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Schedule Bidding Overview

Note: AI-powered schedules are not available to schedule bidding.

Schedule bidding is a common practice in contact centers that allows administrators to assign work schedules to agents using a variety of methods, including seniority, performance or a combination of methods. With the Agent Preferences feature, you can build schedules based on agent preferences. The order in which the schedules are built can be based on a number of criteria. The Schedule Bidding feature is designed to complement the Skills-Based Scheduling and Agent Preferences features to round out the scheduling capabilities of Interaction Optimizer. Administrators create schedule bids that are effective for a fixed or open-ended time period and that can be bid on during a specific bid window. Agents cannot see the possible schedules before the bid window is opened.


Generating schedules on the CIC server can result in performance issues. We recommend you generate schedules on a client machine.

If no agents have the Enable Schedule Bidding check box selected, a message appears with the option to close the Schedule Bid wizard and open the Agent Groups view to give agents the right to bid on schedules.


  • Schedule: A schedule is all the activities one agent performs in a week. For example, one schedule could have activities assigned from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM on Monday through Friday.

  • Biddable Schedule: A biddable schedule is one possible schedule for an agent.

  • Schedule Bid: A schedule bid is a set of many biddable schedules. An agent submits a bid to be assigned his or her preferred schedule in this set of schedules.

  • Bidding window: A bidding window is the interval during which bids are accepted for a Schedule Bid.

  • Effective dates: The date range the schedule is in effect. If you don't specify an end date, the schedule is in effect indefinitely.

  • Base schedule: A base schedule is a set of constraints used to create a fixed schedule for an agent for a given time period. A base schedule is used for one agent in a similar way that a shift is used for creating schedules for many agents. A base schedule is created when the schedule bid is processed, but it can also be created by using an existing weekly schedule for an agent.

Agent groups and priority ranking

Schedule Bidding uses the same agent group and priority ranking options as the Agent Preferences feature. Priority ranking allows supervisors to take into consideration a variety of criteria when determining the schedule assignment order within an agent group. You can specify up to 10 metrics that can be used for an overall ranking.

Schedule bidding configuration options

There are three options for generating schedules: Skills-based, preference-based, and schedule bidding. You determine which of the three options you would like to use for the next set of schedules. Once you select Schedule Bidding as the schedule generation process, you have the following capabilities:

  • Specify the effective date for new schedules. You can make the schedule effective for a set period of time or leave the end date blank so the schedule remains in place indefinitely. Once the schedules are assigned to agents, the agents receive the same schedule every week until either the end date of the schedule set or until the next set of schedules is assigned.  

  • Specify start and end dates and times for the bid window. You can change the bid start date and time at any point prior to the start of the bid window. You can change the bid end date and time any time as long as the schedule bid has not been processed yet.

  • Select specific agents within the agent group to include or exclude in the bidding process. You can include all or part of an agent group in a schedule bid.

  • Generate schedules based on coverage. Optimizer builds the number of schedules necessary to attain the service level or Average Speed of Answer (ASA) goal based on the workgroup and agent group configuration, including any agent or shift definition restrictions.

  • Create many schedule bids that only differ by a few input choices. Which means you could end up with many different numbers of biddable schedules for the same effective dates. At some point, you activate exactly one schedule bid for a specific starting effective date. Only this schedule bid is shown to agents during the bid window.

  • Set a maximum number of shifts that can be assigned per agent group. For example, if you have 10 agents in agent group A, you could set a maximum of five agents to get Shift1 and five agents to get Shift2. For more information, see the Interaction Client online Help in the documentation library.

Agent interface to schedule bidding

Agents access schedule bidding through the Interaction Client. Agents gain access to the bidding options when the bidding window opens. While the schedule bidding window is open, agents can view and sort the schedules based on a number of criteria.

Agents rank their schedules from most to least preferred. The numbering scheme is based on a 1 as the highest preference and continues to their lowest preference based on the actual number of schedules available. Auto-ranking is also available and can be based on the same criteria on which the view/sort options were based. For example, if an agent selects the auto-rank for earliest to latest and weekends off, the system ranks the earliest schedules with weekends off as the highest preference. Agents can make changes until the schedule bidding window closes.  

Once the schedule bidding window closes, and you process the bids, Optimizer assigns the schedule to the agents. At this point, you can review the assignments and prepare for any negative sentiments from agents who didn't receive their preferred schedule.

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