Keep Your Dynamic Strategic Workforce Plan Rolling Forward: Part 1

Posted by on Jan 19, 2016 in blog | No Comments

Keep Your Dynamic Strategic Workforce Plan Rolling Forward    (Part 1 in a four-part series)

Joy Kosta, Principal, Human Capital Strategy   January 4, 2016 _____________________________________________________________________________________

This blog series provides 12 best practices to guide your strategic workforce planning implementations throughout the year. And if the wheels have fallen off along the way, these tips can help pinpoint why, and get your strategic workforce planning implementation back on track.

If you are just getting started, or have lost momentum, these initial guidelines will help you get lift-off.

  1. Use a working definition for strategic workforce planning that resonates with all stakeholders. Here’s mine (stripped of HR jargon):   Strategic workforce planning is a repeatable measurable business process that ensures strategic initiatives are implemented in a time-sensitive fashion. This process can be operationalized and scaled (see Figure below).


  1. Strategic workforce planning is a team effort, led by the line of business leader. Each line of business leader has MBOs (strategic initiatives); hence, that leader is the best person to lead strategic workforce planning for their business unit. However, strategic workforce planning is a team sport, including strategic planning, finance, analytics, human resources business partners, HR centers of excellence, procurement, and internal advisors (see next guideline).
  2. Strategic workforce planning is dynamic; build updates into the process. Trends that are continuing, increasing and emerging can affirm, refine or revise your strategic initiatives. Tap internal (and external as needed) subject matter experts for a quarterly scan of economic, political, industry-niche, societal, technology, legal-regulatory, and environmental trends. Then update your SWOT and strategic initiatives accordingly.
  3. Don’t throw operational workforce planning out with the bath water. Operational workforce planning tracks total headcount as part of SG&A expense. Operational workforce planning typically focuses on headcount control; strategic workforce planning focuses on position control.
    Moreover, strategic workforce planning enhances operational workforce planning because it looks beyond fiscal year forecasts to anticipate probable scenarios 18-plus months out.

Look for the next blog in this series to narrow your focus and yet make a big impact on the bottom line.