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Agency ICT workforce planning self assessment guide

Introduction

The Whole-of-government ICT Strategic Workforce Plan 2010–2013 (the plan) outlines the requirements for agencies to effectively manage their ICT workforce into the future. The plan requires agencies to develop their own ICT workforce plan and to review it annually. Agencies first ICT workforce plans are due to be submitted to the APSC in December 2010. The agency workforce plans will inform and add value to future iterations of the whole-of-government ICT workforce plan and related strategies and activities.

This ICT Workforce planning self assessment guide has been designed to provide some questions that agencies may ask when preparing their ICT workforce plans and does not outline mandatory inclusions. However it will provide some guidance around best practice workforce planning and some of the components that will make a valuable workforce plan for your agency.

A template has also been developed to assist agencies in their workforce planning activities. (This template can be accessed by contacting apswfp [at] apsc.gov.au).The template includes a workforce planning model comprising of four steps, including:

  • an analysis of the agency’s current and future operating environment;
  • an analysis of the environment (Internal and External);
  • an analysis of the agency’s ICT workforce capacity and capability including critical roles; and
  • development of workforce management strategies.

Business objectives

Key activity: To identify key business objectives and how this may impact the agency’s future workforce.

There is a general consensus that workforce planning must be integrated and aligned with the strategic business plans of the organisation. The plan should be comprehensive, looking at the challenges the organisation faces and how these can be met.

Does the plan include linkages to other organisational strategic documents, including the organisation’s strategic business plan?

Does the plan identify key business objectives?

Will the future workforce require different skills/capabilities to meet the business objectives of the agency?

Supply

Key activity: Use the Whole-of-Government ICT Capability Framework to map the agency’s ICT workforce.

ICT supply analysis

A profile of its existing workforce helps an agency understand where it is in terms of the right number of people with the right skills. Analysis of the current workforce can include:

  • Number of employees and contracted workers
  • Skill assessment of these employees and where employees are mapped against the Whole-of-Government Capability Framework
  • Workforce diversity (age, gender, minority group representation)
  • Separation trends

Does the plan include an analysis of the agency’s current ICT workforce?

Are useful metrics captured and used to provide a profile of the agency’s ICT workforce?

Does analysis include assessment of capability and capacity?

Does the plan include an assessment of any factors outside of the agency that may impact supply?

Reviewing ICT trend data

Agencies should look at trend data against contribution areas (those outlined in the Whole-of-Government ICT Capability Framework), to develop a historical analysis of their workforce. This analysis may help agencies predict the supply of skills that may be available in the future. Examples of trend data may include:

  • Recruitment patterns (time required to fill vacancies, average number of vacancies in a year, number and quality of applications received)
  • Retention periods of ICT employees
  • Results of ICT employee engagement or intention surveys.

Does the plan identify trends in the ICT workforce or do you have a need to develop historical data?

How is this data broken down (Capability/Contribution Area/Work Group)?

Is it useful with regards to workforce planning?

Demand

Key activity: Forecast and document what ICT capability the agency will need in the future to meet the requirements outlined in its business plan.

ICT demand analysis (Critical role identification)

ICT demand analysis identifies the ICT workforce, including the identification of critical roles, needed to carry out the main ICT business objective identified for the future. The focus of this process should be on the critical roles needed to achieve agency goals and not on employees currently in place. One reason this step is separated from the supply analysis and projection is to ensure that changes in functions are also considered, as a change in function could significantly impact the size and kind of the future ICT workforce. The demand analysis process may provide one of the greatest benefits in workforce planning because it offers the chance for an agency to re-examine long-standing assumptions about the purpose and direction of its ICT work plans.

Once the "what" and "how" of future ICT work are determined, the next step is to identify the critical roles including the skills and capabilities the employees will need. The future workforce profile shows the number of workers and the set of worker skills needed for the agency’s future workforce.

Does the plan identify critical and key roles for the agency?

Does the plan identify a shift in capabilities required to deliver the agency’s future goals?

Consideration should be given to the following factors to assist in the identification of the potential workforce gaps:

  • The number of employees with the key capabilities now to fill the identified critical roles.
  • Based on previous trend data is there any indication of issues that could impact the workforce needed for the future?

Does the plan identify capability and capacity gaps?

Does the plan contain evidence to support the capability and capacity gaps identified?

Does the plan consider the likelihood and both short- and long-term consequences of staff shortages in overall staff numbers and mission-critical occupations or competencies?

Strategies

Key activity: To address the workforce gaps or oversupply between the current and forecasted needs. What strategies will you develop and implement to manage these workforce issues?

Are there strategies that address the capability and capacity gaps and their risks to the agency?

Are there strategies that focus on the critical job roles identified?

Are the strategies specific, measurable, achievable, timely and is there a process for evaluating and reviewing the strategies implemented?