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  1. Benefits
  2. Challenges

One of the most common obstacles to implementing strategic workforce planning is the view that an agency does not have all the necessary information for the process to be successful – for example when the available workforce data is either limited or unreliable. 

This is not the case. Even starting strategic conversations about longer-term workforce needs can provide significant benefits to an agency. 


  • Improves employee mobility and provides more job security 
  • Helps to achieve State and organisational strategic goals 
  • Mitigates risks from future capability gaps and critical, hard-to-fill roles 
  • Identifies and prepares pipelines for future required workforce capabilities 
  • Encourages active consideration of organisational workforce diversity goals 
  • Facilitates transitions to other models of service provision 
  • Provides greater agility and flexibility to deal with change 
  • Enables more efficient and cost-effective use of resources 


  • Trying to do too much at once instead of starting with what is manageable 
  • Senior leadership not valuing or supporting strategic workforce planning 
  • HR and business units being siloed, so they do not collaborate effectively 
  • Not using talent management to really know the workforce 
  • Getting caught up in the data and analytics, instead of starting with what is available 
  • Focusing only on day-to-day operations, budgeting and headcount 
  • Not thinking about potential broader macro impacts on the workforce when planning 
  • Treating the strategic workforce plan as a static document and not revisiting it throughout the planning life cycle 

"Start with what you've got to get the ball rolling, then proceed and keep iterating. The conversation is one of the most valuable outputs – once people start talking, the planning evolves from there."
Director Talent and Workforce
NSW Department of Justice