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.



Keep Your Dynamic Strategic Workforce Plan Rolling Forward: Part 2

Posted by: on Jan 18, 2016 in blog | No Comments

Keep Your Dynamic Strategic Workforce Plan Rolling Forward    (Part 2 in a four-part series)

Joy Kosta, Principal, Human Capital Strategy   January 18, 2016 _____________________________________________________________________________________

In my last blog I provided three tips to get lift-off in strategic workforce planning, particularly if your efforts have stalled. Part 2 in this series continues a list of twelve implementation guidelines. It addresses why focusing on a subset of all roles in every line of business is the sole focus of strategic workforce planning.

  1. It’s not possible to manage a workforce supply in the absence of a clarified demand. Typically 80% of key business results come from 20% of your organization. As a line of business leader, first determine which roles (not people) you will depend on to execute current strategic initiatives. These are your Roles of Impact ™, the sole focus of strategic workforce planning. They are typically 10-20% of all roles, and they will change as strategic initiatives change (typically every 18-36 months).Identifying Roles of Impact ™ is not always intuitive− for example, they are rarely leadership roles (because leaders inevitably delegate work to individual contributors).   Roles of Impact ™ typically generate revenue (directly or indirectly),or reduce costs; they may require a hot skill in the marketplace, inherently require a lot of autonomy, or can be a role in which there is a great deal of performance variation.   A Role of Impact ™ can be a new role, but even if it exists today, update and prioritize the prerequisite competencies required for the role. Then focus on identifying the people who would be best suited for those roles (see next guideline).
  1. Don’t be confined by existing job descriptions. Work today is accomplished by interdisciplinary project teams of members with complementary strengths.   Work with HR to build talent pools with the competencies required to implement a strategic initiative. Draw from these talent pools to build teams so that individual members can leverage their strengths to execute strategic initiatives.
  2. Vacancies in Roles of Impact ™ will cost you. Roles of Impact ™should be exempt from budget-driven hiring slowdowns. Dedicate a recruiter to continuously source talent for these roles, so there are two-three people in orbit for every Role of Impact™ headcount. Track the acceptance rate of offers to first choice candidates for Roles of Impact ™. Keep in mind that talent supplies are shrinking, so don’t wait for the perfect person− instead bring on people whose passions align with the priority competencies and invest in developing the rest, leveraging strengths on the team.  If you’d like help calculating the cost of a vacancy, Human Capital Strategy can help.

Look for Part 3 in this blog series to manage your strategic workforce planning implementation with talent metrics and leverage predictive analytics.