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Step 1. Understand the business

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SHWPF Process for step 1

In Step 1, examine the organisation’s strategic direction. Consider its strategic objectives, service plans, service commitments and the leadership team’s priorities. Review the operating context and medium- to long-term environmental influences.

Once it is clear what your organisation is working to achieve over the next 5-10 years, strategic workforce planning efforts must focus on the role of the workforce in creating the desired future. The planning process will examine strategic workforce elements, such as the capacity that will be required, key skills and work locations, workforce models, capability development and factors relating to organisational culture.

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  • After completing this step, you will have:

    • clarity about the current and future priorities, commitments and objectives of the health service organisation
    • a list of the top priority strategies that will be pursued across the organisation over the next 5-10 years (“strategic priorities”)
    • an analysis of how environmental factors may impact the implementation of these strategic priorities over the specified timeframe
    • an analysis of what will be required of the workforce for the successful implementation of the strategic priorities in the context considered.
  • Activities that you should consider during this step:

    • Collect and analyse information about the organisation’s strategic objectives and service plans as well as the strategic direction of the health workforce in Queensland. Determine which high-priority strategies will be implemented across the organisation over the next 5-10 years.
    • Undertake environmental scanning through a structured analysis process. Explore how internal and external environmental factors may impact the strategic direction of the organisation and the implementation of strategic priorities. Consider how the identified plans, challenges and opportunities might impact on workforce and recognise possible issues and risks.
    • Consider the implications and expectations for the workforce with respect to each of the strategic priorities. Analyse what will be required of the workforce (what skills, locations, team structures etc.) as these requirements form the building blocks of the workforce strategies you will go on to develop in this planning process.
  • The following information sources may be helpful in completing this step:

    • current health service organisation and health system strategic plans, functional plans and strategies, service plans and agreements
    • service utilisation data including demand projections
    • consumer engagement input including patient satisfaction data
    • health service organisation board members and leadership team, clinical leads, functional leads, middle and operational level managers
    • reports on health sector trends.
  • The following resources from the framework toolkit are designed to assist you with step 1:

Last updated: 2 September 2020