Workforce planning for a modern world

workforce planning

I think we can all agree that the pace of change in business is accelerating. And the place you are likely to feel it today is in the workforce.

Few areas of business are undergoing such tectonic changes. The growing use of contingent workers is increasing the pressure on HR and the business to accurately project headcount needs, wages, and even skills. Shifting market forces amplify the pressure further by making forecasts increasingly tricky to pin down. Consolidation, divestiture, and re-orgs are widespread, causing teams, cultures, and business processes to constantly change just to keep up. Even the nature of work is changing. There are estimates that in just 12 years, 85% of all jobs will involve roles that haven’t been invented yet.

All this makes workforce planning more complicated than it has ever been, and at a time when it has never been more important. Your workforce is your most critical asset—and most likely your largest expense. Yet in too many organizations, workforce planning amounts mostly to headcount planning using static processes built around manual, single-user spreadsheets.

Simply put, spreadsheets are a poor match for today’s business environment. They make it difficult to mine a deep understanding of your workforce mix, assess capabilities against future initiatives, align your workforce to your business goals, or pinpoint skills gaps and then assess alternatives for closing them.

Collaboration is key

Excel-based planning processes present another problem for mapping, aligning, and optimizing modern workforces: They lock workforce plans away in silos, with each silo local to the department, and keep them disconnected from other parts of the organization. This includes the finance plan that the business runs on.

This prevents the ongoing collaborative planning an enterprise needs to ensure every aspect of a workforce plan aligns with finance goals and corporate strategies. Think of business, finance, and HR all working from the same perspective on hiring plans, using common data, always in sync on where the workforce is today and where it’s headed over the coming months and years. So no matter what you have to plan for—M&A, expansion, reorganization—HR, finance, and business managers always move forward together.

Next-level workforce planning

This is why we developed Adaptive Insights for Workforce Planning—the latest solution based on the Adaptive Insights Business Planning Cloud. It allows comprehensive workforce planning with the ability to model virtually anything, while linking models with the financial plan to get a holistic perspective of the business.

Like all solutions that live on our Business Planning Cloud, we designed this new workforce planning solution based on our deeply held belief that in business, everybody plans. So for Adaptive Insights customers, workforce planning is a team sport in which department heads and other business stakeholders all participate and contribute.

That means we’ve made it easy for virtually anyone to: view and analyze their workforce across multiple dimensions; run and compare what-if scenarios in real time (with a full and immediate understanding of the cost implications of these scenarios); and automatically update forecasts driven by data from back-end systems and other sources.

Ensuring agility in a world that demands it

These capabilities have never been more important. At a time when your ability to operate with agility can determine your prospects for success—Deloitte says agility will play “a central role in the organization of the future”—only a modern, cloud-based planning system can deliver the flexibility modern businesses need.

Many of our customers have long used our Business Planning Cloud for headcount planning, a key component of strategic workforce planning. With this new solution, we’re harnessing the power, flexibility, and capacity of our patent-pending Elastic Hypercube Technology to expand its advantages across more use cases, including:

  • Collaborative planning across finance, HR, and lines of businessEnable your business leaders to work together in planning for new hires, promotions, merit increases, and workforce expenses. Use our built-in self-service capability to gain instant visibility into current and future hiring needs and expenses
  • Organizational restructuringChoose the optimal organization structure with the right people, in the right role, at the right time, and at the right cost. For instance, you can quickly model and analyze the impact of M&A, divestiture, or relocation by studying compensation, benefits, taxes, relocation costs, and more. These capabilities are crucial at a time when the average large firm reorganizes every two to three years
  • Skills-based planningDo a better job meeting immediate and long-term goals by modeling workforce skills by location, ramp time, cost of workforce, and more. Enable business users to compare actual versus planned skill and resource capacity to better align with finance and HR, and functional managers can ensure the skill sets of their staff always remain current and relevant to the business
  • Headcount planning. Plan all aspects of headcount by location, department, project, cost, and more. And develop individual departmental plans, then automatically roll them up into a unified company-wide plan

We’re also maintaining Adaptive Insights’ long-held commitment to an open ecosystem by ensuring that workforce plans and forecasts automatically incorporate data from ERP, payroll, human capital management, and other systems—because understanding what you did last quarter is a first step toward deciding your plan of action for next quarter and those that follow it.

Throughout our history, we’ve seen how better, more responsive plans lead to better, more agile organizations. With Adaptive Insights for Workforce Planning, that same transformation can now take place with every organization’s most important asset. In business, the pace of change may be accelerating, but this powerful new solution gives them exactly what they need to always stay a few moves ahead.

Learn more about Adaptive Insights for Workforce Planning

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