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Data-driven organizational planning and analysis in times of change

An article on the need for data-driven organizational planning and analysis (or OP&A) in times of change.

Published by OrgVue

Disruption affects every industry today. Shifting consumer patterns, workplace trends, and economic and regulatory adjustments all pose difficult challenges, forcing organizations to re-evaluate how they do things. Disruptive change is a mercurial force that continually shifts the ground that businesses are built on. To navigate this uncertain environment, organizations need to be able to plan for what might happen, so that when it does, they’re ready for it.

Essential to managing disruption is defining a strategic response to its impact on the workforce. Yet despite the obvious advantages of workforce planning, all too often HR departments are not prepared for change, reacting to rather than anticipating it. Businesses with little visibility of their people, the work they do and the cost of that work, quickly find their organization design no longer matches their corporate goals.

We recently published a whitepaper that contains stories of organizations that have successfully applied new thinking and methodology to tackle disruption through a data-driven approach to organization design. The whitepaper looks at use cases in three change scenarios that most commonly cause organizational planning difficulties, namely persistent disruption such as industry transformation, major economic or political moments like the 2008 financial crash or Brexit, and mergers and acquisitions.

These are real stories from retail, manufacturing, and finance that show how technology has helped businesses to model for change through forward-looking design. They feature one of Europe’s best-known banks, a globally recognized FMCG business, one of the world’s largest insurers, and a UK supermarket giant, among others.

The challenges these organizations faced range from breaking data out of silos to better understand cost base, pricing, and service to customers; to organization remodeling in response to the rapid expansion of low-cost competitors; to billion-dollar mergers affecting close to 200,000 employees; to ring-fencing investment banking operations to comply with new regulations.

For effective organization planning, it’s important to be able to quickly aggregate data from disparate sources and move to a discussion around the value of work in terms of contribution to the company’s goals. Once you have an accurate view of your workforce, you’re in a position to visualize data with clarity, so you can model different scenarios and understand the work and skills that are most valuable to the company. This is how people analytics delivers strategic value to board-level decisions.

Design for disruption whitepaper


Designing for disruption should not be a one-time event but a constant state of evolution. Read our whitepaper to find out more about improving your workforce planning and analysis.