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The Small Enterprise Guide to People and Resource Management

Quickly start getting the right people, with the right skills, at the right time.

  • 52% of small business owners agree that labor quality is their most important problem, and 76% of executives expect the talent market to get even more challenging.
  • The problem? You can't compete on salary, training budgets are slim, you need people skilled in all areas, and even one resignation represents a large part of your workforce.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • The usual, reactive approach to workforce management is risky:
    • Optimizing tactics helps you hire faster, train more, and negotiate better contracts.
    • But fulfilling needs as they arise costs more, has greater risk of failure, and leaves you unprepared for future needs.
  • In a small enterprise where every resource counts, in which one hire represents 10% of your workforce, it is essential to get it right.

Impact and Result

  • Workforce planning helps you anticipate future needs.
  • More lead time means better decisions at lower cost.
  • Small Enterprises benefit most, since every resource counts.

The Small Enterprise Guide to People and Resource Management Research & Tools

1. The Small Enterprise Guide to People and Resource Management Deck – Find out why workforce planning is critical for small enterprises.

Use this storyboard to lay the foundation of people and resources management practices in your small enterprise IT department.

2. Workforce Planning Workbook – Use the tool to successfully complete all of the activities required to define and estimate your workforce needs for the future.

Use these concise exercises to analyze your department’s talent current and future needs and create a skill sourcing strategy to fill the gaps.

3. Knowledge Transfer Tools – Use these templates to identify knowledge to be transferred.

Work through an activity to discover key knowledge held by an employee and create a plan to transfer that knowledge to a successor.

4. Development Planning Tools – Use these tools to determine priority development competencies.

Assess employees’ development needs and draft a development plan that fits with key organizational priorities.

Workshop: The Small Enterprise Guide to People and Resource Management

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Lay Your Foundations

The Purpose

Set project direction and analyze workforce needs.

Key Benefits Achieved

Planful needs analysis ensures future workforce supports organizational goals.




Set workforce planning goals and success metrics.

  • Work with the leadership team to:
  • Extract key business priorities.
  • Set your goals.

Identify key roles and competency gaps.


Conduct a risk analysis to identify future needs.


Determine readiness of internal successors.

  • Assess workforce needs.

Module 2: Create Your Workforce Plan

The Purpose

Conduct a skill sourcing analysis, and determine competencies to develop internally.

Key Benefits Achieved

A careful analysis ensures skills are being sourced in the most efficient way, and internal development is highly aligned with organizational objectives.




Determine your skill sourcing route.

  • Create a workforce plan.

Determine priority competencies for development.

  • 2.Determine guidelines for employee development.

Module 3: Plan Knowledge Transfer

The Purpose

Discover knowledge to be transferred, and build a transfer plan.

Key Benefits Achieved

Ensure key knowledge is not lost in the event of a departure.




Discover knowledge to be transferred.

  • Discover tacit and explicit knowledge.

Identify the optimal knowledge transfer methods.


Create a knowledge transfer plan.

  • Create a knowledge transfer roadmap.

Module 4: Plan Employee Development

The Purpose

Create a development plan for all staff.

Key Benefits Achieved

A well-structured development plan helps engage and retain employees while driving organizational objectives.




Identify target competencies & draft development goals

  • Assess employees.
  • Prioritize development objectives.

Select development activities and schedule check-ins.

  • Plan development activities.

Build manager coaching skills.

  • Build management skills.


The Small Enterprise Guide to People and Resource Management

Quickly start getting the right people, with the right skills, at the right time

Is this research right for you?

Research Navigation

Managing the people in your department is essential, whether you have three employees or 300. Depending on your available time, resources, and current workforce management maturity, you may choose to focus on the overall essentials, or dive deep into particular areas of talent management. Use the questions below to help guide you to the right Info-Tech resources that best align with your current needs.

Question If you answered "no" If you answered "yes"

Does your IT department have fewer than 15 employees, and is your organization's revenue less than $25 million (USD)?

Review Info-Tech's archive of research for mid-sized and large enterprise clients.

Follow the guidance in this blueprint.

Does your organization require a more rigorous and customizable approach to workforce management?

Follow the guidance in this blueprint.

Review Info-Tech's archive of research for mid-sized and large enterprise clients.

Analyst Perspective

Workforce planning is even more important for small enterprises than large organizations.

It can be tempting to think of workforce planning as a bureaucratic exercise reserved for the largest and most formal of organizations. But workforce planning is never more important than in small enterprises, where every individual accounts for a significant portion of your overall productivity.

Without workforce planning, organizations find themselves in reactive mode, hiring new staff as the need arises. They often pay a premium for having to fill a position quickly or suffer productivity losses when a critical role goes unexpectedly vacant.

A workforce plan helps you anticipate these challenges, come up with solutions to mitigate them, and allocate resources for the most impact, which means a greater return on your workforce investment in the long run.

This blueprint will help you accomplish this quickly and efficiently. It will also provide you with the essential development and knowledge transfer tools to put your plan into action.

This is a picture of Jane Kouptsova

Jane Kouptsova
Senior Research Analyst, CIO Advisory
Info-Tech Research Group

Executive Summary

Your Challenge

52% of small business owners agree that labor quality is their most important problem.1

Almost half of all small businesses face difficulty due to staff turnover.

