Workload Assessment (Forecasting)
Forecasts are necessary to describe the future. Examples of forecasting include the number of patients in a hospital, students in a college, customers in a grocery store, cars to be manufactured, and so on. The demand forecasts set the agenda for how the entire company will use its people, commit its resources, call on outside suppliers, and plan its work schedules. Forecasts provide information to coordinate demands for products and services with supplies of resources that are required to meet the demands. As such, the forecast is the platform for future planning. This is reactive planning. A good strategy also aims at modifying the forecast to influence what the future might bring rather than just accepting the forecast as an inevitable truth. In this way, management earns its rewards by better fitting production capabilities (short and long term) to marketing possibilities. This is proactive planning.