Hi all I am interested in knowing the difference between the succession and career planning.Also the process invloved in them. Can anyone help me out?. Durga
From India, Coimbatore

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SUCCESSION planning is an element of career management process.

It is an outcome of

-corporate strategic planning

-corporate objectives

-corporate strategy.

Hence you need to review this in detail.


Outline for Succession Planning

Define where you currently are in your succession planning process.

What positions are you planning for?

What key people have you designated for succeeding to higher positions?

Where are they in their experience, education and training schedules?

What has changed since your last review?

What other candidates can you identify, either for future needs or to replace people who were in the process and either left your company or did not work out as expected?

What has changed inside your company which might alter where you have been planning to go with your succession plan?

How have the current candidates performed to date?

What jobs have changed, and how have they changed, since your last review?

What new opportunities, technologies and other issues have emerged which may lead to change in the succession plan, its objectives or tactics?

Define where you want your succession plan to take you, especially in light of your current strategic plan.

What will you look like in three to five years and what will your key people be doing then?

What openings will you need to fill due to attrition, promotion or expansion?

What new disciplines will the company require, and how will you fill them?

How does your succession plan fit with your expectation of where your company, your markets and your internal situation will likely be going?

Define how you will get from where you are today to what you want the company to look like at the end of your current planning horizon.

Who will be involved and what will each be doing?

When will they start and end each part of the process and how will you judge their progress?

What criteria will be used to determine each candidate’s ongoing fitness for his or her career path?

Does each candidate offer and demonstrate continuing potential and progress toward meeting the requirements you have established?

On what basis will you determine if someone is not progressing appropriately, and what can you do to help that person develop to the fullest extent?

What alternatives can you offer those who are not meeting expectations?

Once a plan is in place and people are in the process of being groomed for higher responsibilities and positions, where do you go from here? As indicated above, this is an ongoing process. You establish goals, select candidates, establish training and educational processes, initiate the process of selecting and training with each individual, and monitor developments. As the Simplified Strategic Planning process teaches, you continually update your status, review your assumptions about where you want to go and how you will get there, modify your strategies and the resulting actions/action plans, and continually feed back environmental developments. As your situation changes, you alter your objectives to match the appropriate strategies, make mid-course corrections, and continue your ongoing management processes as a part of the regular course of business.

At each planning interval (usually annually), you will go through the entire process just as you go through your Strategic Planning process. You ask the same types of questions, make the same types of analyses as enunciated above, make whatever changes and modifications are indicated by the circumstances, update your goals and procedures, and proceed with the ongoing processes. Where you need additional talent, you perform appropriate searches, both inside and outside the company. You are basically limited by your resources, both human and capital, and your needs, and how far your “headlights” allow you to see into the future. Will you be totally correct? No, it is not likely you will get it totally right. But, you will get better as you do this process on a regular basis, and you will get better with time and repetition. You have the on-going advantage of being able to make mid-course corrections, so you shouldn’t go too far wrong.

Succession Planning

focus on a particular step in the succession-planning process.

Develop a communication strategy

Identify expected vacancies

Determine critical positions

Identify current and future competencies for positions

Develop a recruitment strategy

Create assessment and selection tools

Supplement HR functions to include active recruiting and staffing

Identify gaps in current employee and candidate competency levels

Develop Individual Development Plans for employees

Develop and implement coaching and mentoring programs

Assist with leadership transition and development

Develop an evaluation plan for succession management

Data Input Table

Critical Role Selection

Organisation Hierarchy

Competency Data by role/position

Manager Ratings

Employee Aspirations

Employee Readiness

Employee History

Performance Rating

HR Rating (High Potential and Others)

Data Outputs Table

Critical Role List

Role List without nominated successors

Nominated Successors Short List (Based on weighted data which is customized)

Full Succession Plan

High Potential Report

Readiness Report

Drill down to individual Development Plans – ensure development is appropriate for the individual

Management development plans/career counseling/mentoring/

management training/ education.

The system provides you with instant answers across your entire Talent Pool. Succession Planning is now available not just for the executive team but for your entire Talent Pool.

================================================== =================


Career Planning is a critical element / outcome of SUCCESSION PLANNING,

Performance appraisal and Potential assessment systems.

The process of career planning

Career planning is the key process in career management. It uses all the information provided by the organization's assessments of requirements, the assessments of performance and potential and the management succession plans, and translates it in the form of individual career development programs and general arrangements for management development, career counseling, mentoring and management training.

