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Does your organisation have a clear, robust process for optimizing allocation of staffing resources?

Updated: Mar 11, 2022

Various methods have been put forward to determine optimum staffing levels and resources required within an organisation, including:

Evaluating the goals of an organisation against the resources required to achieve them
Assessing business flow and business demands (e.g. demands of various time periods or strategic initiatives)
Taking into account internal and external influences (e.g. employment rate, availability of skills in the labor market or influence of technology)
Gaining feedback on the experiences, needs and priorities of clients or customers
Benchmarking against other similar services
Assessing knowledge and skills required for jobs against current capabilities
Consulting with managers on their perspectives of staffing needs

However, being able to take into account a range of needs and factors simultaneously and then prioritising these can be difficult for many public and private agencies. Furthermore, this can be particularly challenging when organisations are confronting issues such as:

Frantic “business as usual” environment that blinds the organisation to longer term strategies and outcomes
Emerging are growing gaps in staffing resourcing and capabilities, putting an increasing stress on the existing workforce
The absence of any formally defined criteria and approach for prioritising the allocation of resources to deliver against key strategies, requirements and ambitions.

Learnings/Our work in action

In a recent project, ZED Management Consulting was tasked with assisting a Local Health Network (LHN) in developing a prioritisation framework for workforce allocation. The LHN was seeking assistance in designing a robust and repeatable process that would inform evidence-based decision making about how to prioritise and allocate staffing resources across its regional office directorates.

ZED employed various methods to develop a proposed prioritisation framework for determining how best to prioritise the allocation of scarce staffing resources. The process to develop the framework included the following:

Stakeholder consultation with senior executive and management to understand existing resourcing and capability gaps and challenges (Board, Executive Team, Operational Directors, Managers and Team Leaders).
Research into contemporary practices for the development of resource prioritisation frameworks and collaborative decision-making processes in health care and other sector.
Initial development of a long list of prioritisation criteria for consultation with the client, resulting in a proposed shortlist
Trialling the shortlisted criteria against two example roles to assess usability.
Developing a prioritisation process flow diagram and gathering feedback from the client to inform key elements of the process
Developing a scoring template reflecting the final, agreed set of prioritisation criteria and weightings.

At the conclusion of the project, the client was excited about the opportunity to roll out the new prioritisation framework, which provided a transparent and robust process for making decisions, taking into consideration a broad range of agreed organisational priorities and internal and external factors.


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