6.250.2 Internal Revenue Service Strategic Workforce Planning

Manual Transmittal

March 08, 2018


(1) This transmits new IRM 6.250.2, Internal Revenue Service Strategic Workforce Planning.


This IRM outlines a new framework for IRS Strategic Workforce Planning.

Material Changes

(1) No material changes.

Effect on Other Documents

No other documents effected.


All Business Units

Effective Date


Human Capital Officer’s Name
IRS Human Capital Officer


  1. Purpose. Workforce Planning (WFP) at IRS involves an integrated and systematic process for identifying current and future human capital needs, the competencies that align with future organizational goals, and the strategies to be implemented to reduce the gaps.
    Workforce planning is designed to evaluate the following questions:

    1. Are the organization’s’ current personnel requirements identified and validated?

    2. Are the organizations’ future personnel requirements identified and validated?

    3. If not, what is the extent of the problem and how can it be addressed?

  2. Scope. This IRM provides definition, principles, framework, process methodology, roles, and responsibilities for WFP across the IRS.

  3. Audience. All business units and support areas that directly contribute to, or "own" parts of, the WFP process; as well as workforce planning practitioners and stakeholders across the Service.

  4. Policy/Program Owner. The Workforce Planning and Human Capital Research Branch (WPHCR) in the Worklife, Benefits and Performance (WBP) division of the Human Capital Office (HCO).


  1. This IRM outlines a new framework for IRS WFP, the systematic process for conducting strategic and operational WFP, and the roles and responsibilities of strategic decision–makers, human capital leadership, and workforce planners.

  2. The IRS Workforce Planning Framework promotes standardization for consistency of WFP terminology, data sources, and methodology throughout the Service.

  3. This IRM replaces obsolete IRM 6.251.1 Strategic Workforce Planning for Human Resources Management, Provisions, Authorities, Requirements, and Processes dated July 1, 2003.

  4. IRS senior leadership supports the establishment of an agency–wide process to consistently and accurately project future human resource needs.

  5. Each business unit within the Service remains responsible for conducting and implementing WFP activities for its respective work functions.

  6. The IRS WFP Guide provides a detailed “how to” for applying the WFP process model and conducting the associated activities.


  1. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act (GPRA-MA) of 2010 (Pub. L. 111−352). Strategic Human Capital Management (5 CFR, Part 250, Subpart B)

    1. 5 CFR 250.203 Strategic human capital management systems and standards. (b) Talent management. A system that promotes a high-performing workforce identifies and closes skill gaps, and implements and maintains programs to attract, acquire, develop, promote, and retain quality and diverse talent. Effective April 11, 2017; see 81 FR 89357-01 (Dec. 12, 2016)

    2. 5 CFR 250.204(a) Agency Roles & Responsibilities. (a) An agency must use the systems and standards and any metrics that OPM subsequently provides in guidance, to plan, implement, evaluate and improve human capital policies and programs. These policies and programs must “:” and “...” (2) Be based on comprehensive workforce planning and analysis. Effective April 11, 2017; see 81 FR 89357-01 (Dec. 12, 2016)

  2. OPM WFP Model

  3. Treasury WFP Policy Based on 5 CFR, Part 250, Subpart B.

  4. President’s Management Agenda (PMA) Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goal #8 People & Culture: Innovate by unlocking the full potential of the workforce we have today and building the workforce we need for tomorrow − FY 2016

WFP Key Drivers and Benefits

  1. Key Drivers and Benefits

Key Drivers

  1. The key drivers behind WFP in the federal government include the following:

    1. Ongoing volatility in funding and continued reorganizations that alter workforce requirements.

    2. Government−wide emphasis on improving efficiency and effectiveness and measuring operational effectiveness in all areas, including workforce.

    3. Need to address the risk of losing large numbers of proven talent due to retirement.

    4. Geographic distribution and decentralization of many functions and activities within government agencies.

Key Benefits

  1. Strategic WFP offers the following benefits:

    1. Creates a consistent approach to gather workforce planning data and report out Servicewide workforce trends and potential solutions.

    2. Provides senior leaders with increased information for decision-making.

    3. Aligns workforce requirements with the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) policies and priorities, as well as with IRS mission, goals, and strategic objectives (Per 5 CFR 250).

    4. Enables data-driven decisions regarding organizational structure and workforce deployment.

    5. Drives greater coordination, efficiency, and synergy between WFP, budget, recruitment/hiring, succession planning, retention planning, and training and development.

  2. Operational WFP enables an organization to:

    1. Develop a comprehensive picture of where gaps exist between competencies the workforce currently possesses and future competency requirements.

