Getting Started

What is Workforce Planning?

Why do Workforce Planning?

What are the benefits of Workforce Planning?

Not sure where to begin with workforce planning? There are two common paths when getting started:

Path 1: Unidentified Needs

Workforce planning needs are not currently defined or identified by a leader or sponsor. Try these four steps to identify what workforce planning activities may be best for your IC or current project needs.

1. Identify the Workforce Planning Sponsor(s), and Customer(s), and Prepare for a meeting to discuss priorities and needs.

Use the How-To Guide: Conducting a Customer Needs Assessment to help guide you, as needed.

Here are some key things to consider as you identify the sponsor(s) and identify the customer(s).

  • SPONSOR: the parties who lead or are responsible for workforce planning in your Institute/Center, or for a specified workforce planning need or current project. The sponsor should be an individual who can articulate the need for workforce planning, who can influence and direct desired outcomes, and who can provide information that will assist practitioners with prioritizing activities (e.g. Executive Officer, Division/Program/Branch Head that seeks workforce planning in his/her unit, or for some ICs, the sponsor will also be the primary customer).
  • CUSTOMER: who had the workforce planning need. Be sure to define what does success look likes for the customer.

2. Conduct a Workforce Planning Assessment with your IC Workforce Planning Sponsor or Project Sponsor.

During or before your meeting with the identified workforce planning sponsor, walk through the statements in the Workforce Planning Status Assessment tool or request that the sponsor fill it out ahead of time to determine where the sponsor may wish to see improvement in status across the various workforce planning activities listed.

3. Create the Business Case for Workforce Planning for your specific project.

During the meeting with your sponsor, walk through and request answers to the questions in the Business Case for Workforce Planning Template, or listen for answers to the included questions as your sponsor discusses the problem, needs and desired outcomes

4. Create a Strategic Workforce Plan.

Review the Strategic Workforce Plan template to develop a deeper understanding of the level of effort and resources required to complete your project or IC’s plan, and begin!

Questions? Contact the NIH Workforce Planning to speak with a practitioner in the NIH Workforce Planning Community of Practice about how to get started.

Path 2: Needs Known

A current workforce planning-related challenge or problem statement is known/specified. There is a known, specific workforce planning need. If that is the case, browse the FAQs to see if your need/challenge is represented. For each FAQ, a recommended next step and/or corresponding tool is listed. If you do not see your need/challenge represented in the FAQs, contact the NIH Workforce Planning to speak with a practitioner in the NIH Workforce Planning Community of Practice.

The following tools have been carefully selected as the most relevant to the initial steps to address workforce planning needs.

Tools to Get Started

See how the Workforce Planning and Analytics Section can assist

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