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Workforce Planning and Organisation Redesign in Uncertain Times

The overarching aim of this project was:

  • To build and sustain a lean, flexible and resilient organisation that would thrive on continuous change;
  • Achieve sustained high performance against a backdrop of financial constraints;
  • Align itself with the strategic shift from being a reactive provider of services to taking a long-term sustainable approach to providing expertise and service.

In order to develop a valid and realistic picture of the future design and talent requirements this project applied a unique methodology. A high level of engagement and participation of all staff, ownership of unit heads in determining the priorities of their functions to reflect the strategic change, comprehensive analyses of the contextual factors and consideration of conflicting variables affecting the organisation formed part of the methodology.

In determining the workforce plan the notion of applying ‘optimal’ and ‘core minimum’ staffing was considered as a practical way forward. ‘Optimal size’ denoted availability of sufficient funding for programmes enabling the organisation to have in place an adequate complement of staff to carry out the planned activities. ‘Core minimum’ denoted a decreased/uncertain funding situation requiring the organisation to exercise caution in hiring new staff and/or sustaining current staffing levels. A seminal part of this project was determining the staffing numbers under the two conditions taking into account the inherent ambiguities of the external climate.

 Two key outcomes of the project were as follows:

  • Organisation redesign to incorporate flexibility, greater focus on external stakeholders and drive a culture of high performance;
  • Redefined roles and responsibilities to leverage on the skills and talent of staff to achieve the goals of the organisation and to provide opportunities for personal growth at the individual level.


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