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How to go about succession planning

Work Life
 It is a well-thought and deliberate process. [iStockphoto]

An organization is structural in the sense that many departments come together to achieve the vision.

Succession planning is the process of identifying the critical positions within your organization and developing action plans for individuals to assume those positions.

Key elements of succession planning

Defined goals

This will focus more to help employees increase their expertise, learn managerial skills, or something else.

Tasks or requirements

This is essentially a list of requirements for what is needed in order to reach the end goal of the succession plan.


Knowing how much time employee development may take will help your organization align the succession plan with times when you need people to step into new roles.


Define how much money or what resources you will dedicate to succession planning, as that will shape every other element of your organization’s plan


Finally, define how you plan to introduce, execute, and measure the results of a succession plan.

Steps towards a successful succession plan

It is a well-thought and deliberate process that involves the following steps:

Identify key positions

Analyze business plans to identify the positions most critical for business growth.

Identify potential successors

Establish the key competencies required to undertake these roles and the high potential employees that could step up and assume these positions.

Determine when will the potential successors be ready

Recognize the timeframe of your successor’s readiness to take on the role. Are they ready to commence development now? In the short term? Or, in the long term?

Determine what development needs they have

Determine the training and development required to fill skill gaps and prepare them for advancement. This can include mentoring, on-the-job training as well as external courses.

Ensure an ongoing commitment

Managers in all parts of the organization should be continually identifying gaps in talent and focusing on the development of high performers.

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