Assess your agency's current approach

The Strategic Workforce Planning Maturity Index helps you to assess your agency's approach to strategic workforce planning.

  1. Assess your strategic workforce plan against the components in this index.
  2. Identify areas that can be improved or become more strategic.
  3. Determine how you can improve in these areas.

The index is of most value at the beginning of the process, but can be used at all stages in deciding what to examine, and to determine gaps in future focus areas. Lower levels are attained and included in higher-level achievements.

Components:

Overall

Competency level Evidence
  1. Awareness

There is some understanding as to what workforce planning is in pockets of the organisation.

However, there is not always a consistent understanding of what it means or how it affects the organisation as a whole. Often little or no dedicated resource.
  1. Administering

The organisation has a workforce plan in place which is supported by management however there is limited understanding and commitment to system wide issues.

Typically a siloed approach to looking at the organisation in segments.
  1. Competent

There is a common approach across the organisation that clearly links to strategic plans.

There is a clear vision of the workforce of the future to drive and deliver services to customers and stakeholders. An assessment of future needs is clearly articulated and strategies are driven by robust evidence based research.

There is a deliberate emphasis on improved productivity, organisational culture, and ‘One Government’.
  1. Expert

The organisation has an integrated approach and understanding in driving workforce strategies and embeds proactive people management at the heart of the organisational strategy.

There is a strong capability and know-how in how to lead and shape strategic workforce planning activities that are future focused, and a commitment to outcomes through agreed metrics.

Leaders are engaged in outcomes and nurture fertile ground for workforce activities.

Cross-agency opportunities to build, buy and borrow capability and capacity are identified. Reporting is strategic and meaningful, and all levels of the organisation have ownership.
  1. Leading edge

Used as a strategic business tool that is fully integrated into strategic and business planning processes with a direct line of sight to all other strategic documents.

Sophisticated scenario based demand forecasting of future business and service design is undertaken regularly.

Plans contain breakthrough ideas and are agile enough to quickly respond to the changing environment.

Considers the organisation as a part of an entire enterprise that transcends traditional boundaries and understands how changes in that organisation affect other parts of the system.

Sector-wide issues are shared in a systematic joined up approach.

Organisational design

Competency level Evidence
  1. Awareness
There is an ad hoc approach to day-to-day workforce matters.
  1. Administering
There are minor shifts in the business and service delivery models with minimal disruption to current workforce designs and practices. The organisation looks like it did 10 years ago.
  1. Competent

Major shifts in the way business is delivered requiring a fundamental rethink of existing systems and models.

Typically this would have significant job redesign and considerable efforts in reviewing service delivery.
  1. Expert
Major paradigm shift in the way the needs of the workplace and community are matched to the workforce. These unleash potential and often involves pilots and trials co-designed with stakeholders and high level engagement with government.
  1. Leading edge

Workforce strategies ‘break the mould’ of traditional structures, classifications, design, management, capability and capacity.

These are agile and innovative workforce designs and practices that are revolutionary and have rarely been tested in a public sector environment.

There is a complete culture shift, for example from a steady 9-to-5 paradigm to an agile ‘cloud-workers’ paradigm.

Scenario planning and time horizon

Competency level Evidence
  1. Awareness
Planning is focused on the immediate future (i.e. the next year’s activities).
  1. Administering

Planning looks at where the organisation needs to be in one to two years’ time and typically assumes a single future as its goal.

Typically departments with minor workforce agendas can fall into this area.
  1. Competent

Departments are looking at three to four year cycles and are using scenarios to predict needs.

Often this links into other strategic document cycles and is used to drive a high performance workforce.
  1. Expert

Departments regularly use predictive analytics to forecast workforce needs for the next five years and typically undertake extensive scenario planning exercises to provide clarity of vision.

Leaders are insightful, bold and courageous in their thinking about options and opportunities for more effective business models.
  1. Leading edge

Planning not only considers the short term needs of the organisation but takes a longer term view and extends well beyond five years with future forecasting and blue sky thinking, and includes a clear vision of how to get there.

Balances diverse information and analytical models to gather a collection of tactics for different futures and are confident with complexity and uncertainty.

Often global push/pull factors are taken into account in clarifying the future.

Data inputs

Competency level Evidence
  1. Awareness

Foundational demographic data is considered at a point in time, however rarely shapes the activities of the organisation.

No benchmarking is done.
  1. Administering

An expanded assessment of demographic trends and analysis is undertaken including manipulating data sets and lines of enquiry.

Staff survey results inform workforce activities.
  1. Competent

Translating data into information, finding connections, testing hypotheses and identifying root connections.

There are common definitions across the enterprise.

The department uses benchmarking to other public sector entities and relevant industry standards to analyse performance.

  1. Expert

Inputs from all data sources including MOHRI, ABS, data warehouses, staff surveys, state of the service reports and economic modelling of skills supply and demand.

Local analysis and improvements feed into sector wide data enhancements.

Projections and trend analysis is integrated into strategies. Some activities have been automated.
  1. Leading edge

Machine learning and automation is embedded into data analytics.  There is complete understanding of lead and lag indicators across the organisation and coupled with other data and predictive modelling, they are used as a solid evidence base to inform workforce strategies.

