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Strategic Workforce Planning Finally Gets Strategic

Lower barriers to entry and the rise of ecosystems and integrated value chains are eroding organizational boundaries and spurring convergence. Automation, the need for digital skills, demographic shifts and globalization are upending labor supply and demand. The future is in flux.

Advances in talent analytics are finally allowing workforce planning to become as dynamic as this environment. Prescriptive analytics tools help organizations go beyond describing “what is happening now” or “what might happen in the future” to control “what should happen.”

Scenario-based strategic workforce planning is a digital playground for the business to constantly optimize workforce choices—testing, learning and tweaking across dimensions and futures—to deliver the business strategy.

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Strategic Workforce Planning Finally Gets Strategic

  1. 1. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. Strategic workforce planning finally gets strategic
  2. 2. 2 Today’s strategic workforce planning is often neither strategic, nor planning. But with the availability of data and rapid digitalization of analytics, it can be. Without proper planning, business strategy is just wishful thinking…
  3. 3. Welcome to the digital playground 55% of executives say their organization does scenario planning at best annually. Workforce planning is finally becoming as dynamic as the business environment. The availability of prescriptive analytics helps organizations go beyond describing “what is happening” or “what might happen” to control “what should happen”.
  4. 4. The big picture beats tunnel vision 61% of executives say they are not well prepared to change the workforce skill and job mix to transition into a digital business. No blind spots. Only a silo-busting, multi-domain planning approach provides an eyes-wide-open, real-time view of all the variables that impact talent strategy.
  5. 5. Humans and machines work in unison Machines have limitless computational power. Humans bring nuanced judgment. Machines conduct simulations, while humans analyze results to understand how personnel shifts impact the talent pool for the most critical positions across the organization. Top new skills that managers say are needed to succeed in their roles in five years: 42% Digital and technology know-how 33% Creative thinking and experimentation 31% Data analysis and interpretation
  6. 6. The future is built on sand Change is constant. And fast. Strategic workforce planning does not aim to predict a single, “perfect” future. It’s about identifying optimal solutions to prepare the workforce for the inherent uncertainty of every possible future. 30% of executives see uncertainty as an opportunity to create competitive advantage.
  7. 7. Change the workforce planning game Abandon the idea of perfect data Simulations depend on the right data for the task at hand. Plan the work, work the plan Strategic workforce planning must be a continuous, iterative and closed-loop process. Master both art and science A combination of roles are required with left- and right-brain skills. Focus less on ownership, more on action Both the business and human resources must be involved and aligned. Trade business cases for trial and error Choose a priority area, trial it and extrapolate results to pinpoint the broader potential.
  8. 8. 8 Strategic workforce planning finally empowers companies to operationalize predictions of changing workforce supply to shape the future of work. There’s no delivering the business strategy without it—and definitely no competing as a digital business without it.
  9. 9. 9 @AccentureStrat @Accenture-Strategy For more information, visit: About Accenture Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 373,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at About Accenture Strategy Accenture Strategy operates at the intersection of business and technology. We bring together our capabilities in business, technology, operations and function strategy to help our clients envision and execute industry-specific strategies that support enterprise-wide transformation. Our focus on issues related to digital disruption, competitiveness, global operating models, talent and leadership helps drive both efficiencies and growth. For more information, follow @AccentureStrat or visit