APPLYING THE STEPS
These examples are designed to give you a sense of how the planning
process would work.
NARROW SCOPE: THREE BUREAU DIRECTOR POSITIONS
With the advice and counsel of the personnel director,
the agency chooses to start by focusing on the bureau
director positions of a program division that consists
of three bureaus. The division is headed by a director
who reports to a deputy commissioner.
The division director wants to ensure that they have
excellent candidates to fill these jobs because the incumbents
will be eligible to retire in two to three years.
The division director forms a team with an HR representative,
budgeting analyst, and the bureau directors.
Throughout the process, the bureau director keeps the
deputy commissioner informed of progress.
They assess the direction of the agency and the role
the division will play. They consider the division's impact
with respect to the organization as a whole, its customers,
and its stakeholders.
Since the agency's strategic plan is up-to-date and included
an environmental scan, they already have the answers to
some of the questions about the external environment.
They look at potential legislation and changes in other
jurisdictions and organizations (other State agencies,
federal agencies, localities, and other states) that might
impact upon what the division does.
They also look at how their customers are faring and
what emerging needs they may have that the division could
They consider the likelihood of restructuring in the
agency and conclude that their division is likely to continue
in its current form for the next several years.
Considering the context, they define the functions of
the division and three bureaus in two years and five years.
This gives them a short-term and long-term perspective
to anticipate future needs.
They consider whether the bureau's organizational structure
would have to change and conclude that the three-bureau
structure will continue to work well, whether in two or
In light of these functions, they itemize the future
duties of each of the three bureau directors, noting in
particular how they will change in the long term.
Considering the duties to be performed, they determine
the KSAs and personal characteristics that candidates
will need to be successful in the job.
They profile the KSAs of the existing three directors
to build the model. The competency model describes the
They already know the qualifying titles for the jobs,
but recognize that others may need to be considered to
ensure an ample supply of candidates with the needed competencies.
They request reports on the demographics of people in
the qualifying titles. They learn that 23 percent will
also be eligible to retire in two years.
Many of those eligible to retire may not do so for several
years, especially if they are able to obtain a promotion.
Their analysis also tells them that incumbents in the
qualifying titles leave for other reasons besides retirement,
but that those numbers are fairly stable and not significant.
They do a high level assessment of the competencies of
the incumbents in the qualifying titles by holding two
focus group meetings and then validating them by surveying
the total population. In the process, they learn about
other competencies that exist in the candidate field.
They determine that most of the competencies are likely
to be provided by the candidate field based on attrition
assumptions and the competency analysis.
They identify the competencies that will likely not be
provided by the candidate field.
They determine the priority order of the needed KSAs
in terms of how critical they are to success in the position,
considering both the short and long term.
They determine that all are important; none should be
dropped from the list.
After personnel staff has discussions with Civil Service,
the team investigates the possibility of expanding the
promotion field to include other titles.
Based on a scan of the possible titles, they conclude
that expansion may be beneficial but the new candidates
may need further screening. They are less likely to have
the needed competencies than candidates in the existing
promotion field. The personnel person tells the rest of
the team that this would mean changing the exam for all
With the cooperation of other division directors who
have incumbents in the other titles, the team explores
further to define the KSAs of these incumbents.
They find that these other incumbents also would be lacking
most of the "gap" KSAs and lack some of the KSAs of the
existing promotion field.
They conclude that expanding the field would not be cost-beneficial.
The team decides that their strategy will be to develop
people in the existing promotion field. This includes:
- Assessing individual KSAs;
- Determining the gaps;
- Determining specific development opportunities that
can be provided individually and in groups, depending
on the KSA;
- Devising individual development plans; and
- Assessing results through a periodic assessment process.
After analyzing the resources and potential benefits,
they decide that they will focus on only the five most
The other missing KSAs will be addressed through job
assignments and coaching.
BROAD SCOPE: PROGRAM DIVISION
The agency chooses a division that anticipates considerable
change in services delivered and the way in which they
are delivered. The division is comprised of three bureaus
reporting to a director who reports to a deputy commissioner.
