Assess Development Needs

The Fourth Step in the Succession Planning Process

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Succession planning is a vital process for any forward-thinking organization. At SIGMA, we understand the importance of preparing individuals for future leadership roles. The key to effective talent development for succession lies in accurately understanding and assessing the development needs of succession candidates. Our development needs assessment process is designed to ensure that future leaders are thoroughly prepared to meet the challenges and fulfill the responsibilities of their upcoming roles with confidence and competence.

How it Works

Number 1

Initial communication: We start by clearly communicating the purpose and process of the development needs assessments to the candidates. This stage is crucial for establishing trust and understanding.

Number 2

Candidate assessment: Candidates complete the LSP-R, an online self-report assessment that takes approximately 25 minutes to complete. This scientifically validated tool is designed to identify both strengths and areas for development in line with the leadership skills identified in the organization’s SIGMA Success Profiles™.

Number 3

Analysis and insights: Our team provides an in-depth analysis of the assessment results. We offer insights into common strengths and development areas within the organization, aiding in strategic talent development planning.

Number 4

Debriefing and discussion: SIGMA’s succession planning experts conduct debriefing sessions with candidates, ensuring they understand their reports and can effectively use the information for their personal development.

Why Work with Us?

Navigating the complexities of talent assessment and development can be difficult. At SIGMA, we specialize in guiding organizations through these challenges. Our expertise in talent assessment, paired with our experience effectively communicating and administering these tools, sets us apart. By partnering with SIGMA, you can alleviate the common challenges of choosing, administering, and interpreting assessments, ensuring a smooth and effective succession process.

The benefits of collaborating with SIGMA for assessing development needs include:

Objective and scientific assessment

One of the primary challenges at this stage of the succession planning process is the risk of using subjective judgment to evaluate candidate potential. SIGMA employs scientifically validated tools, such as the LSP-R, to ensure assessments are objective and reliable. This approach minimizes personal biases and provides a clear understanding of each candidate’s strengths and development areas.

Effective communication and administration

Organizations often struggle with effectively communicating the purpose and process of assessments to candidates. SIGMA aids in crafting clear communication strategies, ensuring candidates are well-informed and comfortable with the assessment process. This helps in gaining candidate trust and participation, which is vital for the success of the assessment phase.

Customized analysis and insight

Analyzing assessment data to extract meaningful insights is a critical component of a strong succession planning strategy. SIGMA provides a detailed analysis of assessment results, offering insights into an organization’s shared strengths, common development gaps, and most critical competencies for development. This helps organizations implement development efforts that focus on the most important development needs so that they can get the most value for their investment.

Comprehensive resources and support

Organizations may lack the necessary resources to adequately support candidates’ post-assessment. SIGMA offers an array of resources, including development workbooks and coaching, to assist candidates in addressing their development areas effectively.

The SIGMA Advantage

Choosing SIGMA means committing to an evidence-based and development-focused approach to needs assessment. We employ a selection of assessment tools that are carefully aligned with the specific leadership competencies your organization values. Our team of expert consultants excels in the administration and interpretation of assessments with precision and insight, ensuring that the development needs of your candidates are accurately identified and addressed.

Data-driven methodology used by SIGMA Assessment Systems.

Data-Driven Methodology

Our tools, templates, and exercises don’t just standardize the process; they bring precision and clarity, underpinned by data.

Expertise and experience from SIGMA Assessment Systems.

Expertise and Experience

Utilize our team’s deep expertise in succession planning, honed by years of working across diverse industries and organizational structures.

SIGMA Assessment Systems uses a customized approach.

Customized Approach

No two organizations are the same. Our assessment development solutions are tailored to fit the unique needs, culture, and strategic objectives of each client.

Meet the Team


Erica Sutherland, Ph.D.

Senior Consultant & Executive Coach

Erica completed her Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational psychology at Western University. She is a Senior Consultant at SIGMA, where she delivers consulting services and Succession Planning solutions to clients. As a member of SIGMA’s executive coaching team, Erica works one-on-one with leaders to develop talent. She also brings her expertise in measurement and psychometrics to the R&D team, assisting with the development and validation of SIGMA’s many assessments.


Brittney Anderson, Ph.D.

Senior Consultant & Executive Coach

Brittney is a member of our coaching and consulting team. She brings her expertise in evidence-based practice to provide companies with leadership solutions that meet their needs. Primarily, Brittney helps her clients prepare for their future with succession planning and comprehensive leadership development programs. As an executive coach, she helps leaders hone their skills using a process-based approach to development.

Arieana Thompson, Ph.D.

Senior Consultant

Arieana is a senior leadership consultant. She believes in positively transforming the modern-day workplace through thought-provoking, evidence-based insights. Arieana is a subject matter expert in executive leadership, succession management, wellness cultures, and employee growth. In her work at SIGMA, she supports executive teams with succession planning and leadership development and assessment.


Glen Harrison is an organizational transformation consultant and succession planning expert. Over the course of his career, Glen has worked with one-third of the Fortune 500 list and with every level of government in Canada and the United States. Having worked with numerous clients to build robust succession plans from the ground up, Glen has extensive experience in the application of SIGMA’s products and services to help organizations realize their people potential.

To support you in assessing succession candidates’ development needs, we offer various tools and resources, including: