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Integrated planning guide

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1) What is integrated HR and business planning?

Integrated HR and business planning is the process of:

  • determining your business goals;
  • analyzing your environment to see if you have the appropriate complement to meet your current and future needs;
  • assessing the gaps in your workforce-what are you missing from an HR perspective in order for you to achieve your goals;
  • setting priorities, taking action, and initiating strategies to close the gap and help get the HR you need (your HR advisors can help you here); and
  • reviewing your efforts and assessing if you were successful in integrating HR and business planning.

2) We already do some HR planning. Is it mandatory for us to use the tools in this kit?

Departments and agencies are free to adopt the processes in this kit, or to use them as a complement to existing planning practices should they wish to do so.

Even if departments and agencies are well along the road in integrating HR and business planning, the information in this kit can provide useful benchmarks and checklists that can augment existing practices across departments and agencies.

3) I'm a line manager and I am very busy. I already know my team well. Will this work really help me?

Most good managers address HR planning intuitively, and we know that some organizations are already quite advanced in this area. However, we also know that improvement is needed, Public Service-wide, and it is considered a priority among senior decision makers across government.

The tools in the Integrated Planning Guidebook are generic enough that managers in any organization can use them to help them think through how they can best integrate HR and business planning.

4) From a line manager's perspective, what is the most important document in the Integrated Planning Guidebook for me to work with?

The document entitled Integrated HR and Business Planning Checklist outlines for you the steps that are commonly accepted as central to integrating HR and business planning. Organizations noted for good HR planning typically follow these steps or a slight variation thereof.

If you work through these steps and ask yourself the questions that fall under each heading you may well get some ideas on how you can better integrate HR and business planning and improve your team's capacity to deliver.

It is possible that after you work through this methodology you may only focus on two or three HR strategies. That is fine.

5) What do I need to know before I start the integrated planning process?

Understanding your business goals and deliverables is central to integrating HR and business planning. Although it is recognized that in government, as elsewhere, priorities change, most line managers, after receiving strategic direction, can determine with some accuracy a reasonable course of action for consideration and approval by more senior levels.

6) How can I do an integrated plan in instances where it is unclear what my final budget will be?

It is recognized that sometimes managers do not have all the details at their fingertips that they would like as they work through the planning process. There is always an aspect of risk and uncertainty in any environment.

However, line managers are in the position where they must:

  • look at the direction they are receiving from their manager(s);
  • think through where they are in terms of ongoing priorities;
  • look at the budget they had the previous year, and incorporate any information they might have on the coming year's budget for their team;
  • outline what they believe to be the key emerging issues; and
  • come up with proposals on both ongoing work and other potential business deliverables and take into consideration their HR capacity to achieve results.

Talk to your immediate manager and get as clear an idea as possible of what the business priorities are for the coming year.

7) How do I integrate HR planning with staffing?

Integrated HR and business planning is fundamental to taking advantage of the opportunities available to you under the Public Service Employment Act. Integrated HR and business plans can provide you with the solid foundation you need in order to make staffing decisions. Here are some examples of new staffing possibilities:

  • you will be able to make projections of, and base staffing decisions on, current and future needs to meet business goals;
  • the definition of merit allows the flexibility to more closely align HR with business needs. For example, you are no longer required to “rank order” candidates. You will, however, need to justify your decision and demonstrate that the person you choose for a job meets all the qualifications of the job. You should base your staffing decisions on your integrated HR and business plan, thereby achieving fairness and transparency; and
  • problems could be solved informally during a staffing process, avoiding the need for more formal recourse process.

8) How are the reporting requirements, such as the Report on Plans and Priorities, Departmental Performance Report and annual reports, linked to integrated HR and business planning process?

All departments and agencies are subject to traditional reporting requirements such as the Report on Plans and Priorities and the Departmental Performance Report. Line managers at various levels typically contribute to the process of preparing these documents.

Integrated HR and business planning in the context of preparing these reports is important. For example, the Report on Plans and Priorities outlines what organizations plan to do, so it is important to ensure you have the human capacity to achieve your goals.

However, integrated HR and business planning should not be considered as an exercise exclusively designed to meet reporting requirements. Integrated HR and business planning should be an ongoing process whereby managers are regularly thinking about their work in the context of the people, learning and human development needed to meet their goals.

9) What support is available to help departments, agencies and line managers integrate HR with business planning?

The information in the Integrated Planning Guidebook is designed to transcend the planning-related specifics of any particular department or manager, and provides a model and checklists that can either be adopted outright or adapted to complement existing planning practices.

The Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada also offers help and support to departments and agencies. The Planning Directorate can be contacted by calling (613) 946-9303.

HR advisors, HR planning specialists and corporate planners in departments and agencies can provide support to managers. The HR Planning Interdepartmental Network (HRPIN) meets regularly to discuss HR planning issues. This is an open forum where those interested in HR planning issues can attend and participate.

10) How is Public Service-wide Renewal linked to Integrated Planning?

One of the biggest challenges the government is currently facing deals with attracting, recruiting, training and retaining talents in a highly competitive national and international context for this vital resource. Renewal is about ensuring excellence in all that Public Service does in the future. Renewal encompasses both how business is done and the people who do it. This means that every manager in the Public Service must plan for his/her business and for the associated people requirements, know existing and forecasted talent strengths and gaps, effectively align resources (including people) to deliver results and use planning to engage employees and achieve traction.

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