Afolabi Ajayi
Hr/mktg Consultant
Recruitment Manager
Process Safety Enginner - Bp
+3 Others

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Hi Groupies...
Can someone throw some light on Succession Planning and various phases involved in the same.
A Gallup released article says that ... succession planning starts with
*identify the best internal candidates for each position
*develop potential successors in ways that best fits their strengths
*concentrate key resources on the succession-planning and talent-development process to yield a greater return on investment
I'm sure theres much more to this.
Thanks in advance.

From India, Pune
The key human resource issue for private and public sector organizations is how to identify, develop and retain talented leaders of the future. The essence of any organization's success is having in place not just people, but rather the right people to lead tomorrow who live the values today – so they can sustain the culture. Succession planning has been identified as one of the main sources for employee retention.

Typical Steps to Implement focus Succession Planning

1. Identify staffing needed to implement organization strategy. Develop succession planning metrics.

2. Select critical jobs. Decide on optimal replacement chart and pool structure.

3. Assess candidates.

4. Select back-ups.

5. Implement development plans.

6. Track progress against metrics for individual candidates and the program overall.

Here are some interesting articles on succussion planning

Five Steps for Successful Succession Planning <link updated to site home> ( Search On Cite | Search On Google )

The Strategy of Succession Planning by M. Dana Baldwin

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.

From India, Gurgaon
So far the discussion has centred mainly (IMHO) on the WHAT of succession planning, and less so on the HOW.
Readers may wish to look at the work of Elliott Jaques in this regard.
Jaques suggests that the person best placed to determine the accountabilities, responsibilities and authorities that make up a role is the manager of that role, NOT one of the incumbents of that role, for the manager has the bigger picture view of the role.
Furthermore Jaques suggests that management hierarchies should not be designed around spans of control (how many people should a manager look after) and levels of pay etc, but around the time space of discretion. Succession planning then focuses on matching the cognitive potential of an individual to the complexities of the role - visit, join for free and search on 'elliot jaques'!

From United Kingdom,
It is intellectually ideal for us to brain-storm on Succession Plan, however the Supervising Manager has a latent duty to perform right from the on-set that is from the point of selection through induction.

We need not wait till when there is an internal vacancy to be filled.

As Hr Practitioners we are to advice colleagues in our depts and others that we should groom surbordinates for positions of authority by not just giving out lorry loads of responsibilties but inclusive should be, same level of authority to carry out such functions.

In this way remotely they are being prepared for managerial functions.

When we delegate we should delegate with all sincerity with the view that our surbordinates should make it a learning process having told them how to go about such functions.

We need not wait until some one is going on leave or resigning form the Company.

In some business ventures officers are made to learn the rope by being scheduled to take it upon themselves Managing Director roles in turns from department to department and so goes for other managerial functions.

The scenerio created above makes it a delibrate learning and talent management environment.

All the concepts given by our colleagues in Gallup are alright, correct but we must migrate from conceptualization to real life scenerios.

Ability to do based on Supervisors insincts is not sufficient but opportunity must be granted to express such abilityies as well.


Afolabi Ajayi

From Nigeria, Lagos
I have begun to look at the tools & software available for succession and resource planning. I currently work in the technical branch at the BP Bulwer Island Refinery in Australia. We are trying to find ways to efficiently and effectively develop resourcing and succession plans and I am looking for further information.

We are in the early stages of this project but plan for it to be something that BP sites globally can roll out.

The broad idea is that we want to be able to put inputs such as individuals progression (including current job, experience level, number of years working, discipline (what type of engineer for example), level in the organisation, current pay rate) and jobs in the organisation (including skill requirements, experience expected, level in the organisation) into the software. From these data entries the desired outputs would be graphs for jobs (over time to identify where there are gaps for example - when we need to hire people and for what) or graphs for work groups (number of employees, years of experience of employees).

The aim is to be able to efficiently update resource plans and do longer term succession plans that change as the organisation and employees do.

Currently we use a very labour intensive excel spreadsheet to complete these plans and due to the time required in setting them up only complete them once or twice a year. We would be looking at something that can be done and then updated monthly or at most quarterly.

Is there something out there people know of that could do this?

Kind Regards and thank you in advance


Thanks very much for this comment. It help me to think about my ideals.
Apart from that, you also ref more information at: Succession Planning Books

Tks again and pls keep posting

From Vietnam, Hanoi
hello ,
I am on my winter internship project on succession planning . my job is to identify key successors to people retiring before 2018 among the company itself. as this is a psu so there are very less chances of people to leave the comapny .i have done my job in excel manpower data. now i want to add more value to my project so what else can i do ?? eg identifying training needs for the successors.....
reply asap ... its urgent

From India, Pune
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