A common reason I am given for a business to not engage in workforce planning is that they don’t see the value in it. Aside from the information, I presented in my article Why do Organizations Need Workforce Planning, there is the information presented in the Entrepreneur Magazine article, 5 Important Guidelines to Increase HR Values In Your Organization. These articles may not address the objections of your harshest critics. In that instance, you would have to develop a Business Case for Workforce Planning.
How do you develop a business case for Workforce Planning (WP)?
The dictionary defines a Business case as “a justification for a proposed project or undertaking based on its expected commercial benefit.” It is nothing more than that. Equally important, it communicates a strong message that you have put more than idle thought into your desire to develop a business solution. That is all that you must do, communicate in a manner and format that gets the desired result.
Business Cases can be complex documents. I’m not a fan of complex finding them to be unnecessary. A simple approach is most often the best. Your Simple Business Case then should contain the following:
Executive Summary – You will develop this last. The Executive Summary is just an overview of the document, the data or content that is inside and what the purpose of the Business Case presentation is.
Identify the business problem – This is little more than a statement of your issue (“we are experiencing slow recruiting, above-average turnover and slow production due to staffing issues.”). It would be a good idea to share financial information such as turnover costs, lost revenue because of staffing, etc.
Identify solutions – Several examples you suggest as solutions. This could be increasing pay, creating sign-on and retention bonuses, increasing benefits, etc. If seeking to develop a WP solution, then one of your recommendations should be Workforce Planning. You would include the following for each solution you recommend
- For each solution provide its costs and benefits.
- Ensure you discuss the feasibility of each solution.
- Include risks and associated issues with each solution too.
Recommend a single solution – If you want a WP solution, that is what you recommend here. Describe why you recommend it as a solution. The costs you identified in 2 above will be of value here as you share the cost-benefit relationships of your solutions.
Describe the implementation of the solution – The process of executing your solutions. In the case of Workforce Planning, you can find the process in the article Fix Your Recruiting and Retention Problem.
Ask for a decision – you don’t want to leave the room without asking for a decision. Otherwise, you may leave the room with nothing more than “nice job, good presentation.” Ask for a decision.
The methodology of developing a Business case for a decision is simple. The content may be challenging to obtain with sometimes the organizations own processes interfering. An example would be not allowing HR to see business financial data. That sometimes happens, and workarounds may be necessary. Regardless, using a Business Case decision model will greatly improve your chances for success.
The Series so Far: