Benefits and Compensation

Two Helpful Templates Simplify Succession Planning

Yesterday’s Advisor featured succession planning tips from Consultant Mary Anne Kennedy; today, two valuable templates she offers to serve as basic documents for succession planning.

Kennedy, who is the principal consultant of MAKHR Consulting, LLC, and author of the career coaching book “Finding The Right Job; A Step By Step Approach,” offered her succession planning tips at a recent BLR-sponsored webinar.

Candidate Readiness Template


Current Incum-bent

Expected Opening

Ready Now

1–2 Years

3–5 Years

VP of Operations



Name Candidates

Candidates ready in 1 to 2 years

Ready in 3 to 5 years

Site Director


2 years

Name Candidates

Candidates ready in 1 to 2 years

Ready in 3 to 5 years

Regional Leader
(4) Positions


1 position within 6 months

Name Candidates

Candidates ready in 1 to 2 years

Ready in 3 to 5 years

Succession Planning Job Matrix Template

The Succession Planning Job Matrix Template condensed key succession information onto one page. It recognizes basic behaviors required, lists job requirements, clarifies essential skills, and notes the development value of experience. Because it’s a one-pager, managers can grasp it pretty quickly, Kennedy says.

It’s the brave new world of HR. Start your strategic thinking with BLR’s new practical guide: HR Playbook: HR’s Game Plan for the Future.

Succession Planning Job Matrix Template
Critical Position: Director Global Product Planning


Knowledge, Skills, Abilities & Other Requirements

Regarding Skills

Development Value of Experience

Core Behavior (these are the core behaviors that you require of any manager)

1. Developing and managing supply chain and materials management processes.
2. Sourcing and purchasing knowledge
3. Developing and managing supply chain systems (project management)
4. Experience in supply chain planning, materials management
5. Understanding sales and marketing strategies
6. Achieving financial targets and managing P&Ls
7. Redesign /reengineering of operations
8. Managing in a matrix environment—creating alignment
9. Managing people across geographical and cultural boundaries
10. People management
11. Regulatory (e.g. product filings, market authorizations) and EHS knowledge

Essential Skills:
1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11

Skills for which incumbent may rely on staff experts:
4, 7,12

Skills that can be developed:

Skills for which a basic understanding is required:
4, 7, 12

• Visibility into all aspects of the business—from sales to manufacturing
• Broadens international business experience
• Scope
•Operating in a very complex, matrix environment
• Managing a large organization at all levels
• Could potentially move into Senior Director
Global Product Plan


Other Skills






Feeder Positions Providing Requisite Experiences:
Associate Director Global Product Planning

Key Learnings

Kennedy offers the following final tips:

  • Recruit and retain top talent by implementing an effective succession planning program.
  • Ensure assessment tools are robust and clearly defined with measurable results, including behaviors.
  • Be transparent by communicating often and clearly.
  • Obtain a legal review before execution of the salary cut strategy to mitigate risk.
  • Solicit and act on feedback.

Succession planning, recruiting, and retention are going to be challenges in 2015. Are you planning for these challenges—and all the others as well? From compensation plans to engagement to development, the brave new world of HR is here. Are you prepared for changes that are unparalleled in scope and impact?

  • Employees all over the world, many of whom you’ve never met in person
  • Technological advances and big data
  • Talent management challenges like Millennials managing Baby Boomers you once thought would have retired years ago
  • Big data on everything from hiring strategies to retention predictions
  • Sweeping regulatory changes in the areas of health care, immigration, and privacy that have necessitated massive changes in the way you do business
  • And the new normal—doing more … with less

HR 2015? Time to start planning with BLR’s new HR Playbook. Find out more or order here—HR Playbook: HR’s Game Plan for the Future.

It’s a lot to keep track of—and it’s not going to get easier. To help you get your head around big-picture strategy for 2015 and beyond, HR’s Game Plan for the Future provides a detailed rundown of trends, case studies, and best practices in the following areas:

  • Recruiting and Hiring
  • Onboarding
  • Social Media and Technology
  • Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS)
  • Flexibility and Work/Life Balance
  • Outsourcing
  • Diversity
  • Talent Management
  • Employee Engagement and Retention
  • Succession Planning
  • Telecommuting

Find out more or order here—HR’s Game Plan for the Future.