Strategic workforce planning should be a rigorous, in-depth process. Because of the time and energy required, organizations cannot always devote equal time to every position. As a result, the roles that are most critical to business strategy must be identified early on and prioritized when the workforce plan is put into action. While most line-of-business and HR leaders may believe they have an accurate idea of which roles qualify as “critical,” these opinions are rarely based upon hard evidence.
Organizations that analyze their organizational structure and talent data first may be surprised at which roles are truly essential to executing business strategy. Furthermore, as an organization’s strategic goals change over time, so may the importance of a given role. Leaders cannot afford to have a talent strategy that is out of alignment with their business strategy.