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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Should I Implement Oracle's Hyperion Workforce Planning Module

One of the questions that have been coming up more frequently with prospects and clients these days is whether they should implement the Workforce Planning module or develop a custom-built workforce planning solution. Before we discuss that question further, let’s briefly review some of the features and functionality of the Workforce Planning module.

Workforce Planning is a purpose-built module employee planning solution that is seamlessly integrated into Hyperion Planning. Workforce Planning contains pre-built functionality of the most commonly used planning practices. Upon initialization of the Workforce Planning module a series of pre-defined Account, Entity, Employee, Scenario and Version members, web forms, Smart Lists, member formulas, business rules and menus are created. These artifacts assist in the development of the employee expense plan.

Workforce Planning also includes functionality that calculates a variety of employee related expenses such as Merit Increase, Bonus, Overtime, Health Insurance, Employee Taxes (i.e. Social Security, FUTA, SUI, etc.). Additional Workforce Planning features include New Hire functionality, Transfer In/Transfer Out functionality, the ability to identify each employee with a specific Employee Status’ (i.e. Active, Leave of Absence, Maternity, etc.) as well as FTE and Headcount planning.

Benefits of implementing Workforce Planning

The obvious benefit of implementing Workforce Planning include having a purpose-built application for employee planning that incorporates the vast majority of employee related expenses. A by-product of implementing Workforce Planning is that it provokes thought around questions that may not be considered when developing a custom-built workforce planning solution. Workforce Planning requires specific detailed information and data at a lower level of detail than most custom-built solutions and so the application design needs to take that into consideration.

A residual benefit from a design perspective of implementing Workforce Planning is that it creates a fourth Essbase database for your Hyperion Planning application. A standard Planning application contains three Essbase databases. Often times during an implementation having a third database available is very useful in that it provides greater application design flexibility.

For many organizations, employee related costs are the primary cost driver, Workforce Planning allows companies to plan employee-related expenses at the employee level, whether a New Hire or an Existing employee. Workforce Planning also provides flexibility to plan at a higher level, by department for example. Home-grown spreadsheet models typically do not provide that level of flexibility.

Workforce Planning’s seamless integration with Hyperion Planning it enables you to combine your employee data and information with your non-employee data for a complete Plan or Forecast enabling to you to analyze the impact of your workforce plan in real time.