Lean but Agile: Rethink Workforce Planning and Gain a True Competitive Edge

Lean but Agile: Rethink Workforce Planning and Gain a True Competitive Edge

William J. Rothwell

Language: English

Pages: 240

ISBN: 0814417779

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


William Rothwell honored with the ASTD Distinguished Contribution Award in Workplace Learning and Performance. As organizations strive to maximize efficiency to meet stringent budgets, a general "do more with less" mandate is no longer sufficient. Managers and executives must evaluate every process and every role, and do away with assumptions about how work gets done and who does it. "Lean but Agile" presents a system for analyzing work and selecting the ideal combination of cost-effective resources--employees, consultants, contractors, temporary workers, vendors--to accomplish it. The book advocates changes in hiring, goal-setting, learning and development, and performance management, and discusses the introduction, implementation, and management of lean work and agile staffing methods. It also explores the fundamental role technology can play in the transformation. Packed with practical advice, examples, guides, worksheets, diagrams, and metrics, "Lean but Agile" will help leaders, managers, and human resource professionals optimize their workforces while still achieving superior results.

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for example, an assessment designed specifically for a Chemist I in a particular company. Often American Management Association • www.amanet.org 57 Create a Talent Pool for a Lean but Agile Workforce competency assessments are completed by an employee (a self-rating) and by supervisors, and sometimes they are also completed by peers, direct reports, customers, and others, in which case they are called a multirater or a 360-degree review. In Figure 3-2, raters are presented with a competency

structure (organization chart) is established to allocate responsibilities for various work activities. These activities, in turn, are then broken down further into departments, work groups, jobs, and tasks. Traditional thinking about work planning emphasizes the work process, that is, how the work is done. Little or no attention is devoted to clarifying in detail the measurable work outcomes desired by customers or other stakeholders who care about the work. In some circles, work planning is

an assignment to help develop the department budget with the coaching of the manager. Additionally, the manager might identify experienced, competent budget developers and suggest that trainees approach these people for advice. During OJT, individuals continue working and producing a financial return for the organization. Depth of initial learning and learning retention may be greater because learners are usually very motivated to develop the skills they need to survive the day. Further, they

full-time workers. Instead, they are driven by considerations of cost and productivity to formulate other approaches. Unfortunately, most of the creative alternatives they come up with are not driven by systematic approaches. Instead, managers experiment with many approaches to get results. Those that work out—or seem to work out better than expected—are prone to overuse. Managers simply have no American Management Association • www.amanet.org An Introduction to Lean but Agile Work and

Workforce Planning 15 systematic way to consider a slate of alternatives strategically or tactically to get the work done. It is clear that much experimentation is under way. Some organizations experiment with temporary, contingent, contract, or consulting talent to get much work accomplished; some experiment with new approaches to performing the work; some rely on overtime, part-time help, outsourcing, or offshoring; and some try using retirees or other nontraditional workforces (such as

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