business or strategic plans

Note to Trainers/Assessors: Please provide different sample business or strategic plans to learners to encourage distinctive and a wide range to responses across different industry sectors. Public domain business plans can be downloaded from online sources. Also, with a focus on this major project at the end of the term, learning sessions should include aspects of workforce planning process with an opportunity for the learners to practice within the class. Ideally, adequate time should be allocated in each learning session for the project, helping the learners to progress as the term progresses. Time should be allocated for presentations at the end of the term.

Workforce planning is an essential part of strategic planning, enabling organisations to have the right skills and capabilities in place to take advantage of improving market conditions. Workforce planning helps identify future workforce needs, optimise the use of the current workforce and determine the required competencies and skills that help realise organisational goals. An effective workforce plan provides the strategic basis for making human resource decisions.

An important aspect of workforce planning is availability of reliable data on the current workforce. It helps identify trends over time that may prove useful for predictive modelling. As a workforce plan leads to an expected change, organisations should also systematically address the issues driving change as part of the plan.

For the purpose of this assessment plan, you will be provided with a sample business plan. Your task would be to understand the business activities and structure of the organisation to develop the necessary context for your workforce plan (visit organisation’s website for more information, if needed). A workforce planning model suggested by international consulting firm, KPMG, includes the following planning and implementation steps/components;
• Review organisation strategy/value chain
• Research labour market and forces
• Assess existing internal resource pool: quantify its dynamics and characteristics
• Identify future skills demands/needs and gaps: focus on critical and pivotal roles in the value chain
• Define workforce requirements
• Define objectives to retain required skilled as well as for workforce diversity and cross”cultural management
• Build workforce system and model
• Develop resourcing strategy with line managers
• Develop resourcing plan and engage with managers
• Implement and measure
• Integrate with other planning and HR processes
• Monitor and use feedback for improvement

This is provided only as a guide to help you structure your plan and you may not necessarily need to cover all of the above areas. A simplified structure is suggested below. You will need to work with some assumptions based on the given business plan, especially in analyse the current workforce and its capabilities. You may rely on organisational information, published reports and news items to frame your assumptions. A simplified workforce plan structure will typically include;
• Business Brief (context, current situation)
• Purpose and objectives (focus, expectations, scope, stakeholders)
• Strategic fit (integration with other plans, policies and procedures)
• Environmental scan (e.g. PEST, SPELT)
• Current labour market, supply and forces
• Current demand for staffing resources (business plan related)
• Future demand for staffing resources (scenario”based planning)
• Demand/supply analysis (identifying gaps between supply and demand)
• Situation analysis (potential workforce issues and challenges)
• HR strategies including workforce retention, diversity and cross”cultural management
• Expected costs (budget estimates)
• Action plan (to implement strategies and the workforce plan)
• Monitoring and evaluating strategies and action plan, including employee satisfaction surveys

The above structure is only provided as a suggestion and you may develop your own structure and headings depending on your specific context of the plan and business situation. However, the plan should be written as a formal business document that can be used in a real”life situation. The focus should be on quality and coherence of the components of the plan. The emphasis should be on originality of the work and extent of research, which should be demonstrated in writing style, plan structure and references. The plan must be word processed and structured with appropriate headings and sub”headings as needed. Where possible, sample tools and techniques for demand and supply analysis and forecast should be suggested to support respective analyses.

When completed, present the plan to the class, assuming the class audience as your target audience. Explain what makes your organisation an employer of choice.

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