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Estimating the workload across work groups

Updated on February 23, 2022

Specify how Pega Robot Manager anticipates workloads across work groups by adjusting the Auto-balancing evaluation interval.

Robotic assignments have a service level agreement (SLA) deadline. The deadline determines the time by which a robot must complete an assignment. By analyzing the number of assignments that will reach their deadlines during a specific period in the future, Robot Manager can predict the expected workload in a work group.

For predicting, Robot Manager uses a time window that consists of three auto-balancing evaluation intervals. The default value of an auto-balancing evaluation interval is 60 minutes. For example, when Robot Manager decides whether to move robots between work groups at 8 AM, it looks at how many assignments will reach the SLA deadline between 8 AM and 9 AM, 8 AM and 10 AM, and 8 AM and 11 AM across all work groups.

By looking ahead at three subsequent evaluation intervals, the auto-balancing engine determines how the workload in a work group is trending, and calculates the number of robots that are needed to complete work on time.

Considerations for adjusting the auto-balancing evaluation interval

Consider the following factors when determining the optimal look-ahead period value to meet your business objectives.

Adjust the auto-balancing evaluation interval carefully

Increasing or decreasing the auto-balancing interval might affect your robotic workforce in different ways.

The optimal value of the look-ahead period (three times the auto-balancing interval value) must correspond to the service level agreement (SLA) of your assignments. This means that the SLA of your assignments should match, or be slightly less than, your look-ahead period.

By decreasing the interval too much, you might unnecessarily increase the number of move, start, or stop operations because the auto-balancing engine might not have enough time to respond to changes in workload.

By increasing the interval too much, the assignments with short service-level agreement deadlines might cause too much chaotic movement (churn) in the system.

Consider scheduling robots when using tight SLA deadlines

To prevent robots from moving between work groups too often, do not configure the Auto-balancing evaluation interval to be less than 30 minutes. If the interval of 30 minutes is multiplied by three, then this value (90 minutes) matches the minimum recommended SLA (1.5 hours). If you need to configure the SLA in a work group to less than the minimum recommended value then, in addition to auto-balancing, consider scheduling robots to work within the work group. This way you ensure that the work group has robots available to complete any open assignments at all times.

Consider that the auto-balancing engine might ignore the work outside the time period for workload evaluation

Consider an example of a work group that has no robots assigned and has some queued open assignments whose SLA expires in four hours. In this example, the look-ahead period is three hours. In this configuration, the auto-balancing engine will move a robot to this work group, but this move will take place one hour too late.

Adjusting the time window for estimating the workload across work groups

Control the way that Pega Robot Manager estimates workloads across work groups by adjusting the time period for analyzing open assignments based on service level agreements.

  1. In the navigation pane of Pega Robot Manager, click SettingsConfigurations.
  2. Expand the Intervals section.
  3. Click the More icon and then select Edit.
  4. Modify the value in the Auto-balancing evaluation interval field according to your business needs.
  5. Confirm your settings by clicking Save.
What to do next: To see data that lets you understand how Robot Manager balances the workload across work groups, on the Analytics landing page, click on Robot Activity. For more information, see Analyzing auto-balancing data.

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