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Succession Planning

Succession planning is a systematic process of identifying and developing the talent pool for key positions that have a significant impact on the mission of an organization. It also mitigates the risks associated with the planned or unplanned loss of knowledge and skills critical to the organization’s success.

Succession planning complements and is a follow-up to workforce planning. Succession planning efforts build a pipeline/talent pool to ensure continuity by developing potential successors who could compete for future positions. The decision to pursue succession planning is typically determined in Step 3 (Develop Action Plan) of the USGS Workforce Planning Model as a result of analysis in Step 2 (Supply, Demand, Discrepancies) of the USGS Workforce Planning Model. 

Some may ask if succession planning can be done without workforce planning. It depends. If the intention is to prepare a talent pool for a position targeted for succession planning, it is best to determine what position(s) to target during the workforce planning process. If the intention is to capture knowledge of soon-to-be-departing staff, this does not require a workforce planning process. Select succession planning tools can be used on an as-needed basis, like the Knowledge Transfer Questions or the Succession Profile Worksheet. See the resources below to learn more.




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