Strategic workforce planning should be a collaborative ‘top down – bottom up’ planning process. The below figure recaps the suggested process for developing a strategic workforce plan. 

Arrow diagram with text

Figure 9. Developing the Strategic Workforce Plan


The process for implementing strategic workforce planning is continuous and iterative, the key is to get the conversations started. Figure 10 provides tips for implementation. 

Implementation Tip Description
Emphasise the Process  Workforce planning can be successful simply by surfacing assumptions and issues even if problems aren’t fully resolved 
Organise Effectively  Decide how workforce planning will integrate with your broader planning and organisational goals 
Skill Up  Understand your organisation’s requirements to make sure you are asking the right questions 
Understand Demand  Understand how your workforce requirements might change due to internal and external factors 
Standardise Data  Agree on definitions and quality standards to ensure data is collated as easily and accurately as possible 
Build Analytical Capability  Develop skills to understand, manipulate and present data 
Identify Key Groups  Understand the key workforce segments that will deliver the greatest organisational uplift 
Deal with Uncertainty  Use scenario planning rather than forecasting to deal with the high level of complexity and uncertainty 
Analyse Capability  Understand workforce changes in terms of skills, competencies and capabilities 
Educate Senior Management  Emphasise the time and resources required to hire, train or redeploy staff to meet changing business needs, factoring in staff aspirations, development and retention (time to competency) 

Figure 10. Practical tips for implementing SWP