Career planning ‑ the competency band approach

It is possible to define career progression in terms of the competencies required by individuals to carry out work at progressive levels of responsibility or contribution. These levels can be described as competency bands.

Competencies would be defined as the attributes and behavioral characteristics needed to perform effectively at each discrete level in a job or career family. The number of levels would vary according to the range of competencies required in a particular job family. For each band, the experience and training needed to achieve the competency level would be defined.

These definitions would provide a career map incorporating 'aiming points' for individuals, who would be made aware of the competency levels they must reach in order to achieve progress in their careers. This would help them to plan their own development, although support and guidance should be provided by their managers, and HR specialists . The provision of additional experience and training could be arranged as appropriate, but it would be important to clarify what individual employees need to do for themselves if they want to progress within the organization.

The advantage of this approach is that people are provided with aiming points and an understanding of what they need to do to reach them. One of the major causes of frustration and job dissatisfaction is the absence of this information.

A competency band career development approach can be linked to

Aiming points

1. Competence band 1 definition

Basic training and experience

2. Competence band 2 definition

Continuation of medium training and experience

3.Competence band 3 definition

Continuation of advanced training and experience

Career planning is for core people as well as high‑flyers

The philosophy upon which career plans are based refers not only to advancing careers to meet organizational and individual requirements, but also the need to maximize the potential of the people in the organization in terms of productivity and satisfaction under conditions of change, when development does not necessarily mean promotion.

career planning is for individuals as well as the organization

Career planning procedures are always based on what the organization needs. But they have to recognize that organizational needs will not be satisfied if individual needs are neglected. Career planning has to be concerned with the management of diversity.

Career plans must therefore recognize that:

* members of the organization should receive recognition as individuals with unique needs, wants, and abilities;

* individuals are more motivated by an organization that responds to their aspirations and needs;

* individuals can grow, change and seek new directions if they are given the right opportunities, encouragement and guidance.

Career planning techniques

Career planning uses all the information generated by the succession plans, performance, and potential assessments and self‑assessments to develop programs and procedures which are designed to implement career management policies, achieve succession planning objectives and generally improve motivation, commitment and performance. The procedures used are those concerned with:

0 personal development planning .

0 training and management development.

0 mentoring

0 career counseling

In addition, career planning procedures may cater for the rising stars by 'fast tracking' them, that is, deliberately accelerating promotion and giving them opportunities to display and enlarge their talents. But these procedures should pay just as much, if not more, attention to those managers who are following the middle route of steady, albeit unspectacular, progression.

1. Career counseling

Performance management processes, should provide for counseling sessions between individuals and their managers. These sessions should give the former the opportunity to discuss their aspirations and the latter the chance to comment on them ‑ helpfully ‑ and, at a later stage, to put forward specific

career development proposals to be fed into the overall career management programs.


2.Personal development planning

Personal development planning is carried out by individuals with guidance, encouragement and help from their managers/HRM as required. A personal development plan sets out the actions people propose to take to learn and to develop themselves. They take responsibility for formulating and implementing the plan, but they receive support from the organization and their managers in doing so. The purpose is to provide a 'self‑organized learning framework'.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3. MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT

Formal approaches to management development

The formal approaches to management development include:

* development on the job through coaching, counseling, monitoring and feedback by managers on a continuous basis associated with the use of performance management processes to identify and satisfy development needs, and with mentoring;

* development through work experience, which includes job rotation, job enlargement, taking part in project teams or task groups, 'action learning', and secondment outside the organization;

*formal training by means of internal or external courses;

*structured self‑development by following self‑managed learning programs agreed as a personal development plan or learning contract with the manager or a management development adviser ‑ these may include guidance reading or the deliberate extension of knowledge or acquisition of new skills on the job.



Mentoring is the process of using specially selected and trained individuals to provide guidance and advice which will help to develop the careers of the 'proteges' Allocated to them.

Mentoring is aimed at complementing learning on the job, which must always be the best way of acquiring the particular skills and knowledge the job holder needs. Mentoring also complements formal training by providing those who benefit from it with individual guidance from experienced managers who are 'wise in the ways of the organization'.

Mentors provide for the person or persons allocated to them :

advice in drawing up self‑development programs or learning contracts; general help with learning programs; guidance on how to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to do a new job; advice on dealing with any administrative, technical or people problems individuals meet.




