20 April 2017

Doing Succession Planning the right way

Why Succession Planning is difficult and what would be the best approach how to make it right, in our today’s blog article we write about this topic. Everyone knows it and everyone has made the experience how difficult it is to find the right succession planning approach for key positions. Often there are long lasting processes behind such decisions; in the context of finding the best matching people for the open key positions. If you want to have a closer look into the scientific approach, then you can find for instance a good overview on the Harvard Business Review, which is constantly updating articles related to this topic. Basically it is obvious that there are a lot of theories and instruments, but that doesn’t have to mean much, because theory and practice are often not the same.

Finding the right Successors means having the right intuition, Source: Pexels.com

Talent Pools are decisive in Succession Planning

In our experience in Succession Planning it is important how the organisation or company is built structurally. Are there already human resources development tools, for instance a competence analysis? If yes how are they applied in the context of the Line Managers? Are they trained and know how to apply these rather soft topics and are the developed pictures objective? For further information, we can recommend you to have a look at these Slides about the 5 problems of Succession Planning by ASPE SDLC TRAINING. Then especially in the area of Succession Planning it should be ensured that the objectivity is kept at all times! Whether with the help of the already above mentioned competence analysis or with assessment evaluations, it is important that for all involved participants it is clear what is meant by it. Besides that it is worth it to build a Talent Pool, where the potential internal and external candidates are included, so it is possible to carry out an appropriate Succession Planning process. For instance in the context of internal candidates it is important that companies don’t lose their young professionals out of sight. With the help of a good Talent Pool this won’t be the case.

What is the set up of the HR Software Providers in this topic?

As you already might know there are many HR Software Providers that have created very good Succession Planning solutions within their Talent Management Suites. Very often it is enough to type the keyword Succession Planning on your search engine and one can find a lot of useful information about different HR Software Providers. Furthermore it is important to know that Succession Planning is a module within the Talent Management Suite, which is provided by the respective HR Software Provider. There are many good articles which deal with this in detail, for instance if you check this article by Software Advice, which gives you a good overview about Succession Planning and its theory and what can be improved by using a Software within this process. Basically there is a much bigger choice of Software supported Succession Planning systems than 4 until 5 years ago. The reason is mainly that the HR Software Providers have had a tremendous enhancement phase within this domain in the recent years. Therefore it is worth it to gain deeper insights in different Succession Planning systems. As in other areas we recommend you, that you first think wisely what you might need, before making a decision. It depends on your own planning and what kind of Succession Planning process you are using already. Often the HR Software Provider can only offer you a standard process and you have to align it with your existing HR processes. This doesn’t have to be a disadvantage as you might find a new and better way that can help you improving your processes! So it is always worth it to compare different HR Software solutions.

Conclusion: Keep the balance between theory and practice

Only if you manage that theory and practice are successfully applied you will be able to develop a successful Succession Planning process. The required HR Software systems offer you support for your successful Succession Planning. But the main process shouldn’t be lost sight of, because no Software system in the world can relieve you from that. In the end there are always people that make the decisions and here it is important that Line Managers are trained accordingly, so they are able to make the right decisions for the well-being of the company.

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