Author Topic: VL requests: algorithm for approval  (Read 696 times)

tthree

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VL requests: algorithm for approval
« on: November 15, 2019, 05:52:53 PM »
New process for VL requests at our organization.

What we know:
Full week VL requests will be submitted Feb 1 to Mar 15th.
Manager will let us know April 1 if requests have been approved/denied.

What we don't know:
The algorithm for approving requests.  Manager seems open to suggestions. 

Current suggestions are: seniority or a "wheel".

Please discuss what works/doesn't at your organization.

mozar

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Re: VL requests: algorithm for approval
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2019, 04:27:43 PM »
I don't know what wheel means but seniority tends to get the least complaints.

ender

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Re: VL requests: algorithm for approval
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2019, 04:29:15 PM »
Why can't you just grant all requests?

tthree

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Re: VL requests: algorithm for approval
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2019, 08:59:47 PM »
I don't know what wheel means but seniority tends to get the least complaints.
Then only senior staff are going to get "prime" VL weeks i.e. Christmas, long weekends.

In a "wheel" all staff would be randomly drawn into groups.  All groups would be placed on a wheel and the wheel would be spun to determine selection order.  So if group 2 was selected first all staff in group 2 would get their top two weeks granted.  Spin the wheel to determine subsequent group selection order.  The following year the group with selection one would go to the bottom of the rotation.

tthree

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Re: VL requests: algorithm for approval
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2019, 09:05:55 PM »
Why can't you just grant all requests?
Minimum staff numbers need to be maintained.  Unfortunately we are so understaffed that the minimum number and the average daily number are almost identical.  There will be weeks that probably 12 staff members will request off and they will only be able to grant to 2- 3 people.  There needs to be a transparent system for making these decisions.

ctuser1

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Re: VL requests: algorithm for approval
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2019, 04:13:06 AM »
How about “ownership” based?

I’m in a tech team. I own a few applications. It is my job to make sure they are maintained and supported. That “responsibility”/“ownership” includes a lot of fuzzy details that could be decided by top down management, but it rarely is:
1. When I need more headcount, it’s my job to defend the extra budget.
2. After there is budget, it is my job to make sure I get enough technical hands, in various geographical locations, to work on it. There are some “sought after” “junior devs” for whom I often need to fight with other app owners for. They only report to me on a dotted line basis. “Direct line reporting” is mostly irrelevant (except for performance discussion time).
3. After the *small*ish team is in place, it is my job to make sure the support structure stays in place no matter what. In practice, the “highly sought after dev”s get almost any weeks they want.in some of the more popular weeks, I have to stay on call for issues (I.e. no road trips), or do other such things. If I particularly strongly feel about a specific week, then I need to make sure everyone else knows about it well in advance (ie before others have put in their requests).
4. If there is a major clash where an application will not be supported from dev for a few days despite all efforts - we have one of two bad choices, wither work with the business stakeholders and tell them that issues will go unanswered for a day or two (I’ve done it once in 5 years), or have someone cancel his/her vacation (I’ve done it twice in 5 years, and one other junior developer once did it voluntarily so that I can go on a trip planned well in advance).

reeshau

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Re: VL requests: algorithm for approval
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2019, 05:34:59 AM »
I don't know what wheel means but seniority tends to get the least complaints.
Then only senior staff are going to get "prime" VL weeks i.e. Christmas, long weekends.

In a "wheel" all staff would be randomly drawn into groups.  All groups would be placed on a wheel and the wheel would be spun to determine selection order.  So if group 2 was selected first all staff in group 2 would get their top two weeks granted.  Spin the wheel to determine subsequent group selection order.  The following year the group with selection one would go to the bottom of the rotation.

I could see a couple variations on seniority; really on both:

Seniority, but in "rounds,"  so everyone chooses their first week, then their second, etc.  That acknowledges that senior people get the best week, but not all of them.  Or, you could get ridiculously fancy and work it like airline scheduling, where people "bid" with their seniority, which allows them to hash out the pecking order.

Or, you could pronounce some rules with similar results: you cannot take both Christmas week and Spring Break week off, etc.