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Balancing qualitative and quantitative data in rostering. 

Combining data with the human factor to create equitable solutions.

We’ve been involved in a lot of conversations about data lately.  

As a company that can at times be required to wade through complex reams of the stuff to find the truth, we know the numbers do not always tell the full story and you also need input from conversations with key stakeholders in order to make sense of it all.

But the other issue is that trying to determine every possible input to the 9th decimal place can also lead to “paralysis by analysis.”

Strategic workforce planning (SWP) initiatives advise us to use enough relevant data to make a start but be agile and regularly review the goals, outcomes and data in order to modify our strategic plan to achieve the desired result.

Last year’s SWP APC conference in Brisbane had many discussions around using data for “Direction not Perfection” (kudos to Jessica Murphy).

Another mantra was “All models are wrong but some are useful” (with thanks to Chris Hare).

And in the “SWP – The 5 mistakes to avoid” article by Henley Business School:

“Resist trying to force SWP numbers too early or confusing it with resource forecasting. Instead recognise that business value is unlocked not by rushing to answers, but first through recognising what are the right questions.”    

Discussions with leaders and the people factors have always been key elements of any successful transformation project.

Yes you need data to help direct your strategy and initiatives, but there are times when you just need to cut bait with what you have and just make a start.

Orkest is an expert workforce planning and design consultancy, specialising in roster optimisation. 

Drawing on two decades of advisory across Australia and the Asia Pacific, we’re helping organisations solve their most crucial workforce challenges by finding balanced solutions that are good for business and good for people.