succession-planningThrough your succession planning process, you recruit superior employees, develop their knowledge, skills, and abilities, and prepare them for advancement or promotion into ever more challenging roles. ~ Wikipedia

Why is Succession Planning Important

According to Business Succession Planning for Dummies by Arnold Dahlke:

In today’s rapidly changing world — with its new technologies, new markets, and new global mobility — succession planning matters more than ever before. When your organization has a visible succession plan:

  • It signals to your employees that you’re focused on their long-term future by protecting your organization from the havoc that unwelcome departures can create.
  • It assures clients and customers and helps preserve their confidence in your organization because they know that it will continue to provide products and/or services without interruption.
  • It helps focus people’s attention on the competencies they need to do an excellent job.
  • It puts more focus on developing talent from within your organization. People will know that with targeted education, training, and coaching, they could move into key positions. This boosts overall motivation, morale, and satisfaction in the organization.


How do the Software Succession Planning Tools help an Organization

Some software available today can make succession planning easy and effective. For example the Halogen Software tool uses a phased approach to succession planning:
Going through various levels of understanding the workforce potential, to developing internal talent and recruiting successors from within the process becomes more streamlined and beneficial for larger organizations.


Succession Planning Best Practices

No matter how prepared you are there would be some surprises..and there cannot be a cookie cutter approach for all organizations.
There’s a lot of good advice out there on best practices on succession planning, I agree completely with these two from a study by Pepperdine university:

  • Align succession management within overall business strategy. Line executives are much more likely to support a system that clearly reinforces corporate goals and objectives.
  • Secure senior level support for the process. None of the best practice firms would have been as successful without top management endorsement and support.


What has been your experience with succession planing and what works best for your organization?