Using Scenario Planning to Enable Strategic Workforce Planning | Multiple Resources

Workforce Planning

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Strategic workforce planning (SWP) continues to be elusive for many organizations. A 28-page report by BCG and WFPMA, focusing on 32 HR and people management practices, ranks SWP 2 out of 32 talent practices with the most significant gap between importance and capability.

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.

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

As a bonus article on how GenAI can help inform scenario planning (e.g., scenario creation, narrative development, and strategy generation), you can check out this Harvard Business Review article.  

HR leaders and SWP practitioners can use all resources to determine how their workforce plans will shift based on different scenarios.