76% of executives expect the talent market to get even more challenging.2

Common Obstacles

76% of executives expect workforce planning to become a top strategic priority for their organization.2


30% of small businesses do not have a formal HR function.3

Small business leaders are often left at a disadvantage for hiring and retaining the best talent, and they face even more difficulty due to a lack of support from HR.

Small enterprises must solve the strategic workforce planning problem, but they cannot invest the same time or resources that large enterprises have at their disposal.

Info-Tech's Approach

A modular, lightweight approach to workforce planning and talent management, tailored to small enterprises

Clear activities that guide your team to decisive action

Founded on your IT strategy, ensuring you have not just good people, but the right people

Concise yet comprehensive, covering the entire workforce lifecycle from competency planning to development to succession planning and reskilling

Info-Tech Insight

Every resource counts. When one hire represents 10% of your workforce, it is essential to get it right.

1CNBC & SurveyMonkey. 2ADP. 3Clutch.

Labor quality is small enterprise's biggest challenge

The key to solving it is strategic workforce planning

Strategic workforce planning (SWP) is a systematic process designed to identify and address gaps in today's workforce, including pinpointing the human capital needs of the future.

Linking workforce planning with strategic planning ensures that you have the right people in the right positions, in the right places, at the right time, with the knowledge, skills, and attributes to deliver on strategic business goals.

SWP helps you understand the makeup of your current workforce and how well prepared it is or isn't (as the case may be) to meet future IT requirements. By identifying capability gaps early, CIOs can prepare to train or develop current staff and minimize the need for severance payouts and hiring costs, while providing clear career paths to retain high performers.


of small business owners agree that labor quality is their most important problem.1


30% of small businesses have no formal HR function.2


of senior leaders expect workforce planning to become the top strategic challenge for their organization.3

1CNBC & SurveyMonkey. 2Clutch. 3ADP.

Workforce planning matters more for small enterprises

You know that staffing mistakes can cost your department dearly. But did you know the costs are greater for small enterprises?

The price of losing an individual goes beyond the cost of hiring a replacement, which can range from 0.5 to 2 times that employee's salary (Gallup, 2019). Additional costs include loss of productivity, business knowledge, and team morale.

This is a major challenge for large organizations, but the threat is even greater for small enterprises, where a single individual accounts for a large proportion of IT's productivity. Losing one of a team of 10 means 10% of your total output. If that individual was solely responsible for a critical function, your department now faces a significant gap in its capabilities. And the effect on morale is much greater when everyone is on the same close-knit team.

And the threat continues when the staffing error causes you not to lose a valuable employee, but to hire the wrong one instead. When a single individual makes up a large percentage of your workforce, as happens on small teams, the effects of talent management errors are magnified.

A group of 100 triangles is shown above a group of 10 triangles. In each group, one triangle is colored orange, and the rest are colored blue.

Info-Tech Insight

One bad hire on a team of 100 is a problem. One bad hire on a team of 10 is a disaster.

This is an image of Info-Tech's small enterprise guide o people and resource management.

Blueprint pre-step: Determine your starting point

People and Resource management is essential for any organization. But depending on your needs, you may want to start at different stages of the process. Use this slide as a quick reference for how the activities in this blueprint fit together, how they relate to other workforce management resources, and the best starting point for you.

Your IT strategy is an essential input to your workforce plan. It defines your destination, while your workforce is the vessel that carries you there. Ensure you have at least an informal strategy for your department before making major workforce changes, or review Info-Tech's guidance on IT strategy.

This blueprint covers the parts of workforce management that occur to some extent in every organization:

  • Workforce planning
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Development planning

You may additionally want to seek guidance on contract and vendor management, if you outsource some part of your workload outside your core IT staff.

Track metrics

Consider these example metrics for tracking people and resource management success

Project Outcome Metric Baseline Target
Reduced training costs Average cost of training (including facilitation, materials, facilities, equipment, etc.) per IT employee
Reduced number of overtime hours worked Average hours billed at overtime rate per IT employee
Reduced length of hiring period Average number of days between job ad posting and new hire start date
Reduced number of project cancellations due to lack of capacity Total of number of projects cancelled per year
Increased number of projects completed per year (project throughput) Total number of project completions per year
Greater net recruitment rate Number of new recruits/Number of terminations and departures
Reduced turnover and replacement costs Total costs associated with replacing an employee, including position coverage cost, training costs, and productivity loss
Reduced voluntary turnover rate Number of voluntary departures/Total number of employees
Reduced productivity loss following a departure or termination Team or role performance metrics (varies by role) vs. one year ago

Info-Tech offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

“Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful.”

Guided Implementation

“Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track.”


“We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place.”


“Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project.”

Diagnostics and consistent frameworks used throughout all four options

Quickly start getting the right people, with the right skills, at the right time.

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 9 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Workforce Planning
  • Call 1: Scope requirements, objectives, and your specific challenges.
  • Call 2: Assess current workforce needs.
  • Call 3: Explore internal successor readiness.
  • Call 4: Determine skill sourcing route.
  • Call 5: Set priority development competencies.

Guided Implementation 2: Knowledge Transfer
  • Call 1: Identify knowledge to be transferred.
  • Call 2: Create a knowledge transfer plan.

Guided Implementation 3: Development Planning
  • Call 1: Draft development goals and select activities.
  • Call 2: Build managers’ coaching & feedback skills.


Jane Kouptsova

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