In preparation for launching into a Succession Management implementation, there are some key concepts associated with Succession Management that project teams should always consider to ensure a successful deployment. I have discovered that customers who consider these key concepts from the very beginning tend to have more success in making proper design considerations throughout the course of the project. As a project team, the following are some very important considerations.

Goals of Succession Management

As I work with customers, I try to gauge early on what the customer’s goals are for deploying Succession Management. As a project team, you want to be able to clearly articulate how you intend to deploy the process within your organization. What we know is that Succession Management and Career Development planning processes are designed to work together to address two main objectives. Meeting the business needs of the organization to identify the right talent for targeted roles, and to empower the employee to achieve their career and development goals. Organizations who can bridge the gap between the two will have a more successful deployment of Succession and Development Planning processes.

Defining Succession

I often find that different people have different perspectives on what Succession Management means to them. My recommendation to customers is to focus on clearly defining what this means for your organization and coming to consensus early on. As a project team, the more that the team can consistently define the process and terminology that supports the process, the better off you will be in your deployment.

Business Drivers

Related to the above, you should have clear business drivers to be able to articulate the reasons for your investment in Succession Management. Based on a national survey of talent management professionals, “Source: Effective Succession Planning by William Rothwell, 2011”, these are the top 5 business and talent management drivers used to justify investment:

  • Support for your strategic plan
  • Identify talent gaps for top leadership
  • Increase bench strength for key positions
  • Increase retention for high-potential employees
  • Drive engagement across the organization

As a project team, your design decisions should map back to your top business drivers for your company.

Goals and Metrics for Succession

Lastly, one of the most important aspects of a successful deployment is to be able to demonstrate both the need and potential success of the initiative based on metrics. As a team, the earlier you can identify the type of goals and key metrics you desire, the better design and configuration decisions will be made throughout the course of the project. The focus should be on capturing meaningful talent data that help drive and assess Succession and Development programs.

Overall, I enjoyed having the opportunity to share this information at the event. While these concepts seem straightforward, the earlier you can begin to address these, the more successful your deployment will be.