    2. Develop and implement gap reduction strategies.

    3. Identify and overcome internal and external barriers to accomplishing workforce goals.

    4. Improve communication between operating divisions and functions and streamline the flow of WFP information.

WFP Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Roles and Responsibilities

IRS Strategic WFP Team

  1. Integrates all WFP activities to ensure alignment with strategic planning and the budget process.

  2. Serves its business customers by applying and providing strategic consultation, advisement, and subject matter expertise to analyze workforce data; identify workforce gaps, surpluses, and risks; and develop strategies to address workforce issues.

  3. Specific responsibilities include:

    1. Oversight of the IRS WFP program.

    2. Develop, oversee and communicate WFP policy and framework.

    3. Develop, implement and oversee the IRS Strategic Workforce Plan.

    4. Develop and provide WFP training.

    5. Provide information on tool(s) to perform skills assessments.

    6. Provide insight and direction to link business unit WFP efforts with Servicewide strategic WFP activities.

    7. Partner/consult with assigned operational workforce planners who interface with operating divisions.

    8. Serve as expert consultants to mitigate workforce risks, challenges and obstacles.

    9. Disseminate WFP best practices.

    10. Establish and lead WFP Council.

    11. Design advanced data queries based on customer WFP needs.

    12. Perform qualitative analysis, identify workforce and organizational trends and "what if" scenarios.

    13. Produce IRS Workforce Snapshot.

    14. Lead the HCO Data Community of Practice.

    15. Manage Mission Critical Occupations (MCO) Program.

    16. Serve as WFP liaison to Treasury.

Office of the Commissioner; Deputy Commissioner Operations Support; and Deputy Commissioner Services and Enforcement

  1. Specific responsibilities of the Office of the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners include:

    1. Communicate commitment on a continuous basis to enhance leadership awareness of the fundamental role WFP requirements serve in meeting IRS strategic goals and objectives.

    2. Support resource prioritization and allocation for human capital and WFP efforts, whenever possible.

Human Capital Office (HCO)

  1. Annually conducts strategic WFP that is aligned with Treasury's mission, goals, and objectives; perform data analysis of the current and future workforce, identify gaps and submit solutions that will enable the organization to meet its mission, goals, and objectives; perform data analysis of the current and future workforce, identify gaps, and submit solutions to enable the organization to meet its mission goals, and objectives.

  2. Ensures the existence and integration of human capital planning functions into the workforce planning process, including skills assessment, competency models, recruitment planning, training and development, retention and succession planning.

  3. Specific responsibilities include:

    1. Provide guidance and direction for Servicewide WFP efforts.

    2. Ensure the implementation of a Servicewide skills assessment and competency model framework.

    3. Communicate commitment for a consistent, repeatable and systematic WFP process to enable improved and integrated management of human capital initiatives.

    4. Promote, enable and drive coordination of all WFP related efforts.

    5. Lead effort to build a strategic relationship with the Chief Financial Office (CFO) and the Research, Applied Analytics & Statistics (RAAS) organization, to improve alignment of WFP with workload planning, strategic planning, and the budget process.

Business Units

  1. Responsibilities

Business Unit Executives
  1. Exercise authority and influence to bring strategic awareness and advocacy to the WFP function and demonstrate commitment, support, and leadership to apply WFP efforts to initiatives.

  2. Lead operational WFP activities in alignment with strategic WFP.

  3. Ensure trained staff is in place to support all facets of operational and strategic WFP.

  4. Ensure business unit workforce plans are developed and implemented in accordance with IRS Strategic WFP policy.

  5. Assign and support a WFP Council representative(s).

Business Unit WFP Staff
  1. Identify, assess, and document current and desired skills/competencies essential to achieving strategic goals and objectives.

  2. Develop workforce plans in accordance with IRS Strategic WFP policy.

  3. Incorporate relevant WFP studies and analyses into business unit workforce plans.

  4. Monitor and report the status of business unit workforce plans to IRS Strategic WFP team.

  5. Partner with IRS Strategic WFP team as necessary throughout the WFP process.

WFP Council

  1. Comprised of representatives from all business units with IRS Strategic WFP team oversight.

  2. Shares WFP activities, best practices, and supports a collaborative approach to address challenges.

  3. Assist the IRS Strategic WFP team in the development of the IRS Strategic Workforce Plan.

CFO Office

  1. Responsible for oversight and implementation of the IRS budget and its allocation.

  2. Specific responsibilities include:

    1. Engages in regular communications with HCO to improve alignment of strategic WFP with the budget process.

    2. Coordinates with HCO in carrying out its corporate management responsibilities regarding WFP with the budget process and seeks opportunities for streamlining reporting requirements.

Human Capital Board (HCB)

  1. Fosters collaboration across organizational boundaries to ensure a coordinated servicewide approach to IRS human capital plans, policies, and practices.

