While the succession management process differs from one organization to another, there are certain characteristics of an effective program that are universal:
1 Succession management smooths transitions. Having someone available to step into an important vacancy is a critical measure of the effectiveness of succession management. However, helping that person make the transition in a positive manner with all the necessary skills and knowledge is as important and often more challenging to execute.
2 The right developmental assignments. A successful process includes job assignments that properly prepare candidates for their new positions, rather than taking a sink-or-swim approach.
3 Meaningful appraisals and feedback. Objective assessments are essential in order for management to specify what's required for a successful promotion.
4 Appropriate selection criteria. A successful succession management plan depends on the development of competencies for each job, giving everyone involved a clear picture of the skills, values, behavior and attitudes required to succeed.
5 A range of good choices. A working succession plan results in having more than one good person available for a key job. Real success requires choices between two or more qualified people.