Planning is an integral part of our overall workforce strategy, especially with a significant number of potential retirements over the next several years.
To aid business areas in assessing their hiring, workforce transition and training needs, workforce plans directly feed into the financial forecasting and budgeting process for employee headcount and associated costs.
In 2011, we maintained close integration with the financial planning cycle as representatives from human resources, finance and business areas closely partnered to ensure labor budgets and forecasts aligned with plans and were executed effectively.
Xcel Energy has an extensive analytics engine that includes about four million calculations to better forecast retirements. This retirement forecast model, developed in 2010, achieved 92 percent accuracy with the company-wide forecast in its first complete forecast year. We continue to refine this model to provide a broader range of modeling and scenario analysis capabilities.
Finally, we introduced the concept of Comprehensive Workforce Strategy as a foundation for delivering a data-driven process to assess and adjust management of human capital across the company. An initial pilot was held with our nuclear business area in the latter part of 2011, and the lessons learned from that effort are being leveraged to roll out the process to a broader audience in 2012.