From India, Mumbai
Dear Mr. Lingham,
Thank u so much for the very beneficiary information about succession & career planning.
I am new to the field of HR and has been wondering how do they do such planning.
Taghreed Michael

Dear Mr. Lingham, Thanx for sharing with us the information on career and succession planning . Durga
From India, Coimbatore
Hi Leo, Just wondering.. what would the difference be between Succession planning and Leadership Development? Would appreciate your thoughts on this Thanks, Raaj
From India, Bangalore
hope this document helps you



also here is a generic policy for succesion planning

Succession Planning Policy

Succession planning is the process that organizations use to identify and prepare candidates for high-level management positions that become vacant due to retirement, resignation, death or new business opportunities. Recognizing that changes in management are inevitable, [Name of Company] has established a succession plan to provide continuity in leadership and avoid extended and costly vacancies in key positions.

The President/CEO is responsible for [Name of Company]’s succession plan. The President/CEO chairs the Succession Planning Committee which also includes the Executive Vice President, the General Counsel and the Vice Presidents of Human Resources and Finance. The Committee establishes a succession plan that identifies critical executive and management positions, forecasts future vacancies in those positions and identifies potential managers who would fill vacancies. Vacancies will be filled from within or, in the event no viable candidate is available, on an “acting” basis while an external recruitment effort is conducted. The succession plan must be reviewed within one week of any change in the positions included in the plan and within one month of the beginning of each new calendar year.

From United States, Saint Louis

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here is a survey that might help you as well. cheers! rekha
From United States, Saint Louis

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File Type: ppt succession_planning_powerpoint_survey_211.ppt (656.0 KB, 3676 views)


Succession planning is a part of the process of preparing for the future of your company. Does this mean you should only plan a succession path for your CEO? Suggest that virtually every key position and key person in your organization is a candidate for a succession plan. The important impact is that it is virtually impossible to successfully promote someone unless there is a trained person to take over the position being vacated.


The succession planning could include various positions like


-VICE PRESIDENTS [ finance/ marketing/ manufacturing/etc]

-MARKETING MANAGER [ line function]

-SALES MANAGER [ line function]


-LEGAL MANAGER [staff function].



The succession planning includes both line managers and staff managers.

In succession planning, all criteria are scanned including functional

competence as well as other competences like LEADERSHIP .

FOR ALL POSITIONS, whether it is line or staff managers, the

LEADERSHIP is a must.



SO when the career management committee meet, they review

-career management policies

-then the succession plans

-then the performance appraisals

-then the potential assessment

-then the career planning for individuals

of which, LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT is a critical element.


-focusing on future for accomplishing higher purpose.

-people performance management

-envision of end-states porcess

-creative planning

-team building / team development

-relationship building

-culture development

-motivating others

-managing rewards

-creative continuous improvements

-problem solving

-decision making

-establishing directions

-aligning people with objectives

-manage change

etc etc

hope this is useful to you



From India, Mumbai
Lingam ur post was really helpful & easy to understand....
i'm new to this site doing my mba.. nw its time to start a project.. i'm interested in succession planning.. the topic for research is "how effective is sucession planning" i'm just a beginner & know only the abc's of it..i need to create a questionnaire can you give me suggestion on the topic & how can i prepare an effective questionnaire a model might be helpful please help..

eva ,



The questionnaire is used to elicit people's perception/ opinion

on the current practices in succession planning.



================================================== =====

*How is your business doing currently?

*How did it fare in the last 3 years?

*What is your estimated prediction for the next 3 years?

*What strategic issues can hinder this predicted growth?

*Is talent availability/succession planning one of those issues?

*Is there a plan to overcome this?

*What is the current bench strength?

*How many would be required in the next 3 year?


*Will this issue -talent availability/succession planning -

be treated as a priority, by the management?


*Will this issue be part of regular workforce planning ?

*Will this issue be a part of succession planning?

*Will this issue be a part of GAP CLOSING STRATEGY?

*Will this issue be combined with regular selection/development?

*Will this issue be treated as a multi year process ?



-identifying the requirements

-identifying the high potential candidates

-put them through intentional learning experiences

-select the best

-evaluate the success.




