I used self-scheduling when I was nurse manager of a huge ER many years ago. It was very, very successful after some initial teething problems, with high staff satisfaction ratings, and saved me a lot of aggravation.
We set ground rules in consultation with all nursing staff e.g. so many weekends, evenings, holidays per month, year etc. We set change issues (i.e. change with similar level of staff allowed without NM approval, but must be in writing, signed by both parties etc). Other changes, requests absolutely not encouraged after finalization of schedule.
I used to post the master in the office area to be filled in in pencil by staff, sorted according to experience/qualifications etc to ensure appropriate skill mix. It was not acceptable, at first, for anyone to fill in the whole schedule for themselves; only the essential days could be filled in at first. Over time, things settled down so well, we all just wrote in the whole month, knowing instinctively what others needed/wanted.
We ran two months at a time with the schedule 'sealed' (in those days by a sheet of plastic, but something much more sophisticated could be done now!) about two weeks before it was due to start and we kept this process running.
We had a system for flagging days on which it was essential to get that schedule (limited # per RN per month).
It took us a while to get it right - and I now know the key is in setting the ground rules in consultation with all staff before the start. Also you'll need to sound out anyone who has been there so long they believe they have a right to the schedule they currently have.
Hope this helps you all.