Positioned: Strategic Workforce Planning That Gets the Right Person in the Right Job

Positioned: Strategic Workforce Planning That Gets the Right Person in the Right Job

Positioned: Strategic Workforce Planning That Gets the Right Person in the Right Job

Positioned: Strategic Workforce Planning That Gets the Right Person in the Right Job


In an era of globally increasing complexity and competition for talent, shortages and misalignment of people can derail an organization's effectiveness. Positioned puts them back on track. This unprecedented collection of some of the world's best people strategists tackles the ongoing supply and demand challenge of having the right people available at the right time. Authors such as Dave Ulrich, John Boudreau, Jac Fitz-enz, Jim Walker, Peter Howes, Dan Hilbert, Naomi Stanford, Tom Davenport, Ian Ziskin, and 22 others supply a wealth of collected wisdom, historical insights, analytical models, personal accounts, trend projections, and illuminating case studies of what works, what does not work, and why. The book includes: An historical overview that traces people planning through the ages and the evolution of modern SWP processes Current best practices that show how organizations across the world are solving their workplace challenges, including case studies from private and public sector organizations Analytics that cover the metrics and analysis techniques used by leading companies to make better workforce planning decisions Future directions that look at the integration of people strategies with forces such as disruptive technologies, globalization on steroids, multidimensional cultures within a virtual workplace, the impact of social media on the career marketplace, and more Capacity and knowledge gaps are a drain for any organization. Through case studies, metrics, and analysis, Positioned delivers proven strategies for deploying key talent to the right positions or filling essential new positions quickly and seamlessly.


Rob Tripp and Dan L. Ward with Bill Maki

This book is about the variety of tools, techniques, and processes collectively known as Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP.) It is about getting people resources when and where you need them and doing it efficiently and effectively. SWP is a fundamental requirement for survival as an organization. When done well, it provides competitive advantage. When done poorly, it results in a breakdown of the alignment between objectives and execution.

The authors of the individual pieces you will find in this book were selected because they are among the best in the world as shown by their actual performance or their record of effective research and analysis on workforce-related topics. The book is divided into four primary sections. The first provides a historical perspective on the evolution of the field, the second provides firsthand accounts from some of the people currently practicing in the field, the third drills down into analytics that have emerged as the field has matured, and the fourth takes a look at future directions for this type of work.

In the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Labor provided Manpower Institution Grants to a number of universities to promote study of improved workforce analysis. Dan Ward was one of the products of an applied economics graduate program developed under this funding, with a strong focus on econometric modeling and applying cost measurement techniques to social sciences. “We measured everything that we could measure and counted everything we could count and created forecasts, projections, and simulations,” he says.

Rob Tripp came to this field from a different direction. With a Ph.D. in statistics, he was hired right out of graduate school into the U.S. auto industry, where he built complex models to simulate the impact of business actions on the hourly workforce, supporting strategic business planning and union contract negotiations.

Many traditional human resources colleagues were envious of the successes of these people, who were bringing a quantitative approach to workforce issues. These new workforce planners always seemed to be able to get funding for their proposals, while most traditional HR projects were rejected. The reason was simple. These trained workforce planners came to the table armed with “hard” data and spoke the language of business: numbers. It was a heady period for the early workforce planning professionals. We made forecasts of turnover and projected recruit-

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