*creating profile of leadership jobs

*creating profile of management



*objective measures like sales/production/etc

*subjective measures like total contribution /team effort etc

*accountable for complex jobs



*accumalted skills / experience

*ability to learn new skills

*willing to tackle bigger/complex challenges





*attracting -create an employer brand

*soucing - using varieties of strategies

*selecting- using effective selection process



*maximizing the value of the current high potential

*using the performance management systems

*realigning the capabilities and responding to the

changing conditions.



*employment value proposition--offer the potentials

what they want.

*offer the potentials a systematic and targeted development



WITHIN your organization, what kind of talent development/succession planning

activities are carried out

-skill building classrom workshops




-developmental experience

-short term assignments

-action learning



WHAT MATTERS MOST FOR talent development/succession planning

-job experience matters most

-accelerated development of high performers

-provide people candid feedback on strength / weaknesses

-making coaching a part of each development discussion

-forge mentoring relationship to build motivation and


-focused training program or career transition, technical

skills and leadership development.





-visible support from top management

-responsibility for talents owned by line management

-simple and tailored programs unique to the organization

-flexible and linked to company business plan

-evolved from a thorough HR review process

-based on objective assessment of candidates

-incorporate candidate's inputs

-part of broad management development efforts

-emphasize on accountability and follow up.


1.Talent management /succession planning is the process of ensuring

that the organization attracts, retains, motivates and develops the

talented people it needs.

-do you have such a process in your company?


2. developing the organization as an 'employer of choice' ‑ a 'great place to work';

-do you have a program to make the organization an ''employer of choic''?


3. using selection and recruitment procedures that ensure that good quality

people are recruited who are likely to thrive in the organization and stay with

it for a reasonable length of time;

-does your company undertake such a campaign?


4. designing jobs and developing roles which give people opportunities to apply

and grow their skills and provide them with autonomy, interest and challenge;

-does your HR undertake such assignments ?


5. providing talented staff with opportunities for career development ‑and growth;

-is there such a program in your organization?


6. creating a working environment in which work processes and facilities enable

rewarding (in the broadest sense) jobs and roles to be designed and developed;

-does your organization facilitate these developments?


7. developing the leadership qualities of line managers;

recognizing those with talent by rewarding excellence, enterprise and achieve­


-do you have these as part of your leadership development programs


8. succession planning ‑ ensuring that the organization has suitable people to fill

vacancies arising from promotion, retirement or death;

-do you have a succession planning program in your organization?


9. conducting talent audits which identify those with potential and those who might

leave the organizations.

-does your company organize talent auditing periodically ?


10.good opportunities for development, training and career progression;

-does the organization offer facilities for progression?


11.a reasonable degree of security;

-does your organization offer security for talents retention


12. enhanced future employability because of the reputation of the organization

as one that employs and develops high quality people,

as well as the learning opportunities it provides;

-is there scope for development / opportunities for talents

================================================== =======

13.better facilities and scope for creative employees.

-does your organization encourage creative talents


14. employment conditions that satisfy work‑life balance needs;

-is the employment conditions encourage creativity?


15. a reward system that recognizes and values contribution,

and provides competitive pay and benefits.

- can the current reward system sustain talents


================================================== =====


Intensify YOUR efforts to hire hard-to-find and increasingly expensive people from



17.Do little or nothing

and probably experience competitive decline


Tap into the quality people already in the organisation thus growing and keeping their

own talent.

================================================== =============

Fundamentally, there are three main arguments in support of effective Talent

Management/ Succession Planning:

19.Argument #1: Recurring costs are reduced

Put simply, it is more cost effective to identify, develop and retain management talent

than to replace lost talent with recruitment from the external labour market. Various

studies estimate (conservatively) the cost of replacing an executive can run into several

times the salary of that executive.


20.Argument #2: Economic outputs improve

Over the last several years, there has been a growing body of research and evidence

that clearly shows the incremental economic value that talented, high performing people



21.Argument #3: Enterprise value is maximised

Research shows a major difference in average share performance between

organisations with a culture of talent management, and those without.


================================================== ===

22.Only start if you have CEO


*CEO stewardship for talent management is critical for

generating the profile, commitment and focus on the

management of talent.



23.Gain line management


*Line managers are expected to coach and support their talented

direct reports towards development and career goals, a process

that should cascade from the CEO and senior executives.



24.HR must act as facilitators

*HR’s role is to facilitate the management of talent and to act as

coaches and consultants to the line managers. For it to be truly

successful, talent management cannot be seen as simply an HR






From India, Mumbai

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