasts in conjunction with productivity standards to generate staff schedules.

Hours of Operation

The opening and closing times for stores and departments. You can choose to assign hours of operation to a department, or to inherit hours of operation from the store. Hours of operation are displayed and edited in a calendar format. This format simplifies the task of changing open and close times for special periods, such as the Christmas season.


A role that an employee performs, such as a Branch Manager or a Clerk. Jobs are defined and assigned to locations. When you define staffing rules, you select the jobs that need to be performed to meet the staffing needs of the location. Jobs are also referred to as positions.

Jobs must be configured as part of the staffing requirements.

Job Rate

The rate of pay for a specific job, typically expressed as an hourly amount.

Job Team

The overtime payment information for a specific job based on the job's association with a particular team.


A generic term used to refer to Corporate Entities, Stores, and Departments.

Location Types

Used for differentiating locations within an organization. Location types can be created, assigned to the locations created. For example, you can create a location type for a restaurant, a hotel, a regional office, or a retail outlet. You can then use these Location types in Advanced Searches.

Non-Volume-Driven Work (driver)

A type of work used to set fixed workload requirements (not based on volume of business demand) that drive the staffing requirements for a location.


Special days applied to a calendar day for the appropriate year. Special days must have a specified occurrence in order to be used by the application.


Parameters the application observes on a weighted basis, but which can be ignored if the required outcome demands it. Preferences are part of staff rules.


A user defined attribute of a store or department. Can be used in staffing requirements to create workload for a department.

Property-Driven Work

A type of work used to set workload requirements based on a location property variable, such as the square foot measurements of a store or the number of check-out lines in a store, that drive the staffing requirements for a department. These requirements therefore some common elements with both volume driven and non-volume driven work: the workload is calculated (not directly entered), but it does not involve business demand.


A feature that allows you to identify which entities are referenced by other entities. References are available for each entity type through the blue icon () displayed next to the Results table heading.

Requirement Details

Define how workload is calculated, how productive employees are, minimum and maximum staffing levels, or how workload is distributed over time. Workload is defined in a variety of ways using these types of drivers: volume-driven work, non-volume-driven work, and property-driven work.

Search Set

Saved advanced search criteria.

Shift Rules

Shift rules define criteria for a schedule’s shifts, such as the minimum and maximum lengths of shifts.


A skill, such as fluency in a language or expertise with electronic devices, is *part of* a staffing requirement assigned to departments. When you define staffing rules, you select the skills required to perform the activities. For example, you might want a kiosk staffed with a clerk who is skilled in customer service. When generating a schedule, only employees who possess this Employee Skill are qualified to cover the resulting workload.

Skill Team

An association between a specific skill and a specific team.

Special Days

Special days are defined for locations when you expect those days to have abnormal distribution. For example, a day where a store has a clearance sale would generate abnormally high sales volume, resulting in abnormal forecasting distribution.

If these days are classified as special days, they can be considered special days when generating forecasts (based on the volume) for these days.

Staff Groups

Staff groups organize staff members, who are governed by the same rules, into logical teams for assignment and scheduling.

Staffing Criteria

Staffing criteria define the qualifications needed (job, skill, skill level) to perform the work activity in a staffing requirement.

Staffing Requirements

Staffing requirements are based on Staffing Criteria. These criteria define the qualifications needed to perform the work activity. For example, job, skill, or skill level.

As well, Staffing requirements are based on Requirement Details. These details define how workload is calculated. For example, how productive employees are, minimum and maximum staffing levels, or how workload is distributed over time.

Staff Rules

Staff rules capture the constraints or preferences that guide the application when generating optimized schedules.


Stores are kinds of locations that are used to generate forecasts and schedules. They are associated with departments, drivers, staffing requirements, employees, hours of operation, and so on.


An organizational unit to which a group of employees belong. Teams are the foundation for team hierarchy, an organizational structure which reflects how an organization is structured. By assigning a user to a team within the team hierarchy, the team controls the employees that the user can see and manage within the organizational structure. In LFSO, teams are also associated with locations in order to control a users access to location data similar to the employee access security.

Volume-Driven Work (driver)

A type of work used to set variable, work requirements based on forecasted business volumes that drive the staffing requirements for a department.

Volume Types

Volume types are user-defined parameters describing the volume that drives staffing at a location. They represent the units of measure for these drivers, such as revenue or number of transactions. They can configured to meet your business needs - for example, you can create volume types representing sales, transactions, or foot traffic.

Work Set

A work set is attained after selecting, searching and refining entities in the Navigation Pane, and identifying the entities in the Results section that you want to act on.