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Building Successful Organizations:. A Guide to Strategic Workforce Planning. Session 748: Building the 21 st Century Workforce 2007 TRB Annual Meeting Alethea Long-Green National Academy of Public Administration.

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building successful organizations

Building Successful Organizations:

A Guide to Strategic Workforce Planning

Session 748: Building the 21st Century Workforce

2007 TRB Annual Meeting

Alethea Long-Green

National Academy of Public Administration

a definition of strategic workforce planning
Strategic workforce planning is a systematic process for identifying the human capital required to meet organizational goals and developing strategies to meet these requirements.A Definition of Strategic Workforce Planning:
Steps for Strategic Workforce Planning

Workforce Planning Models



the strategic workforce planning process
Purpose: Ensure that the organization has the human resources it needs to accomplish its mission.The Strategic Workforce-Planning Process
  • Obtaining Commitment
  • Getting Started
  • Linking Strategic Workforce Planning to Programs, Budgets, and the Organization’s Strategic Plan
  • Describing the current workforce, projecting requirements and identifying gaps
  • Identifying strategies for closing the gaps
  • Evaluating and Refining the Strategic Workforce Planning Process
  • Integrating Workforce Planning with Human Capital Investment
1 obtaining commitment
Commitment from top leaders, human resource professionals and line workers is absolutely necessary for successful strategic workforce planning. 1. Obtaining Commitment
  • Communicate vision of the future direction of the organization and;
  • Demonstrate value of workforce planning:
      • Improved Strategic Utilization of People
      • Foster Strategic Thinking about Human Resources
      • Direction and guidance for managers concerned about human resources
      • Benefits to budget staff like the ability to better anticipate changes
      • Ability for the HR office to add value to the business of the organization
  • Use appropriate tools, i.e., the GAO Self-Assessment Checklist for Agency Leaders tool, or demographic data demonstrating labor trends.
2 getting started
Complete NAPA’s “Checklist for Getting Started”: These activities aid the organization in preparing to create a strategic workforce plan by conducting primary research. The activities and sequence of events will vary by organization, and some may have already implemented some activities.

Create the Workforce Planning Team that includes top leaders, line managers, HR professionals, IT professionals, strategic planners and budget analysts.

Develop the workforce plan.

2. Getting Started
3 describing the current workforce projecting requirements and identifying gaps
Project the workforce supply through standard personnel and payroll databases, and project the future supply by projecting the current numbers into the future, excluding new hires and applying a general rate of attrition and considering desired skills.

Determine future functional requirements through environmental scanning and organizational analysis.

Calculate workforce demand by determining the number and type of employees needed and then assess additional drivers that may impact future workforce needs in different areas.

Perform a gap analysis by comparing projected supply with projected demand to identify deficits or surpluses that will exist.

3. Describing the Current Workforce, Projecting Requirements and Identifying Gaps
4 identify strategies for closing the gaps
Strategies are developed to address the issues such as skill shortages, skill surpluses, attainment of diversity goals or coping with an aging workforce, as identified during the analysis of demand and supply.

The strategy selected will include one or more of the following elements:

Training and Continuous Learning

Leadership Development and succession planning

Recruitment and Retention

Workforce restructuring, outsourcing and downsizing

4. Identify Strategies for Closing the Gaps
5 evaluating and refining the workforce planning process
An evaluation of the workforce planning process should be conducted immediately after its development to ensure completeness and accuracy.

Workforce planning is a continuous process – it should be reviewed and revised at least once a year.

5. Evaluating and Refining the Workforce Planning Process
6 critical success factors
Top management support

Support from program managers and HR managers

Employee involvement

Good communication and marketing

Linkage to other planning processes

Availability of accurate input data

Detailed implementation plans

6. Critical Success Factors

After reviewing workforce planning efforts in 17 federal agencies, the Academy identified seven critical success factors.

7 integrating workforce planning with human capital investment
Workforce planning is an investment in the organization.

The mission of the organization should drive the human capital system.

The system is composed of four processes:

Defining requirements (workforce planning)

Acquiring human capital

Improving human capital

Leveraging human capital

The system also requires leadership, resources and processes for measurement and accountability.

7. Integrating Workforce Planning with Human Capital Investment
academy studies focused on strategic workforce planning
Transforming the FBI: Roadmap to an Effective Human Capital Program:The Academy is assisting the FBI in dealing with critical human capital issues such as career development and succession planning.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: Transforming to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century:The Academy assisted the USPTO in the development of strategies to transform itself into a more positive, collaborative organization with a more flexible and capable workforce.

NASA’s: Balancing the Multisector Workforce to Achieve a Healthy Organization:The Academy is providing an independent assessment of the agency’s workforce strategy and recommending methodologies to plan for future workforce needs.

Academy Studies Focused on Strategic Workforce Planning:
academy studies focused on strategic workforce planning14
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Action Plan to Achieve a Diverse Workforce:The Academy was enlisted by the CDC to provide advice and counsel on issues of leadership development, succession planning and diversity strategies.

Office of Environmental Management: Review of Human Resources, Acquisition and Organization:The Academy conducted a management review of the EM program.

Academy Studies Focused on Strategic Workforce Planning:
other approaches to strategic workforce planning
GAO: Human Capital: Key Principles for Effective Strategic Workforce Planning

The success of workforce planning is judged by the results, rather than the process but there are five principles that the process should address:

Involve top management, employees and other stakeholders in the plan

Determine the critical skills and competencies required

Develop strategies to address gaps in numbers

Build the capacity needed to address administrative, educational, and other requirements important to supporting workforce strategies

Monitor and evaluate the agency’s progress toward its human capital goals.

Other Approaches to Strategic Workforce Planning

From: The United States. United States General Accounting Office. Human Capital: Key Principles for Effective Strategic Workforce Planning. Dec. 2003.

the strategic workforce planning process16
The Strategic Workforce Planning Process



other approaches to strategic workforce planning17
RAND: Workforce Planning in Complex Organizations

Workforce planning can help ensure that an organization has the right mix – by education, experience, and other important characteristics – of personnel to advance its functional and organizational objectives.

To succeed, workforce planning should answer questions regarding desired workforce characteristics now and in the future, and how organizational practices are helping maintain or develop these characteristics.

Among elements needed to make workforce planning successful are active executive and line manager participation, accurate and relevant data, and sophisticated workload and inventory projection models.

Other Approaches to Strategic Workforce Planning

From: Emmerichs, Robert M., Cheryl Y. Marcum, and Albert A. Robert. "An Operational Process for Workforce Planning." The RAND Corporation. 29 Nov. 2006 <>.

the national academy of public administration
Private, Non-profit 501(c)(3)

Congressionally Chartered in 1967

“Trusted Source”—Non Partisan Advice

600 Elected Fellows

Distinguished Public Administration Careers

Primary Resource in Addressing Issues

100 Employees, IPAs, Independent Contractors

15-20 Research Projects a Year

The National Academy of Public Administration
contact information
Alethea Long-Green

Director of HR Government Studies


Contact Information