Schedule Exception refers to activities that shouldn’t be planned in an employee work schedule, or time periods that are not strictly associated with employee working duties. In other words, a schedule exception is a kind of “dead area” in the schedule – it cannot be used for allocation of productive activities, or cannot be used as a resource for projects (however, this exception time can be reserved for a project when under certain conditions). These exclusive time gaps may include holidays, meetings, training and coaching sessions, unscheduled breaks or absenteeism, absences for vacations, and other time-off opportunities (such as national holidays).
While the most of schedule exceptions can be anticipated (such as vacations or holidays) some others may occur unexpectedly (for example a sick leave). Unexpected exceptions may create a serious deviation from initial project or shift work schedule. When a project is considered to be jeopardized in terms of time, the project management may consider compensating this delay by reducing preplanned schedule exceptions to reveal time reserves (it may mean cancellation of the days-off and employee vacations).