Plan for Success - a Usecase for Succession Planning

INTRODUCTION

Succession planning is a strategic process to identify the next set of managers/leaders/business heads as the current people move on to new opportunities within or outside the organization. This process is key to ensuring the sustainability and continuity of business. But it’s not just that, succession planning also helps you chart the career tracks of your employees, thereby plan their learning and development as well.

THE CHALLENGE

It is a natural process for employees to move higher up in the organization or leave the organization for different new opportunities. The organizations need to prepare and plan for that so that they have the next set of people who will take up their roles and keep the business continuity. Despite knowing that, many organizations do not have a structure or process for succession planning.

These are some of the challenges organizations face:

  • Lack of understanding of skills and expertise needed for all roles of the organization
  • Finding the potential candidate often starts AFTER someone leaves. Precious time is wasted before the role is filled again
  • Due to the lack of structure, they are unable to identify potential candidates within the organization to fill the gaps efficiently
  • Since there are no charted career paths of employees, they often feel disengaged and find more value in roles outside of the organization
  • Decision making could sometimes be biased or based on previous performance. However, sometimes the new roles could demand a different set of skills and often times, the best bets of HR professionals fail.

THE SOLUTION

The solution to this is a structured succession planning process. The best part about succession planning for tech teams is that the skills are so tangible that with the right tools and assessments, it becomes simple to plan for role successions. Broadly the roles can be divided as leadership roles and non-leadership roles. Leadership/management roles could comprise of Team Leads, Project Managers, Architects etc., Every role is unique. For ex: A project manager requires wider experience across multiple skills but an Architect requires deeper expertise in one particular technology/skill. Non-leadership roles comprise of other roles within the teams which are lateral roles where an employee’s natural progression would be. These roles require multiple skills and deep expertise in a few of them.

PLANNING FOR SUCCESSION

  • Organization should leverage technology to set up several assessments to identify the skills, expertise, and knowledge required to fill the roles
  • By using various forms of evaluation which could be a combination of past performance, potential, and formal assessments of skills, the organization can identify the potential candidates
  • Not only that, an organization wide skill matrix can be created to identify and map out the career tracks for employees
  • Assessments could be integrated with the appraisal process to accurately identify the growth of the employees for their transitions
  • Assessment platforms like Yaksha provide auto-generated reports and analysis which identifies the skills, strengths, and development areas of candidates so that HR professionals can make better decisions about selecting potential candidates for various role progressions
  • Assessments would also help L&D professionals hyper personalize the learning programs and journeys for maximum training impact

In the Data to Decision era we live in, assessments provide valuable insights into the skill matrix of the organization, map out the career journeys of existing employees, identify gaps and enable better hiring and L&D, as well as plan for succession within the organization. Using a smart assessments platform like Yaksha would reduce manual efforts, help make unbiased and accurate decisions and ensure business continuity in the VUCA world.