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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.

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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.

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.

rethinking workforce planning for a disruptive age: OP&A leads the way

To discover more about the ‘Eureka moment’ of OP&A, read this article


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Useful resources

How to build an OP&A Function

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Data-driven Organizational Planning and Analysis in Times of Change

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Rethinking workforce planning for a disruptive age: OP&A leads the way

Read article

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