By Robert M. Emmerichs
Describes a user's advisor for individuals carrying out staff making plans.
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Additional resources for An Operational Process for Workforce Planning
Even in this simple case, workforce planners face serious questions. Are past rates appropriate for the future? Were policies in place in the past (say, during a drawdown) that affected these rates, but will not be present in the future? Has the organization implemented recent changes in policies and practices, the effects of which are not yet fully visible in past rates? If so, how should past rates be adjusted to reflect a likely estimate for the future? Again, the reason for asking such questions and engaging in dialogue to answer them is not to come up with a sterile “right” answer.
Again, although workforce planners may be able to evaluate the effects of individual changes without a model, estimating the effects of multiple, interacting changes requires one. In addition, workforce planners are unlikely to know the effects of changes with a high degree of confidence. A model can provide insight into the potential effects through such techniques as sensitivity analysis. Finally, a model forces the participants in the workforce planning activity to make their assumptions explicit—and thus positions them for debate—leading to a better shared understanding of how the business works.
Even if this intent is realized, further changes may be needed to reflect the difference between the distribution of workforce characteristics in the expected future inventory (assuming current policies and practices will continue) and what the future desired distribution will require. Assuredly, in relatively simple workforce planning activities planners can make these estimates without using a model. As an activity grows in complexity, however, such estimates generally will not be possible. As with data, a prudent approach is to start with a relatively simple model and add complexity as it is needed.