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Organizational planning and analysis

Managing constant disruption demands new analytical skills within organizations to respond to change and to become future-ready. This new way of working is the first step on a journey to a forward-looking discipline called Organizational Planning and Analysis (OP&A).

As FP&A is to Finance, OP&A should be to HR

OP&A is the strategic capability of HR to anticipate market changes and prepare the organization for the future. It operates hand-in-hand with Financial Planning and Analysis to forecast, budget, and plan the workforce of tomorrow.

Alongside analytics, OP&A relies on cross-functional collaboration between HR and Finance to deliver insight and make an impact. This is not something that happens naturally in most organizations and will require changes in worldview and culture from both sides.

Day-to-day and backward looking

Continuous operations that are necessary to sustain the business but do not drive strategic advantage.

Finance Operations

  • Produces quarterly statements
  • Performs regulatory due diligence
  • Maintains accounting
  • Conducts internal audits & reviews

HR Operations

  • Compensation & benefits
  • Employee onboarding
  • Diversity & inclusion

Forward looking

Strategic planning that anticipates market changes and capitalizes on strategic differentiators to drive the future of the organization.

Finance planning & analysis

  • Budgeting and forecasting financial performance
  • Evaluates new projects & investment opportunities
  • Optimizes financing structure (e.g. debt and equity)
  • Analyzes financial & operational performance

Organizational planning & analysis

  • Workforce visualization & analysis
  • Scenario modeling & comparative analysis
  • Activity-based costing & management
  • Organization design
  • Future talent planning e.g. succession planning

Integrated processes with dual reporting lines, together with shared systems and data aggregation from multiple sources, underlies OP&A’s ability to understand who in the organization is doing what work and what the contribution to profitability is in relation to the cost.

If set up effectively, OP&A can deliver a range of capabilities that will enhance an organization’s operational and financial performance:

  • Workforce visualization and analysis
  • Scenario modeling and comparative analysis
  • Activity-based costing and management
  • Organization design
  • Future talent planning e.g. succession planning

Are you ready for OP&A?

As you progress on your people analytics journey, your mastery of the different elements culminates in the ability to deploy analytics to shape strategy, advocate data-driven decisions, and achieve the outcomes the business desires.

This ability to look ahead, plan and manage the ongoing health of your organization is what we define as organizational planning and analysis, or OP&A for short.

Our self assessment will measure your capability against industry benchmarks for our six key components of an effective people analytics practice: strategy, people, data, technology, process and governance. Take our self assessment so you can see what more needs to be done to build a world-class discipline in understanding your workforce.

What OP&A asks and answers

OP&A holds the key to crucial questions such as:

  • How should we redesign the business to better deliver on strategy?
  • How do we know who’s doing what work, and who should be doing it? What skills are we lacking?
  • What is our people cost today and how is it likely to look in the future? Does this track against plan? Is the plan right?
  • How can we make decision-making less bureaucratic and streamline the work we need to do to sustain the business?
  • Where can we make efficiency savings in headcount, processes, or by location to support our long-term goals?

Five steps to get started

Those HR and Finance teams that are most successful in planning for and responding to change have five things in common. They:

  1. start with a small, multi-skilled team, and address skills gaps with support from Finance, other parts of the business, and/or outside experts
  2. put analytics at the heart of OP&A, which is data-led with proven methodologies and has a results-driven focus
  3. take a collaborative approach and work together with FP&A teams, sometimes with dual reporting lines
  4. use purpose-built platforms for the analysis and modeling of data from any source
  5. budget for the ongoing work of the OP&A team.

Useful OP&A resources

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Get in touch

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you establish an Organizational Planning and Analysis capability within your business. We’d love to talk OP&A with you.

+44 (0) 20 7099 6910

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