Assess your agency's current approach

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

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

The model below (also available as a PDF download (PDF, 192 KB) ) 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.



1. Tactical

2. Collaborative

3. Transformational

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. There is limited understanding and commitment to system wide issues.

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

There is an integrated approach and understanding in driving workforce strategies that embeds proactive people management at the heart of the organisational strategy. There are clear links to strategic plans and 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'.

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

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

Sophisticated scenario based demand forecasting or strategic foresight 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. 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.

Opportunities for cross- agency activities to build, buy and borrow capability and capacity are identified. Reporting is strategic and meaningful, and all levels of the organisation have ownership.

Organisational design

1. Tactical

2. Collaborative

3. Transformational

There is an ad hoc approach to service delivery.

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.

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

Typically this would have significant job redesign and considerable efforts in reviewing service delivery.

Multidisciplinary teams organised around a common vision.

There is no stranded capital.

Major paradigm shift in the way the needs of the workplace and community are matched to the workforce. Place-based and human -centred design are common place. These unleash potential and often involve pilots and trials co-designed with stakeholders and high level engagement with government.

Decision making is rapid and delegated. Workforce strategies 'break the mould' of traditional structures, classifications, design, management, capability and capacity.

Organisations have reinvented themselves to operate as agile networks of teams able to scale up/down and mobilise to meet demand.

These are responsive and innovative workforce designs and practices.

Scenario planning and strategic foresight

1. Tactical

2. Collaborative

3. Transformational

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.

Departments regularly use predictive analytics, scenarios and strategic foresight 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.

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

1. Tactical

2. Collaborative

3. Transformational

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

Staff survey results inform workforce activities. No benchmarking is done.

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. This data is translated into information and insights.

There are common definitions across the enterprise.

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

Local analysis and improvements feed into sector wide data enhancements.

Projections and trend analysis is integrated into strategies.

Machine learning and automation impacts are known, understood and planned for.

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.


1. Tactical

2. Collaborative

3. Transformational

Workforce plans are developed internally by a few key people with top down input in the development of workforce strategies.

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.

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

Contingent workforce

1. Tactical

2. Collaborative

3. Transformational

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

There is a deliberate focus on how to improve service delivery and business outcomes by working more effectively with the contingent workforce.

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.

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

1. Tactical

2. Collaborative

3. Transformational

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

Reporting is done on an ad hoc basis. Governance frameworks are in place that illustrate the connections amongst all elements of the system.

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.

The authorising environment is clearly understood and articulated. There is a focus on outcomes, rather than outputs and inputs, particularly outcomes with greatest impact.

Managers have ownership of workforce strategies and their implementation.

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

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. 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.

Risk assessment

1. Tactical

2. Collaborative

3. Transformational

Workforce risks have been articulated in the plan though there is varying levels of engagement in mitigating those risks.

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.

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.