The logic of the template

This article will explain, when the system will copy your changes on the template to the actual rota and when it will not.

So this article will answer the question: When will the system merge the changes made in the template with the rota and when will the system not merge changes?

We will take a look at the following cases:

Changing the manning in the rota

Let us start with looking at a published rota:

This rota has been created using a template, so it is completely identical to its template, both when it comes to the time blocks, job positions, and staffing.

Let's make a change to this published rota without putting it back into planning mode. I will start by changing Simon's shift on Tuesday, August 2nd. I will give this shift to Sofia instead:

This shift could also have been changed by a shift swap. The crucial point is, that this shift's manning now diverges from that of the template.

Now let us take a look at the same rota in the editing tool. To do this, click on "Edit schedule":

You can still see in the rota that the shift, that originally belonged to Simon, now belongs to Sofia. What happens now is that the system will make you aware that the rota no longer follows the template anymore. This is highlighted by the "Revert to template" button all the way down on Tuesday, August 2nd:

NB: If you click on "Revert to template", all changes that have been made to the rota on this day will be overwritten by the template, meaning that your changes will be lost and the day will look exactly like it does in the template again.

When you take a look at the template, you can see that the shift still has its original manning, which is Simon:

So this is the staffing that the rota will follow if you click on "Revert to template".

It doesn't matter if you have made changes to the rota during the planning, editing, or published mode. As soon as the rota diverges from the template in any way because of your changes, the system will accept this, but at the same time give you the option to "Revert to template", if you like.

Changing the manning in the template

Now let us try to change the manning of one of the shifts on Thursday in the template. I chose to change Tom's shift so that it is now assigned to Paul instead:

As you can see, the system merged my changes in the template directly with the rota without me clicking "Revert to template" first. Paul is now also the owner of this shift inside the rota:

This change will apply to all Thursdays of this rota.

So the conclusion of these first 2 chapters is that manual changes to the staffing (both to the rota and the template) will be accepted by the system. Changes to the manning in the template will be transferred to the rota, but not vice versa. If your manual changes to the rota result in that the rota and template now diverge, the possibility to "Revert to template" will appear.

Changing the manning inside the template after manual changes

Let us look at a special case. Before, we changed the manning inside the rota, by giving Simons shift on August 2nd to Sofia. What if we try to change the manning of this particular shift again inside the template? In the template, I now gave Simons' shift on Tuesday to Sara instead:

Will this change be transferred to the rota, as happened with Paul? The answer is no: Sofia is still assigned to the shift within the rota because the shift before had been manually changed outside the template:

However, on all other Tuesdays within this rota (where no manual changes have been done), Sara will now be the owner of these shifts. See for example the Tuesday of August 9th:

So the conclusion here is: If no changes have been made to a shift outside the template (e.g. in the rota in planning or published mode), you can change the manning of the shift in the template and it will overwrite the data in the rota directly.

But if you have made manual changes to a shift in the rota beforehand and you then afterwards change the manning of the shift in the template, the template will not merge with the rota on this specific shift.

This means that, in the Smartplan system, the manual changes you choose to do in a rota always have priority and will not be overwritten, unless you deliberately click on "Revert to template".

Changing a time block in the template

Now let us try to look at a different scenario: changing a time block.

Here I have changed the time block on Saturday, August 6th, from 10:00-14:00 to 10:00-15:00, and as you can see, this change has been executed directly within the rota:

The logic of changing a time block is exactly the same as previously described with changes to the staffing. When you make changes to a time block in the rota, so that it now diverges from the template, the "Revert to template" button will appear on the respective day in the rota. This gives you the option to overwrite your changes with the data of the template.

However, if you decide to change one of the time blocks in your template, this change will be transferred to the rota immediately. So if I had changed the above time block to 10:00-15:00 in the template instead, this would have changed the corresponding time block in the rota to 10:00-15:00 as well. In this case, the change of the template would apply to all Saturdays of the rota. Take a look at the Saturday on August 13th for example:

Similar to changes in the manning, in the case of time blocks your manual changes inside the rota will of course have priority as well. Let's say that we have changed the time block on Thursday, August 4th, from 10:00-14:00 to 09:00-14:00 in the rota. Now we change the same time block on Thursday from 10:00-14:00 to 10:00-16:00 inside the template:

The time block in the rota on Thursday, August 4th, will still say 09:00-14:00:

The divergence from the template is additionally highlighted by displaying the 'Revert to template' option.

In that case, the changes you made in the template will not be merged with the rota, because the system deems the manual changes you did inside the rota before as more important. However, on all other Thursdays in the rota, where no manual changes had been done earlier, the changes you made in the template will apply.

Adding new shifts to the template

Now let us look at the last scenario regarding the template logic: adding new shifts.

This process also follows the logic that we have described above regarding changing manning and time blocks.

I will start by adding a new shift in one of the existing time blocks on Tuesday in the template:

And as you can see, this shift was merged with the rota on Tuesday, August 2nd:

The changes have been applied, even though I had made manual changes to the rota on that day. If you remember from the 1st chapter of this manual, I had assigned Simon's shift to Sofia. The new shift of the template was nonetheless added to the rota, because it doesn't affect the former manual changes to Simon's shift in any way.

And of course, this new shift in the template has also been added to all other Tuesdays in the rota:

So in this case, it is completely irrelevant whether you have made changes in the rota beforehand, so that it diverges from the template, or not. The new shifts of the template will always be added to the respective days in the rota.

The same applies when you add shifts in the template with new time blocks. Here I have added a new cleaning shift from 22:00-24:00 in the template, and as you can see the template was merged with the rota on August 2nd without any issue:

So you can freely create new shifts and time blocks in the template, knowing that they will always be added to the rota, no matter the manual changes you have made earlier. So be careful not to end up with conflicting shifts in the rota. For example, if I gave Anna's shift on Thursday to Marie instead and I would then add another identical shift for Marie in the template, this would be added to the rota on top of the shift, that Marie already had. She would end up with 2 shifts at the same time:

Please contact us if you have questions

As it can be challenging to understand this logic, please do not hesitate to write us if you have any questions. You can contact us through the chat or by sending an email to

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