How do you Scope out a Strategic Workforce Plan?

The first question to ask when scoping out a workforce plan is why do you need it?

Answering this question relates to the business case and may cover the following areas:

  • Significant employer or small employer?
  • Dynamic and complex economic, legislative and contractual environment, growth
  • Challenges with shift in demographics and age profile
  • Industry and policy directions (national, state, local)
  • Strategic and business plan, new project, site, facility
  • Problems attracting, recruiting and retaining staff
  • Increase workforce productivity, quality, skills shortages, workplace health and safety, risk
  • Example of good practice and increasing skill levels for service contracts/client expectations
  • Evidence based approach for capability, tenders and proposals

Your workforce plan should have a relationship wit your strategic and/or business plan plus you may have an existing human resources or training plan that you can tip into the new strategic workforce plan.

Applying a systematic approach will help you gather evidence and information on the current and future workforce plus forecast out your preferred workforce.

Key considerations if you are scoping out a workforce plan include:

  • Matching duration of the Workforce Plan to the organisation’s Strategic Plan
  • Analysis of elements of the contract deliverables by each manager – information on current and future workforce is needed
  • Stakeholder engagement and communication
  • Key performance indicators and timetables for implementation
  • Review of the strategy – who, when and how often?
  • External environment – global, national, regional, local, industry and professional trends
  • Internal environment – timing, context

Assessing the stage of the organisation is part of the scoping process too.  For example:

  1. Growth - Early stages of their lifecycle, products or services with significant growth potential, need to commit significant resources, construction, expansion, building operating capabilities, invest in systems.
  2. Sustain - Still attract investment and reinvestment but are required to earn excellent return results on investment capital, investment – relieving bottle necks, expanding capacity, enhancing continuous improvement.
  3. Maturity - No longer warrant significant investment, only enough to maintain equipment and capabilities, not to expand or build new capabilities.

Early and upfront think through potential barriers to strategic workforce planning, what you and colleagues might do to address:

•           Commitment

•           Link with strategic directions

•           Quick fix

•           Ignoring key segments

•           Old approaches

•           Limited data

•           Risk assessment

•           Language

•           Job/role design

•           Responsibilities

•           Validation

On the flip side, success factors are:

•           Decision makers involvement

•           Knowledge and skill

•           Resourcing and commitment

•           Accountability and responsibility

•           Consultation

•           Communication strategy

•           Recognition and engagement

•           Access to relevant workforce data

•           Risk assessment

•           Customisation of gap bridging strategies

•           Integration into business processes

•           Goals

•           Job/role design

•           Responsibilities

•           Validation

If you’d like to scope out a workforce plan or project then please feel free to get in touch via

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