People in an organization are the key drivers of an organization’s success. As such, it is important that human resource requirements of an organization are identified, and plans are made for satisfying those requirements. Running this planning process smoothly and efficiently can be quite a daunting task without proper planning and collaboration tool.
For HR planning, there are two approaches to responsibility: one is central planning, where the HR department or human resources manager takes responsibility for the entire division or organization; the other is distributed planning, where team heads or members do the planning for their groups within the organization.
In both cases, the function is not typically a C-level one because the process is usually bottom-up and not planned for a multi-year perspective. Yet make no mistake – the practice is highly important. Ideally, HR planning should serve as a link between human resources management and the overall strategic plan of an organization.
There are five essential steps in strategic planning and workforce management requiring data integration, collaboration and workflow management. Adoption of planning technologies can streamline this complex cross-organization process. These five steps are:
- Leverage sales/financial planning to establish strategic HR goals
- Prepare HR planning
- Collect planning data
- Establish workflow and consolidation
- Integrate HR planning into enterprise financial planning
More than a century ago, the American author and entrepreneur Orison Swett Marden made an observation that holds today: “A good system shortens the road to the goal.” For HR planning, the five process steps above are a good system.
But to get the most out of them, enterprises need to incorporate technology that helps, not hinders, reaching their planning goals. A recent independent study shows that 90 percent of all companies still use Microsoft Excel for annual planning – and find they are reaching its limits.
This finding is true for HR planning as well. Here’s a question you need to answer to determine if you’re doing HR planning right: Is Excel still a principal tool in the process? If so, chances are you’re not doing it right.