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Best Practices in HSI - Manpower and Personnel

Manpower analysts are engaged early in the acquisition process to determine the appropriate number and skill level of personnel necessary to safely and effectively perform the missions of the newly acquired asset. Manpower analysis can be a major determinant of program cost and affordability and the successful completion of the intended missions. The following are examples of issues that may arise if manpower analysis is not performed.

There may not be enough people to execute the mission.

A shortfall in the number of personnel available to perform the mission may lead to a variety of problems, including the inability to (a) perform the desired mission, (b) operate the equipment or gear, and (c) ensure safe working conditions.

The available manpower may not be correctly utilized.
Lack of clearly defined roles and effective team communication, coordination, and cooperation can result in an inefficient workflow where the available manpower is not optimally utilized.

There may be too many people required for simple tasks.
Reducing manpower requirements is a major goal in today's military operations. This reduction can provide significant cost savings over the life of a system. Reducing the number of personnel necessary to complete certain tasks may reduce the overall manpower numbers at a given location or given designator, which then could reduce strain on manpower allocations as well as training resources.

A sufficient number of people with the required skills may not be available.
Manpower shortages can often lead to commanders facing the issue of being forced to "use what they have," even when the personnel do not possess the required skill-sets.

There may be a need for people to perform multiple roles, due to a limited number of staff.
When manpower numbers fall short of what is optimal for staffing, those personnel who remain will often be compelled to perform multiple roles.

The training pace may not be able to keep up with manpower demands.
Training personnel for new assignments has the effect of taking them away from their current duties, thus possibly creating a manpower shortage.

High turnover may reduce the effectiveness of team training.
High personnel turnover can disrupt efficient communication and coordination of team activities.

Shifts may be too long because sufficient staff is not available.
Inadequate numbers of personnel (i.e., manpower shortages) can lead to longer shift lengths and not enough time off.