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Posted by on Jan 16, 2015

What to Consider When Starting a Federal Workforce Plan

What to Consider When Starting a Federal Workforce Plan

To the Federal Human Capital professional: Workforce planning is must-have skill in advancing your human resources career. Even if you aren’t driving creation of your agency-level workforce planning, understanding the process and how to effectively contribute to it is critical. Even at the division level, however, the workforce planning process can appear to be a huge undertaking.

To make it both manageable and workforce-planningeffective – as well as headache free – you need to plan out your individual process before you begin. The first step is to really understand the factors that affect your plan, ask the right questions, and gather the data you need. If you do this well, you can create a high-quality plan that will positively impact the future direction of your organization.

Effective workforce planning is a complex process requiring both high-level strategic analysis and seemingly incredible attention to detail; here are some essential questions to ask when getting started:

  • Accountability
    What individuals will be accountable throughout the process?
  • Budget
    How much budget do you have to support the plan?  How is the workforce plan integrated with the budget formulation process?
  • Commitment
    Do you have the commitment of HR staff, agency leaders, and the people who control resources critical to your plan’s success?
  • Communications
    What is the overall communications plan for the workforce planning effort? How will you deliver communications to different stakeholders?
  • Controls
    What tools will shape long-term strategic management of the workforce plan? What infrastructure and controls are needed to support agency transformation?
  • Coordination
    How will you coordinate internal departments impacted by the plan, such as IT and finance? In large agencies, how will your plan be coordinated with sub-agency workforce plans?
  • Infrastructure
    What systems and tools will be needed for implementation? What staff skills and training will you need to use them?
  • Policies
    Will you need to create or update existing policies to support implementation of your plan?
  • Process Improvement
    How does you workforce plan link to other efforts to improve business processes?
  • Stakeholders
    Who will have an interest in the success of your workforce plan?  How will it impact individuals at every level of the organization?
  • Timing
    It can take up to six months to complete all phases of a workforce plan. How will you integrate that process into the agency’s annual planning cycle?

Share these insights with your team and download the guide Workforce Planning: Getting Started.  To be even better prepared, consider taking training in Federal Workforce Planning.

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