How to approach your succession planning? – A step by step guide

Succession Planning – A 5 step guide to ensure that an organisation has the right people at the right place at the right time.

Succession planning is an important component that is integrated into the human resource department of any organisation. It makes sure that the appropriate talent is available at the appropriate time. It is a process that ensures that the organisation is ready and prepared to replace any critical position, if it becomes vacant under sudden circumstances. If a senior manager or a leader or a team member leaves the job due to retirement, change of job, illness or even death, succession planning ensures that a replacement talent is ready and skilled enough occupy the position immediately and function adequately for the organisation. A business succession plan helps to make important decisions and maximise the value of a company. Let’s discuss the succession planning process in detail.

Benefits of Succession Planning

Some benefits of succession planning includes:

  • It ensures that the organisation has the right people at the right place at the right time.
  • Helps individual employees understand their career prospects.
  • Allows the workforce to get new roles, new goals and motivates them to perform better.
  • Provides stability in the management as well as the critical positions in the company.
  • Helps in the transfer of professional and corporate knowledge.
  • Helps an organisation to prepare to handle any emergency faced by the workforce.

An organisational succession planning can be divided into 5 total steps. These are:


1. Recognising the critical positions of the organisation

The focus of the entire succession planning process is on the critical positions of an organisation. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to identify those positions at the first step of the creating a succession plan. A risk analysis can be done to find out how the organisation may react when those critical positions are vacant and how the workforce can handle such vacancies.

2. Identify competencies

Keeping track of your employee’s performance plays a vital role, which is no different in this case. It is crucial to find competencies such as technical skills, behavioural skills, communication, qualification, etc. Each employee must have a clear understanding of the role that they are to play. The process of competencies helps the employees to get a firm grip on the present situation as well as future expectations.

3. Hiring a succession planning company or succession management strategy

Why is this an important part? Well, once you're aware of your critical positions and have found out the competencies and profiled them accordingly, the next big thing is to approach the entire process with proper management. You have to find an appropriate strategy which includes the development of the internal talent pool, recruiting, training, skill assessment, etc.

4.Implementation of succession plan

Now, once you have a strategy of succession planning, you must document all your strategies and plans. With the help of succession management, it is important to implement those plans and convert them into actions. To carry out the entire process smoothly, define roles, timelines, responsibilities and expectations.

5. Evaluate performance

It is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of the succession planning management and agency. This will help you to modify and adjust the necessary steps in future for a better outcome. You can evaluate this by monitoring the workforce data and by keeping all the tracks of each and every step of the entire process systematically.


These are some basic steps that are important to approach your succession planning process, but this is the management's duty to understand when, why and where they have to implement the succession planning. The entire process may become relatively less effective if it is too late. Accurate succession planning is crucial for any organisation to become bigger and successful.

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