Skip to content

Organizational planning & analysis

Organizational planning and analysis (OP&A) prepares your business for the future. It anticipates market developments and brings together HR and Finance to build a cohesive plan for the workforce of tomorrow.

What Is Organizational Planning?

The strategic process where organizations identify and develop internal talents to fill key leadership positions when they become vacant is called organizational planning or succession planning.

Succession planning is crucial for maintaining organizational stability, mitigating risks associated with sudden leadership changes and ensuring continuity in business operations.

What Is Organizational Planning and Analysis?

Organizational planning and analysis (OP&A) is a new approach to managing your workforce to achieve the business performance outcomes you need. It’s a data-driven discipline for analyzing and monitoring your organization and regularly adjusting your workforce plans and financial models in order to meet targets.

Types of Organizational Planning

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is the process through which organizations define their long-term goals and objectives and develop strategies to achieve them. It involves assessing internal strengths and weaknesses, external opportunities and threats and formulating plans to position the organization for future success.

Driver-Based Planning

On the other hand, driver-based planning is a dynamic approach that focuses on the key drivers or factors that significantly impact a business. Instead of relying on fixed budgets, it involves modeling financial and operational plans around these influential variables.

Tactical Planning

Then there’s tactical planning, which is concerned with the short to medium-term implementation of strategic plans. It involves breaking down broader strategic objectives into specific, actionable steps.

Contingency Planning

Contingency planning involves preparing for unforeseen events or crises that could disrupt normal business operations. It includes identifying potential risks, developing response strategies and creating contingency plans to mitigate the impact of unexpected events. Read more in our article on rethinking workforce planning for a disruptive age.

Operational Planning:

Operational planning focuses on the day-to-day activities required to run the organization efficiently. It translates tactical plans into specific actions, detailing the responsibilities, timelines and resources needed for each task..

How To Create an Effective Organization Plan

The journey from conceptualizing strategic goals to executing concrete actions is a multifaceted process. This sequence unfolds through distinct stages, each playing a pivotal role in steering the organization towards success.

Create a Strategic Plan

Starting with the creation of a strategic plan, organizations outline their long-term objectives and the pathways to achieve them.

Create a Tactical Plan

Subsequently, a tactical plan is developed to break down these strategic goals into actionable steps.

Translate the Plans Into Specific Actions

The transition to the next phase involves translating these meticulously crafted plans into specific, tangible actions.

Execute the Plan

Finally, the execution phase brings plans to life, where teams mobilize resources, implement strategies and navigate the intricacies of day-to-day operations.

Why Is Organizational Planning Important For Business?

The backbone of effective business management, org planning influences various facets that collectively drive success. From the macroscopic view of operational efficiency to the nuanced aspects of goal definition and resource optimization, organization planning is the linchpin that harmonizes diverse elements to propel businesses forward.

Impact of Organization Planning on Business Operations

There are many advantages of org planning on business operations, including:

  • An effective and efficient structure is formed by aligning resources with strategic objectives, optimizing workflows and enhancing overall productivity.
  • Decision-making is empowered through the availability of accurate data, ensuring informed choices that align with organizational goals.
  • The long-term success of a business is nurtured as planning provides a roadmap for growth and adaptability in dynamic markets.
  • Rigorous monitoring of progress cultivates accountability and ownership among teams, motivating staff to contribute meaningfully.
  • The structured planning process fuels innovation and creativity by encouraging proactive problem-solving and strategic thinking.

How Does Organizational Planning Help in Setting Goals and Objectives?

Org planning aids in setting goals and objectives by providing a structured process that aligns these targets with the overall mission and vision of the organization. It involves assessing internal and external factors, understanding capabilities and constraints and strategically defining realistic and measurable objectives.

Allocation of Resources in Organizational Planning

The process of resource allocation encompasses the identification and mobilization of financial, human, technological and time-related resources in a manner that aligns with the organization’s strategic objectives.

Examples of Organizational Planning

Creating a Vision and Mission Statement

This foundational aspect of an organization plan involves crafting a vision statement that outlines the organization’s long-term aspirations and a mission statement that defines its purpose and core values.

