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Succession Planning

Succession planning is a part of an ongoing workforce plan which assesses and identifies internal staff for mission-critical and/or leadership roles within the agency.  The process of succession planning allows an organization to look critically at their workforce to anticipate future needs both in new skills needed as well as in future vacancy risks.  For many state organizations this work will need to happen when looking at upcoming retirements of the baby boom generation. 

In the development of a succession plan, organizations will need to identify strategies to find talent to fill these positions.  If internal candidates are not available, a succession planning strategy may include recruitment of external qualified staff (buy strategy), development of internal talent (build) or restructuring the position to meet future agency goals.

To determine a strategy consider the following: 
  1. Identify High Impact Positions: Which positions need successors?  As the organization's workforce changes, some positions will have a greater impact on organization goals. 
  2. Succession Management Strategy: What needs to be done differently?  The types of action that an organization takes in planning for successors vary.  Can the organization develop internal staff or will external talent be needed?
  3. Create a Plan: How can the organization prepare for succession?  How will the organization develop staff?  What recruitment strategies need to be improved?  Who will take action, what are the timelines?
  4. Monitor and Evaluate: Is the plan working?  What type of system can be used to monitor results, make changes to the model, and evaluate what is working?