The division director wants to be sure that the division
is positioned to have the staff they need to implement,
manage and operate the new programs and systems.
The time horizon for planning is three years.
The division director forms a team with personnel, training,
and organization development representatives, a budgeting
analyst, IT representative, and the bureau directors.
The division director and deputy commissioner agree that
they will confer at the when decisions are made on what
solutions to pursue.
They assess the direction of the agency and the role
the division will play.
They analyze a number of external factors, such as potential
legislation, impact of federal legislation and regulations,
etc. They note some uncertainties in these areas that
could impact their planning efforts. They find that their
customer needs are continuing to change in much the same
ways that were found in the strategic planning process.
They consider the likelihood of the need to restructure
the agency in light of the changes projected in the strategic
plan. They conclude that their division is likely to remain
intact for the next year or so, but may need to restructure
or be a part of a larger restructuring later on. There
are no current plans to restructure. They know that the
division will expand services offered and enhance existing
services through new technology.
Spending plans in place mean that staffing targets will
remain constant or decline slightly. The division will
need to increase automation of routine functions and provide
enhanced technology support to other functions to meet
the new demands.
Union representatives are aware of the changes set out
in the strategic plan. They say that the anticipated changes
are making the employees nervous. Many have been doing
the same job over a long period of time, have been doing
it the same way, and like it that way.
The team details the service enhancements and new services.
They develop three possible organizational scenarios,
including the current set up, to account for possible
For each of the scenarios, they define the functions
of the division for three and five years out. They consider
potential organization, technology and process changes.
They decide to adopt the most ambitious scenario. Even
if functions move out of the division, the functions will
need to be performed and staff will need to be prepared.
They need to account for the demand for division and
bureau management, the professional title series, telephone
center paraprofessionals, and support staff. They recognize
that the existing title series may or may not be what
they will need.
They determine that the management positions will require
management skills along with several other new competencies.
They combine the supply and demand steps with respect
to identifying core and potentially new competencies.
They compile lists of competencies by holding focus group
meetings and benchmarking other organizations that perform
Based on information they have on the existing titles,
they tentatively determine that the existing titles will
work, with the possibility of adding one or two positions
in a special title to manage the new call center technology.
They have been told that their FTEs (full-time equivalents)
will not increase. Based on the total number of fills,
they work out an initial projection on the numbers of
staff they will need in each title and level, given the
work to be done.
They assemble demographic and separation data to get
a profile of the existing work force in the division.
Then they develop assumptions about the future of the
work force, such as the likelihood of retirement eligible
employees to retire, by title series and level.
They develop work force projections based on the current
data and projections of attrition.
They do a gap analysis to show the adequacy of the supply
in light of likely promotion and separation numbers. As
expected, they discover that the call center is the most
problematic, followed by the professional series.
They can see that the outflow of staff at most levels
threatens the ability to have a healthy supply of highly
They already identified the competency gaps for each
of the titles in the demand step.
They analyze exam cycles and eligible lists. The length
of lists and timing of exams/lists may create problems
for some of the target titles/positions.
They have two sets of gaps to deal with. One concerns
the number of staff needed in each title, the other, the
competencies needed in each title.
They determine the order of priority by title in terms
of each of the gap types.
They develop solutions to address the separations by
developing retention strategies like flexible work schedules
They explore whether expanding the minimum qualifications
to include other titles is an option in any of the titles,
similar to example 1. They also identify options for developing
staff, similar to example 1.
They identify possible recruitment/selection strategies
to address the entry-level gap and to ensure that the
new people will have some of the new competencies or have
the aptitude to develop them.
Through employee development and careful appointments
that anticipate work changes, they conclude they will
be able to meet their needs with the existing lists and
exam cycles for at least some of the titles. The personnel
representative confers with Civil Service to develop strategies
to address the other problem exams/lists.
They decide to develop retention, development, and recruitment
programs for the professional and call center series.
They develop a plan to address the most critical gaps
in the first two years and the others in years three and
four (thus expanding the planning horizon from three to
They devise a communications strategy to help allay employee
and union concerns.