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Predicting the Future: Preparing one of our Nation’s Defense Agencies for Future Workload Needs

Case Study

Predicting the Future: Preparing one of our Nation’s Defense Agencies for Future Workload Needs

A major defense agency turned to Censeo to improve their understanding of their future workforce needs. Censeo provided its client with a dynamic, user-friendly workforce model helping them to determine their future staffing demands. Defense agencies workload needs vary greatly, and Censeo has a proven workforce model that will work for all agencies. 


Censeo’s client, a major defense agency, requested support to help them obtain a thorough understanding of their future workforce needs. The volatile nature of the Federal operating environment, with its’ uncertain, and often declining budget and resources, prompted the agency leadership’s interest in obtaining insight as to what drives their workforce needs within their agency’s acquisition community.


Censeo’s approach to providing insight and clarity to address this particular defense agencies workload needs involved five key steps:

Activity Definition: The team began by working with the client to develop a comprehensively ordered list of activities that encompass all work performed within the client’s offices. Approximately five hundred sub-activities were grouped into one hundred tasks which were then arranged into sixteen functional areas.

Data Collection: Next, the team collected valuable workload information from the department’s workforce. Five million hours of touch-time data were collected from thousands of employees. Each hour was allocated to a specific activity.

Data Validation: Then, Censeo aggregated the acquired data into a database to identify potential errors in the workload data through trend analysis. Censeo was able to detect significant data anomalies by comparing the program workload data throughout time and to similar program workloads. Censeo then followed-up with the program’s proof of concept (POCS) to validate data and correct errors.

Model Development: After the collected data was aggregated and refined, Censeo used predictive analytic techniques to create a regression-based predictive workload model. The flexibility of the workforce planning model allows it to be used across hundreds of Program Management Offices and with thousands of products. The workforce model provides predictions of total workload requirements, splits of workload across functions and tasks and recommendations regarding staffing and necessary disciplines. In addition to the model’s ability to provide a variety of critical insights, the model can adapt to changes within product characteristics and provides relevant predictions throughout the acquisition lifecycle.

Model Training and Delivery: Censeo developed a user-training guide to accompany the final workforce planning model, performed numerous training sessions across the client offices and briefed the model to Defense leadership.


Censeo delivered a powerful, adaptable workforce model capable of predicting workforce needs and improving operational effectiveness. The client is so impressed with Censeo’s workforce model that it is still being utilized extensively throughout the Defense agency’s acquisition community for planning and resourcing purposes two years after the original delivery.

Censeo’s Client, a Senior department leader, testified that the model and its capabilities were “well ahead of workforce modeling anywhere else in the agency.”