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Rethinking Workforce Planning & Organisation Design

Source | LinkedIn | David Green | People Analytics leader | Director, Insight222 & | Conference speaker | Board advisor, TrustSphere

“Companies who invest in organisational planning and analysis have a two-fold increase in productivity growth versus those that don’t”

As 2018 drew to a close Rupert Morrison had a ‘Eureka’ moment. He had been interviewing for a new CFO and as a consequence had been having a number of conversations on how the Finance function should be structured. It was almost unanimously accepted that there should be a clear delineation between those responsible for Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) and others with responsibility for Financial Operations.

So why, Rupert mused, wasn’t HR structured along similar lines with a forward-looking Organisational Planning & Analysis (OP&A) acting as a strategic partner to the business for workforce planning, budgeting and scenario planning alongside an HR Operations team? This prompted him to design the model below, which is a central theme in what proved to be a fascinating discussion for Episode 23 of the Digital HR Leaders Podcast.

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FIG 1: As FP&A is to Finance, OP&A should be to HR (Source: Rupert Morrison, OrgVue, Concentra Analytics)

Rupert also provides a brilliant example of why focusing on Span of Control (as opposed to his suggestion of Burden of Management) can be too simplistic when it comes to organisation design and efforts to optimise costs:

“So you’ve got Adam and Bridget, they’re both managers. They both got a span of control of eight. So the works the same. There’s no difference. But everyone that reports to Adam is in the same location, actually in the same office, with Bridget, different locations, different time zones. Adam, the team’s all experienced, been there for a long time. There are no performance issues. Bridget, lots of new people, performance issues. Adam, they all do the same job, managing literally one set of KPIs, across eight people. Bridget, different jobs, different job titles, also different sub functions could even be different functions. So which is harder? Bridget’s by some margin. Exponentially harder.”

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