A planning phase is essential for defining the system requirements before installation of iHRIS begins. These requirements should build on the work done during the Assess stage.

Planning (as well as all subsequent stages) should be done in consultation with stakeholders. Understanding the various perspectives of the stakeholders and finding areas of consensus are important to ensure the success of the implementation. Representatives from the stakeholder organizations make up the Stakeholder Leadership Group (SLG). (An alternative established mechanism of stakeholder leadership might be an existing national Health Workforce Observatory or an HRH taskforce.) Forming the SLG requires high-level buy-in from HRIS champions (see Stage 0: Governance).

Together with the SLG, you will write the implementation plan, a detailed action plan for how iHRIS will be deployed. You will also collaboratively determine the requirements for customizing iHRIS so that it will produce the necessary data for informed decision making. The SLG should have final approval of these important deliverables.

Objectives and Deliverables


Working with identified leaders, determine which representatives from stakeholder groups to invite to join the SLG. In the initial meeting, agree on Principles of Operation and Terms of Reference for the group.

Template: SLG Principles of Operation and Terms of Reference

Guidelines for Forming and Sustaining Human Resources for Health Stakeholder Leadership Groups (CapacityPlus, 2011)

Project Management

Develop roles and responsibilities for the members of the implementation team.

Template: Terms of Reference for iHRIS Project Team

Establish tools for managing the project and working with the implementation team.

Example: GANTT Chart

Project management tools, such as HingX

Open source project management software, such as GanttProject

Software & Systems

With the SLG and the implementation team, collaboratively develop the system requirements and document them using a standard methodology.

Template: User Requirements Specifications

Collaborative Requirements Development Methodology (CRDM) Walk-through

Documentation: Use Case Development Tool and iHRIS Use Cases

Data Sharing & Interoperability

Identify standards to use when sharing data with other systems in the HIS.

Tipsheet: Standardized Data Lists

WHO’s ISCO-08 Classification of a health worker

Care Services Discovery Standard

Data Quality & Standards

Identify the sources of standard HRH data to be used in iHRIS. Determine whether the data are consistently formatted and coded across these sources. If not, decide with the SLG what the standards should be and document them with the system requirements.

Worksheet: Standard Datasets

Establishing and Using Data Standards in Health Workforce Information Systems (CapacityPlus, 2014)

Review with the SLG data collection processes and forms. Revise forms to provide the minimum necessary dataset to answer policy and management questions.

Template: Sample Data Collection Forms

Training & Support

Train data collectors to use revised data collection forms. Data collection can begin at any point after the data collectors are trained.

Job Aid: Fill Data Collection Form

Data Use & Reporting

Document requirements for reports produced by iHRIS.

Template: Reporting Requirements


Write the project implementation plan and attach the system and reporting requirements, as well as any data collection forms and supporting documentation. Share the plan with the SLG for their approval before proceeding with deployment.

Example and Template: Implementation Workplan

Key questions to answer before continuing:

  • Have all stakeholders agreed on the implementation plan and system requirements?
  • Are stakeholders engaged to provide input on policy and management questions?
  • Are infrastructure, personnel, and financial resources available to support the deployment?

Go to Stage 2: Deploy.