This is an overview of our process. It is based upon five steps and is designed to be a flexible framework that we adapt to meet client needs.We are constantly updating our process if you would like to see each of the steps in more detail please click on the individual buttons for the sections.There is a sticky left hand deep-link navigation so that you can click between sections of the process.

Defining the Challenge and Goal

When starting a piece of work involving Workforce Planning we look at it holistically as a project. We use a number of checks and controls to make sure that everything is in setup correctly, to ensure the project fulfils its objectives and delivers as intended.

As with any project, it is essential to determine and document a list of specific goals, deliverables, features, functions, tasks, deadlines and any associated costs. This defines what needs to be achieved and the work that must be done to deliver the project.

Process Steps

Define Scope

During this phase we aim to:

  • Identify what is in and out of scope
  • Establish the clinical problem/question
  • Identify Organisations involved
  • Understand links between workstreams
  • Identify any Local/ Regional/ National initiatives that may impact/benefit
  • Establish interdependencies
Organise the Team

At this stage we need to understand:

  • The different organisations
  • Types of skills and knowledge
  • Identifying what is first needed
  • Is there training required?
  • Establish roles within the different organisations and departments
  • Identify owners of tasks
  • Estabish senior level contacts and escalation procedures

It is important to:

Get the project scope signed off
Ensure all parties are familiar with the objectives
Agree deliverables
Establish resources needed
Ensure collective agreement on project setup


Successful project startup requires:

  • Kickoff meetings/calls
  • Established working groups
  • IG and data sharing agreements
  • Data requests sent out
  • Project documentation to record steps needed and delivery responsibility
  • Timescales established to enable progress tracking.

Understanding the Current State

Once the scope has been identified and the project team mobilised, the next step is to understand how the current system or project operates. We need to gain insight into how the services within the project are currently being delivered, who is delivering them and what they are doing.

Data collation and assessment is recommended to understand the makeup of the current workforce, where they are deployed and what activity or activities they are doing. There are various types and sources of information that are required to understand current state.

Process Steps

Produce Workforce Baseline

Once the baseline data has been collated we can:

  • build a baseline picture of the workforce
  • confirm staff groups, roles, pay bands and age profiles
  • establish where staff are working
  • identify what activities they are carrying out
  • this may raise areas for further questioning
  • this may also confirm assumptions made in the business case for the project
Demand Analysis and Forecasting

Activity collation and analysis of this type is wider than the core WRaPT approach to workforce planning and is carried out within Steps 2 and 3 of the WRaPT journey.

Activity of this type is typically collated at patient level (non-identifiable) and then segmented by patient cohort to understand the epidemiology i.e. prevalence of conditions, demographics and socio economic factors.

Create Scenario Models

Here the data is using to create a number of scenarios to model potentially how we might solve the issues your facing .

This is completed via Steps 3 and 4 of the WRaPT process.

Skill Matrix Analysis

We would suggest conducting a skills matrix analysis if your challenge is skills specific.

For example of you have a particular role that you are having issues recruiting for.

The first step is acquiring Workforce Data for the project i.e. who is delivering the service now. Workforce data alone will not give a full picture of the current state; it only gives an idea of who is involved but not what they are doing. The next step is therefore to collect activity data.

Activity data is bespoke to each project and in simplistic terms can be collated at high level for example, taking home visits as a high level activity to a more granular level i.e. wound dressings. Activity will be determined depending on the nature of the planned changes / redesign. For example it is not productive or of value to collect granular level information on wound dressings if the project question is about reducing home visits, as that specific task will fall within the generic umbrella of home visits. We have significant expertise in determining the right level and type of activity information that should be collected for a project.

Supplementing Activity data is Driver Data, which is essentially the time taken per activity, and this is the third piece of information required to understand the current state.

The WRaPT Training goes through the process of data collection and modelling using the WRaPT tool.

Developing the Future State

This step develops ideas and scenarios of what the future of the service or project will look like. We assess the feasibility of what can be developed with the knowledge of the context and the data / information collated to understand the current state (aligning data and research). We recognise that tansformation initiatives vary for each project and are not confined to one new area of development, we can work with you to translate these into meaningful data that can be used for modelling.

Process Steps

Stakeholder Engagement

Here we need Stakeholders to:

  • Develop future state ideas
  • Have meetings, interviews and focus groups to generate and evaluate ideas
  • Workshops (particularly for large groups)
  • Identify Operational improvements to ways of working
  • Generate potential options
  • Review any barriers or limitations to implementation
  • Wider stakeholder / project sponsor review and validation of ideas
Identifying Related Initiatives

It is also useful to investigate if there are:

  • Other areas where they have introduced similar transformation initiatives
  • Research and collation of operational best practice
  • Other non NHS specific initiatives – there maybe related initiatives in the private sector and internationally

WRaPT uses a range of resources and these can be found here: Link to Library.

Confirm Proposed Changes

Once options have been created:

  • They need to be assessed and finalised by senior leads
  • Define and confirm the impacts of the change / initiative
  • Relate this back to the workforce and / or the activity
  • Map the future state changes against the current state
  • Understand the numerical changes to workforce / activity
  • Confirm the numbers in preparation for modelling

Modelling the Future State

During this stage we model the impact of the changes identified.  This can be for any number of new scenarios; however it is often between 2 and 3.  These are usually around the themes of 1) optimising the current workforce, 2) introducing new ways of working (e.g. tele-medicine) and 3) introducing new roles into the team.

Process Steps

This stage utilises the outputs of all the work carried out so far on the project and at this stage the WRaPT tools can be populated with the current state (both the workforce baseline and activity baseline aligned with the workforce) and the future focus (new model of care with aligned and validated activity shifts/changes and any new roles or redesigned responsibilities to carry out activity shifts/changes).

As with any change to the delivery of care, clinical validation is an essential element and when the WRaPT Team work with organisations and systems we always ensure that any and all changes have been overseen and validated by clinical leads.  This can be done by presenting all models back to key stakeholders e.g. SRO and Clinical Leads.

Modelling the future state can provide you with a detailed picture of the projected cost, activity and staffing changes of the redesign proposal being worked on.  By going through the process to get to the modelling stage, there should be a shared understanding of how the model was produced and agreement on the accuracy and validity of it.

Implementation support

Following the development of scenario models, the WRaPT team can support with implementation of the preferred model. There are various change processes and tools that we can use at this stage such as action planning, leadership and OD development, manage cultural change and investment planning.

Further Details

If you would like to understand our process more fully please download the entire process in PDF format below.


For more information on anything, from how we can help inform decision making, to questions about our tools, please contact the team. We will help you in any way we can.