Challenge: Effectively Managing Organizational Resources
Current economic and budgetary conditions are forcing many public and commercial organizations to make difficult resource management decisions. Oversight groups, from corporate boards to Congress, are constantly pressuring organizations to reevaluate and justify their mission, workforce size and operating budgets. For example, the Secretary of Defense recently imposed broad-reaching reduction targets for civilians and contractors; emphasized the imperative to eliminate work and workforce redundancies; and mandated better tracking and control of the total workforce. In a dynamic age of information and when budgets are tight, leaders are often asking:
- How do we cut workforce or IT budgets with minimal risk to our mission?
- How do we ensure our resources are aligned to our most important work?
- Is our work and workforce aligned to meet our stakeholders’ performance expectations?
These complex resource governance decisions have far-reaching and long-lasting impacts. However, most organizations are ill-prepared to address these rapidly evolving challenges, let alone develop and execute informed responses that minimize risk to their strategic goals. They typically lack credible methods, in- house skills, structured data, and robust analytic tools to effectively determine and govern their workforce and other resources. Generally speaking, most organizations:
Are overwhelmed with large amounts of largely unstructured organizational data in IT systems, spreadsheets, briefs, and documents. (e.g. mission, strategy, workforce, IT portfolio)
- Face difficult and complex decisions regarding the work they can accomplish and the size/shape of workforce and resources they should maintain
- Lack a structured, analytically-based methodology to “govern” or align their resources to mission, strategy and key success factors
- Lack an understanding of the impact that workforce and operating budget reductions will have on performance
Many organizations are quickly recognizing the need for disciplined governance supported by consistent decision criteria and valid data.
WBB’s Resource Planning and Management (RPM) Solution
WBB has developed a unique and compelling solution to rapidly gain a deep understanding of the gap between an organization’s required capabilities and its capacity to produce products and services. The RPM integrates a web-based decision support application and a structured process that is supported by consultants with significant resource management, modeling, analysis, human resource management, process improvement, and decision support experience. The RPM provides organizations the ability to:
- Increase resource utilization by aligning the right resources to the highest priority work
- Link mission, strategy, work and resources to quickly address changes in budget, mission or environment
- Rapidly identify investment opportunities to reduce risk and increase performance
- Conduct more effcient analysis and make better decisions based on current, accurate, integrated, and actionable information
RPM Decision Support System (R-DSS)
The R-DSS application is an adaptable, scalable, and secure web-based application and relational model designed to automate the data integration, modeling, visualization, and dissemination of information. The result is a significantly enhanced overall user experience, reduced complexity, and consistency of decisions. The R-DSS aligns missions and strategic objectives to processes (work) and then measures the contribution of current resources available to perform the work. R-DSS provides efficient collection and quality assurance of critical data, as well as hosting powerful online analytical processing (OLAP) and web-based reporting and analytics. These tools provide the basis for informed decision making, as well as considerably streamlining the analytic phase of a project.
To execute an organizational assessment, WBB employs a repeatable but configurable method to rapidly gather, structure, assess, analyze and disseminate organizational data and covert it to actionable information critical to making informed decisions. Since 2007, WBB has refined the processes, techniques, and supporting technology to reduce the overall impact on the organization.
Frame: The purpose of this phase is to quickly establish a thorough understanding of an organization leading up to formal online data collection. Framing determines the organization’s actual functioning structure; mission priorities; key measures of success; how functional work is defined; the size/ makeup of the current workforce and other resources. WBB captures and organizes this information through a review of key documents, interviews with key leaders and subject matter experts (SMEs), and a facilitated working session.
Assess: The purpose of the assessment phase is to collect work, resource, and resource contribution data from organizational Human Resource representatives, Subject Matter Experts (SME), and Approvers (Supervisors, Managers, and Leaders). The candid assessment is conducted through the R-DSS simplified data collection interface that includes well defined steps, online help, data validation, and instant user feedback.
Analyze: The assessment phase produces considerable organizational data. So, the analysis phase helps organizations transform and model these data to generate descriptive, diagnostic, prescriptive, and predictive information to suggest conclusions and support decision making. The R-DSS provides extensive reporting, graphing, drill-down capabilities and “what-if” analysis designed to help executives and managers analyze, compare, and highlight gaps in capacity and performance in addition to supporting the identification of opportunities and risks to the organization.
Govern: A successful RPM study and implementation combines rigorous data and analytics with well-defined decision process workflows enabling leaders to efficiently and effectively align resources resulting in increased organizational performance. WBB consultants work with an organization’s governance body to develop, establish and institutionalize decision processes that fully exploit all available information. Governance ultimately equips leaders to rapidly
- Develop alternative courses of action in response to anticipated or emerging budget reductions
- Address changes to required capabilities or organizational goals
- Divest low priority or non-value added work
- Restructure an organization to maximize performance
- Identify investments in process improvement and/or technology
- Address performance and process issues
- Predict future capacity
The RPM uses a resource capacity determination methodology that was originally developed by WBB in 2007 under OSD and Joint Staff oversight to support the standup of Africa Command (USAFRICOM) and the subsequent resizing of European Command (USEUCOM). During that assessment, senior representatives from OUSD-PR, OUSD-PA&E, and CJCS-J1 conducted reviews at critical stages in the project and assessed the model as it was being developed. The OSD team endorsed the methodology and results of the study, noting that the it represented “a ground breaking workforce analysis methodology.” RPM has been used to support workforce assessments, training analyses, IT asset evaluations, and organizational realignments at several dozen Navy, Marine Corps, and Joint organizations.