Increasingly, companies are able to incorporate performance technology and forecasting matrices into human resources (HR) planning. Larger companies tend to favor quantitative methods in their HR strategies, while smaller companies can more effectively use qualitative methods and managerial discretion. Everything from a company's mission statement to its use of enterprise resource technology can contribute to optimizing the productivity and longevity of its workforce.

The scope of HR planning tools has grown significantly since the last several decades of the 20th century. Much of this has to do with computing technology that has enabled firms to collect data, information and feedback; provide support; and create new incentives for performance. There are entire companies and new products devoted to improving job analysis and personnel development.

One example of a popular project management tool is SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The SWOT technique was developed by Albert Humphrey in the 1960s to help businesses use all forms of capital, including human labor, within a deliberately self-aware framework. The idea is to emphasize positives and work to reduce exposure to weaknesses, constantly encouraging growth. Similar techniques have followed in the footsteps of SWOT, leading to several competing projects and even organizational theories of development.

There are several pillars of successful HR planning, each of which has its own tools and techniques. Companies must be able to find and hire talented employees. Corporate cultures need to be cultivated in ways that encourage productivity and reduce unwanted turnover. Training and development programs should be in place, formally or otherwise, to improve workplace efficiencies. Anything that encourages the growth of output per labor dollar can be pursued.