Storyboarding a Temporary Labor Dispatching System

Often the most difficult thing about software is knowing what to develop.  You can code generics with your eyes closed but if you don’t know the business process you are trying to facilitate, you’re toast.

Fortunately for TempWorks developers, many staff members are old hands in the staffing business.  And we call upon them regularly like we recently did in upgrading our labor hall system from its legacy version.

That legacy product came out of our relationship with Manpower who runs a mix of day pay and weekly industrial business out of the same offices.  The system called for rapid dispatching, managing tickets, filling job orders both short and long term, and the ability to print paychecks like they were movie tickets.

Taking a system like that and turning it into a first class citizen of TempWorks Enterprise was no obvious task, and so we called upon Dalyce Brell who was involved in the original Manpower implementation.

Dalyce fleshed out what software developers call a storyboard…essentially a screen play – in this case a map of how daily labor gets dispatched, paid and billed.

It’s a rough, unedited version, but here is the storyboard Dalyce came up with for labor hall dispatch and payoff:


  • Opens the labor hall early in the morning
  • Flags workers as present in the system (or workers do it themselves via keypad etc)
  • Reviews tickets ready for processing
  • Creates new tickets as orders come in
  • Assigns workers to tickets
  • Provides equipment and gas money as necessary
  • Show up for work
  • Get prioritized by time arrived or by good performance on yesterday’s ticket
  • Drive to jobsite, may drive others to jobsite,  may bike to jobsite, may or may not have borrowed equipment from dispatcher
  • Carry ticket to jobsite
  • Return completed ticket to payoff person, return borrowed equipment to pay off person
  • Call in orders
  • Sign time tickets, request repeat or end ticket
  • Pay invoices


Dispatch Screen

Current Tickets Grid

  • Sorted by start time
  • #required, #assigned
  • Color coded based on filled/unfilled
  • Shows customer name, supervisor, supervisor phone, worksite
  • Shows any equipment needed
  • Hyperlinkable to Order form
  • Hyperlinkable to Payoff form
  • Hot-key entry of new tickets

Grid (employees present)

  • Sorted by arrival time
  • Color coded (red) if unacceptable for currently selected ticket
  • Color coded (yellow) if new assignment results in overtime
  • Color coded (green) if repeat on order
  • Hyperlinkable to employee record
  • Drag-droppable onto tickets
  • Hotkey entry of new employees (ssn, firstname, lastname)
  • Flag for “has car”, “has bike”, “has work boots”

Current Placement Grid

  • Flagged if overtime
  • Flagged if not present

Payoff Screen

  • Displays list of workers for selected ticket
  • Data entry of hours worked, advances, fees, performance (ok to send back or not)
  • Allow to indicate return of equipment
  • Allow to enter time and repeat those hours onto each transaction for that ticket
  • Creates next day’s ticket (# required, pre-assigning acceptable employees)


The storyboard sets the stage for the developers, giving them an insider’s view of how the system will be used and allowing them to move quickly to creating the business objects necessary to support it.

Tags: TempWorks, Manpower, Business, Dalyce Brell