Strategic workforce planning (SWP) continues to be elusive for many organizations. According to a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study of 32 HR and talent practices, SWP is among the top three practices with the most significant gaps between the importance organizations place on the capability and their ability to deliver it effectively. And while there are various reasons SWP is challenging to implement, one of them is that workforce plans are often developed based on one “scenario”—or what one expects or assumes will happen (e.g., FDA approval of drug X, sales growth of 15%). But as we’ve learned through several events over the past few years, organizations can find their baseline or assumed scenarios turned upside down because of various factors. As SWP practitioners help their organizations envision, describe, and plan for possible—but alternative — future scenarios they may face, I am resharing three resources on scenario planning.
- A one-page editable PDF by Xplane that helps organizations identify four “what-if” scenarios they may face in the future, define the “conditions” that would trigger each, and develop a response for each scenario.
- Gartner’s Scenario Implication Diagnostic, which provides over 60 diagnostic questions to help understand the implications of internal and external factors that can inform different scenarios.
- Deloitte’s – Using Scenario Planning as Inflation Continues to Rise. A 17-page deck that provides a framework (page 6) of four scenarios that may occur in the context of inflation. While this resource describes scenarios driven by inflation, the approach and examples used can apply to multiple scenario types.
HR leaders and SWP practitioners can use all three resources to determine how their workforce plans will shift based on different scenarios.