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Succession Planning Checklist

Do you think your organization has Succession Planning under control? Double check with SIGMA’s Succession Planning Checklist. This checklist is a quick measure of the maturity level of your organization’s Succession Plan and what areas need to be improved.

Are you engaging in succession planning?

Business Succession Planning Checklist

Get Executive Support

When evaluating your succession plan, the first thing you need to ask yourself is whether you have executive support. Executive support is critical for an effective succession planning process. As we know, the number one reason these plans fail is the lack of interest or endorsement from senior leadership. Consider both your CEO and your leadership team when assessing the executive support for your plan. Answer the following questions:

  • Is your Succession Planning initiative supported by your CEO?
  • Is Succession supported by the entire leadership team?

Evaluate Your Succession Planning Process

Next, think about your current succession planning process. Do you use a proven process that you can be confident in? And is it easy for you to understand and communicate this process to others?

Provide Internal Communication About Succession

Once you have a succession plan in place, be sure to communicate the plan with the organization. Think about whether your process is transparent at all levels, or if it is only accessible to your executive team. Ask yourself whether you are you clearly communicating the succession plan to:

  • all members of the organization
  • management
  • individual succession candidates

In addition to communicating the plan, team leaders must also be prepared to have formal conversations with succession candidates. Ensure leaders are ready to have candid discussions with their team regarding each succession candidate’s readiness for the role. It is important that leadership has the right tools to support development discussions with their successors.

Create Formal Succession Documentation

Next, consider how formally your succession plan is documented. Is there something for the leadership team to review annually? And does your company make regular updates to your succession process? Does your Succession Plan include:

Hold Your Team Accountable to Your Succession Plan

Once you’ve considered the nuts and bolts of your succession plan, it’s time to think about the implementation. How are people held accountable to your succession plan? Do you create timelines and goals for your leaders and your internal or external candidates to meet? Do you have a scheduled annual review that includes your entire leadership team? Because without these milestones, it can be easy for succession planning to be put on the back burner.

Future-Proof Your Succession Plan

Finally, we should think about how succession planning is positioned within your company. Does it align with the strategic plan of your organization? Does it plan for all critical roles or does it only focus on your CEO? A functional plan is built to keep the future in mind at every step of the process. Consider the following when evaluating the maturity of your succession plan:

  • Are recruitment, hiring, and talent development aligned with your succession plan?
  • Have the Success Profiles been built with the future in mind?
  • Are you focused on developing a pipeline of talent for each critical position vs. identifying one successor?

Evaluate the Maturity of Your Succession Plan with SIGMA

Regardless of your score above, SIGMA’s Succession Planning Launch can help.  With just two separate half-day workshops, SIGMA’s Succession Planning Launch Series delivers a comprehensive full-year implementation plan customized for each member of your executive team.  Contact us to find out more.

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About the Author

Glen Harrison

Vice President

Glen oversees SIGMA’s sales and marketing activities. As a skilled presenter and trainer, he has designed and delivered engaging and entertaining workshops and webinars to help leaders and HR professionals enhance their understanding of how our products and services can be used to realize potential within their organizations.