Developing an Organizational Structure

Organizational planning extends to structuring the internal framework of the organization. This includes defining roles, responsibilities, reporting relationships and the hierarchy of decision-making.

Creating an Operational Plan

An operational plan is a detailed blueprint outlining day-to-day activities necessary for the organization to function. It includes specific goals, tasks, timelines and resource requirements.

Developing a Strategic Plan

A strategic plan sets the overall direction for the organization and outlines the steps required to achieve long-term objectives. It involves analyzing the internal and external environment, defining strategic priorities and establishing a roadmap for the allocation of resources to accomplish these objectives.

Project Planning

Project planning is a focused form of organizational planning that centers on the successful execution of specific initiatives or projects. It includes defining project goals, creating a timeline, allocating resources, identifying risks and establishing key performance indicators.

Succession Planning

Succession planning is a forward-looking organizational planning process that involves identifying and developing internal talent to fill key leadership positions.

Challenges in Organizational Planning

Obstacles Faced by Business Owners in Organizational Planning

Business owners grapple with various challenges in organizational planning, such as a lack of clarity in goal-setting, resource constraints and competing priorities. Balancing short-term needs with long-term vision can be particularly challenging, requiring a strategic mindset to overcome these hurdles.

Expansion Planning and Growth Strategies

Planning for expansion and growth introduces complexities related to market dynamics, financing and operational scalability. Identifying viable growth strategies, securing adequate resources and mitigating risks associated with expansion demand a nuanced approach to ensure sustainable and successful growth.

Executing Effective Organizational Plans

Issues like resistance to change, insufficient communication, or inadequate monitoring mechanisms can impede successful plan implementation. Achieving alignment among diverse stakeholders and maintaining momentum throughout the execution phase poses a continuous challenge.

Adapting to Changes in the Business Environment

Adapting organizational plans to accommodate evolving technologies, market trends and regulatory changes requires agility and a proactive mindset. Unforeseen disruptions, such as economic downturns or global crises, may necessitate swift adjustments to existing plans, posing a challenge in maintaining organizational resilience.

Taking a Leaf Out Of Finance’s Book: a New Model For HR

Let’s look at how things are now with HR and Finance. When you compare these two departments, both have operational and planning functions, but they’re organized quite differently.

While Finance consolidates work such as credit control and debtor management under financial operations, it has a financial planning and analysis (FP&A) function for planning and monitoring the overall financial health of the business. It’s the FP&A function that’s highly regarded by senior executives and regularly consults to the Board.

FP&A provides a good model for HR that could be similarly organized, with work such as recruitment, performance reviews and grievance management being grouped in an operations function. An organizational planning and analysis (OP&A) function would then be free to focus on managing the overall organizational health of the business – a natural partner to FP&A.

Questions OP&A Asks and Answers

OP&A has the potential to answer crucial business questions such as:

  • What is our people cost today and how is it likely to look in the future? Does this track against plan? Is the plan right?
  • How do we know who’s doing what work and who should be doing it? What skills are we lacking?
  • Where can we make efficiency savings in headcount, processes, or by location to support our long-term goals?
  • How can we make decision making less bureaucratic and streamline the work we need to do to sustain the business?
  • How should we redesign the organization to better deliver on strategy?

OP&A is the strategic capability of HR to evaluate and adjust the workforce plan in line with the business plan and deliver the targets set.

Getting Started With OP&A

Here are 3 tips to start building your OP&A capability:

  • Find ways to work in partnership with Finance and other parts of the business. Get to know the business plan and financial models and understand how the workforce plans align.
  • Data and analytics are at the heart of OP&A. Work on ways to improve data capture and integration to enable the analysis and modeling of your workforce and organizational data.
  • Think about how you can regularly monitor the health of your organization, which metrics will reveal good health and which will indicate when an intervention is required.

How to build an OP&A function

If you’re interested in taking this approach further, you might find this article useful

Keep researching

Design your business of tomorrow, today

Discover what Orgvue can do for your organization first-hand, request your free demo.