Strategic Workforce Planning That Gets the Right Person in the Right Job


Authors: Dan L. Ward, Rob Tripp
Pub Date: January 2013
Print Edition: $32.95
Print ISBN: 9780814432471
Page Count: 304
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814432488

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Historical Perspective

Dan L. Ward

THIS FIRST SECTION OFFERS insight into earlier practices in

Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP). In 1969, James W. Walker

authored “Forecasting Manpower Needs” in the Harvard

Business Review, which created quite a stir when senior

executives were introduced to the concept. In the 1970s,

he founded the Human Resource Planning Society, now

known as HR People & Strategy (HRPS). We asked

Jim to write the first chapter of this book because no one is

more qualified to talk about how this field gained its prominence

over the past forty years. His chapter, “The Origins of

Workforce Planning,” allows the reader a chance to sit beside

Jim as he describes the professionalization of our field.

Borrowing the title from an old George Gershwin song, “How

Long Has This Been Going On?” is my own sometimes

lighthearted but sincerely heartfelt look at the ascent of

SWP. Our tools and techniques have evolved. We continually

refine our terminology, but the fact remains that humans

have always been concerned with the fundamental concepts

of SWP, even if our tools and terminology have become

sophisticated only in more recent years. We can claim this

is a brand-new field and define it carefully to support that

claim, or we can recognize clues that it may actually date

back to recognized community construction projects that

began 13,000 years in the past. One can accept or reject

the historical time line offered in this chapter, but I am

personally proud to be practicing in a career field that can

simultaneously be portrayed as both one of the world’s

oldest and youngest career specialties.

Alex G. Manganaris’s “The Evolution of Strategic

Workforce Planning Within Government Agencies”

offers another opportunity to sit alongside someone

who was there during some of the most significant

SWP efforts of past decades. SWP seems to flow in and

out of favor in a cyclical fashion within private industry,

but it has been steadily applied within many government


Dan L. Ward is the associate department head for the

MITRE team providing support to the U.S. government

on workforce strategy and human capital topics. In this

role, he leads advisory support for workforce planning,

organization design, people strategy, and change

management activities. Dan has provided advice and

counsel to a variety of U.S. government agencies.

Ward earned his bachelor’s degree in social science and

his master’s in workforce economics from the University

of North Texas. Prior to joining MITRE in 2006, he held

senior level roles in HR, knowledge management, and

strategic planning at GTE, Texaco, and EDS. One-third

of the Fortune 100 companies have sought his counsel

on advanced people strategies.

He started his career as a management scientist with

Western Electric, developing workforce simulation studies.

His cost-benefit studies on alternate staffing strategies

have been cited in Fortune, BusinessWeek, the Wall

Street Journal, and the Work in America Institute, among

others. He is an award-winning photographer and has

published three photography books, the latest being

Tribute, a photohaiku study of Civil War memorials.

Bill Maki was an equal partner with Dan and Rob at the

beginning of this book project. He was one of the earliest

members of the Human Resource Planning Society

and a past president of the group. With a bachelor’s

degree in mathematics from the University of Washington

and a master’s in statistics and operations

research from Oregon State University, Bill was one

of the pacesetters for workforce forecasting and modeling.

He retired after thirty-nine years with Weyerhaeuser

and continues to write and speak on workforce planning

related topics. Bill helped design the layout of this book

and suggested some of the contributors.Due to a health

problem, he relinquished his editing role on the book but

continued to provide advice, counsel, and moral support

to Dan and Rob.

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