Leverages analysis in business decisions and process improvement.

Benchmarks are not only with other public sector entities, but also like industries around the world.

Staff are experts or informed by experts on data analysis, how to forecast and project workforce data and undertake supply and demand analysis.

Engagement

Competency level Evidence
  1. Awareness
Workforce plans are developed internally by a few key people.
  1. Administering
Top down input in the development of workforce strategies.
  1. Competent

People are empowered to provide input from across the organisation.

Feedback is sought on draft plans and there is an iterative approach to design and implementation.
  1. Expert

Stakeholder engagement strategies are in place to glean input from several strategic sources. Initiatives are grounded in human-centred design and built with the end user in mind.

Diagnostic tools are used effectively to extract relevant information from engagement results to inform workforce activities.
  1. Leading edge

Deep engagement and input from not only across the organisation, but all key stakeholders including Ministers, private sector, NGOs, volunteers and other stakeholders external and internal to the organisation.

There are meaningful feedback loops in place.

Contingent workforce

Competency level Evidence
  1. Awareness
Workforce deliberations are internally focused with no consideration beyond those on the departmental payroll.
  1. Administering

Primary focus is on the paid workforce, however there is an appreciation of what working with external providers means for the organisation.

  1. Competent
There is a deliberate focus on how to improve service delivery and business outcomes by working more effectively with the contingent workforce however, the depth of understanding is in its nascent stages.
  1. Expert

The intrinsic public value of the organisation is clearly articulated. There is a complete understanding of the capabilities, capacities, attributes and positioning of other sectors.

There is a holistic capability building model that partners to lift capability across industry with mutually beneficial outcomes.
  1. Leading edge

The organisation maximises efficiencies with the contingent workforce by co-designing and co-producing outcomes through mutually beneficial approaches.
This includes, but not limited to, proactive engagement with volunteers, contractors, NGO’s, private sector and educational institutions.

There is a strategic approach leveraging these skills to deliver government services that includes feeding into sector-wide strategies.

Governance and reporting

Competency level Evidence
  1. Awareness

Ownership of the planning, development and implementation of workforce strategies sit with the HR Unit.

Reporting is done on an ad hoc basis.
  1. Administering

There is an understanding of who makes decisions and by what process.

Regular reports are prepared but are not always used in a strategic way to inform workforce practices.
  1. Competent

Managers have ownership of workforce strategies and their implementation.

Governance frameworks are in place that illustrate the connections amongst all elements of the system.

Regular progress reports using both quantitative and qualitative measures are tabled and discussed. Reporting is used in a strategic way to inform workforce practices.
  1. Expert

The authorising environment is clearly understood and articulated. There is a focus on outcomes, rather than outputs and inputs, particularly outcomes with greatest impact. Leaders own the workforce strategies and implementation. They understand their role in driving the workforce agenda and are able to respond to changing needs.

Reporting is aligned with other strategic reporting cycles and budget papers, and is examined in light of useful and meaningful output and outcome data.

  1. Leading edge

The whole organisation knows and understands the vision for the workforce and their role in contributing to those outcomes.

There is a clear line of sight to all strategic inputs and how that translates to impactful outcomes.

Decision making is devolved to the appropriate level and effective governance systems are in place to guarantee accountability.

Risk assessment

Competency level Evidence
  1. Awareness
There is an understanding of the risk factors in achieving the workforce strategies however there is a general sense of risk aversion.
  1. Administering
Workforce risks have been articulated in the plan though there is varying levels of engagement in mitigating those risks.
  1. Competent

Risk mitigation strategies are in place and link to organisation wide risk strategies.

Roles are assigned and understood.
  1. Expert

The organisation has a complete understanding of workforce risks, the costs, likelihood and impacts.

Leadership teams have responsibility for primary oversight.

There is a clear understanding of protocols for escalation and appropriate responses.
  1. Leading edge

The organisation balances the need to take risks outside the normal paradigms shifting away from a risk averse culture.

A compliance culture is balanced with innovation and challenging the status quo.

There is confidence in the ability to rapidly react to unanticipated futures.

Assessments are realistic, evidence based and purposefully considered.

Where appropriate, strategic risks feed into sector wide risk management strategies.

Change and transitions

Competency level Evidence
  1. Awareness
There is a general awareness of change management processes included in any workforce strategies.
  1. Administering
A change management strategy has been developed that looks at the granular detail of specific actions required.
  1. Competent

There is a clear understanding of what model of change is being applied, as well as roles and responsibilities.

All parties are informed and able to address staff uncertainties and community concerns.
  1. Expert

The organisation takes a proactive strategic approach to planning for change.

Actions are designed to be sufficiently agile and flexible to be adjusted to suit the emerging context.

Staff receive ongoing support.

Structures may need modification and organisational strategic plans are refined.

Unintended consequences are understood and there is a clear and transparent decision making framework.
  1. Leading edge

Change management is seen as a continuous improvement process in a constant state of adjustment and fine tuning that is an integral component of business.

Major change agendas feed into sector wide strategies and are well prepared for with a complete understanding of the new business drivers.

Unpredictable events are handled smoothly and with minimum disruption.

There is a robust evaluation and review mechanism in place to enable ongoing learning.