  2. Provides a senior level review (and approval) of planning activities affecting the IRS workforce.

  3. Supports annual Mission Critical Occupation (MCO) review and approval processes.

Human Capital Advisory Council (HCAC)

  1. Fosters collaboration across organizational boundaries to ensure the best options have been considered when taking a coordinated Servicewide approach to IRS human capital plans, policies, and practices.

  2. Provides a uniquely skilled blend of leadership and subject matter expertise to review and contribute guidance for planning that affects the IRS workforce.

IRS WFP Process Model

  1. Guides federal WFP activities in alignment with OPM’s five-phased WFP Model intended to provide a general framework to guide WFP activities in governmental organizations.

  2. Although many federal agencies opt to adjust OPM’s model to align more specifically with their internal planning processes, Treasury WFP Program Policy also recognizes a four-phased model and outlines the requirement for all bureaus to perform WFP activities.

  3. The IRS WFP Model is consistent with both the Treasury and OPM models, with slight adjustments to better meet IRS’ business needs. The IRS WFP Model shown in Figure represents a five–phased systematic process. Description and guidance for each phase is contained in the IRS WFP Guide

    Figure 6.250.2-1

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    Please click here for the text description of the image.

    Figure 6.250.2-2

    WFP Phases Description of Phases
    Phase 1: Enterprise Strategy & Planning Analyze strategic plans, annual performance/business plans, and both current and future work activities required to carry out goals and objectives.
    Phase 2: Workforce Analysis Assess current workforce resources and how they will evolve over time through turnover, retirement, realignment, etc. Determine the type, number, and location of employees and managers needed. Identify gaps between the current and projected workforce needs.
    Phase 3: Create Workforce Plan Identify strategies to close gaps: recruiting, training/retraining, restructuring organizations, contracting out, succession planning, technological enhancements, etc. Develop action plans to accomplish the strategies and develop measures for assessing strategic progress.
    Phase 4: Implement Workforce Plan Ensure resources are in place, roles are understood, and support communication, marketing, and coordination to execute the plan.
    Phase 5: Monitor & Evaluate Monitor progress against milestones, evaluate for continuous improvement, and adjust plans to make course corrections, as needed.

IRS WFP Framework

  1. To account for the complexity inherent within the WFP process, the IRS has instituted a two-level WFP Framework. An overview of the framework, which includes the definition and outcomes of strategic and operational WFP, are outlined below.

  2. Strategic WFP (3+ years)

    Definition Description Key Stakeholders Outcome Output
    A business planning process that engages senior leaders and combines the broad direction of the organization with the precise numbers and granular details undertaken in operational WFP.
    • Performed by the IRS Strategic WFP team and the business units

    • Considered long-range planning

    • Focuses on total employee population

    • Integrated with annual budget process

    • Guides: Annual data calls, policy guidance, performance measurements, interface with external entities, special studies and pilot tests

    • IRS Strategic WFP team

    • Executive Leadership

    • CFO

    • Business Units

    Sound, integrated, and thoughtful analyses that support the Service’s senior leaders in setting the long-term direction for the workforce and effectively communicating with and reporting to the internal business units and external stakeholders Strategic Workforce Plan that sets:
    • Changes to business unit work roles

    • Sourcing strategies

    • Human capital tools (e.g., ceilings, hiring controls, legislation, buyouts)

    • Servicewide workforce investments (e.g., training, IT systems)

  3. Operational WFP (0–2 years)

    Definition Description Key Stakeholders Outcome Output
    The discipline within the Strategic WFP process of matching and assigning workforce to program and work requirements and managing the distribution of workforce across the business units in alignment with objectives established through strategic WFP
    • Performed by business unit

    • Considered short–range planning

    • Focuses on business unit employee population

    • Dependent on budget formulation

    • Develop detailed workforce plan that identifies risk, implements strategies, and aligns with budget

    • IRS Strategic WFP team

    • Business Units

    • Strategy and Finance

    • HR Staff

    • Executive Leadership

    • CFO

    Effective management of competing interests, and programmatic or institutional risks Workforce data for budget execution; business unit workforce plans for next year; set of management actions to be implemented in business unit, and at times, Strategic level:
    • Re-allocation of work packages

    • Changes to individual program or project assignments or sourcing decisions

    • Business unit hiring and redeployment decisions, or redistribution across business units


BU Business Unit
CAP Cross-Agency Priority
CFO Chief Financial Office
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
CI Criminal Investigations
GAO US Government Accountability Office
GPRA-MA Government Performance and Results Act – Modernization Act
HCO Human Capital Office
HR Human Resources
IRS Internal Revenue Service
MCO Mission Critical Occupation(s)
NHQ National Headquarters
OD Operating Divisions
OPM Office of Personnel Management
PMA President’s Management Agenda
SWP Strategic Workforce Planning
WFP Workforce Planning