Infohrm II: Workforce Planning

On January 18, 2010, in HRExaminer, John Sumser, Reviews, by John Sumser

infohrmInfohrm II: Workforce Planning

Last week’s piece on Infohrm was the first of three. I’ve been having a great conversation blended with demos. The company, which has roots in Australia and in Washington, DC, is an interesting amalgam. Part of what they do is provide software in a classic SaaS (Software as a Service) subscription model. Over that, they layer an effective implementation consulting team.

Making metrics of any form work in an organization is, first and foremost, a planned change project. Metrics can be threatening. They introduce new levels of accountability and transparency where there was once a more comfortable way of doing things. The process of introducing metrics always creates a reaction. It’s just like any change in the status quo.

From my perspective, Infohrm offers two sorts of services: Workforce Planning /Analysis and Standard Metrics. (That may well be because that’s how I started to look at the company. I don’t believe that they offer separate product lines. The third part of this series will cover the baseline Metrics toolset).

At Infohrm, they believe that workforce planning is supposed to be ‘directionally correct’. That is, too much precision voids the utility of a good workforce plan. Rather than explicit forecasts of headcount, Infohrm facilitates a process that results in useful insights. Executives get a better sense of how to allocate resources when they do workforce planning with Infohrm. The Infohrm workforce planning tools help companies get their arms around current skills inventories and emerging needs.

Great workforce planning is where HR stops being a cost center and starts acting like a player in the business conversation.

At it’s heart, the Infohrm tool set cobbles together data from vast uncoordinated data resources into a single set of metrics and dashboards. The workforce planning toolkit works like that. They like to say that evidence based decision making is what they make possible.

The dashboards themselves are intuitive and simple.

Part of the amazing value associated with the Infohrm product line is embedded benchmarking. While I’d argue that benchmarking is the road to mediocrity, having a clear picture of industry practices is quite useful. Infohrm anonymizes data so that all of its members can benefit from seeing a bigger picture.

Using the Infohrm Workforce planning toolset, an HR leader can quickly move into an advisory role, helping other leaders understand the actual feasibility of strategic plans. Infohrm provides a method for making the process systematic.

When we complete the Infohrm evaluation in a couple of weeks, we’ll look at the overall package.

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