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Understanding the Succession Planning Process
The process by which you train and prepare employees to fill crucial roles within an organization is known as succession planning. This process ensures that the business continues its day-to-day operations as usual. This article will highlight the steps in the succession planning process.
Timeline and Training
No matter the type or size of your organization, succession planning is essential to continue to have your business run smoothly upon your departure. It’s important to identify your successor well in advance so that they may be properly trained for the role. This training may occur years in advance of the anticipated exit from the company. You may identify someone who needs to start at a lower position within the company and work their way up through the ranks to achieve a thorough training and knowledge base or you may have to cross-train them for several different roles.
Identify the Positions Needing Successors
Although succession planning usually refers to high-leadership roles in a company, it can apply to other roles as well. One of the first steps in this process is to recognize which roles within your company will need a successor if the current employee leaves. You’ll want to analyze which positions impact the revenue or growth of the company. This profit could be compromised if a successor is not put into place.
Informing Key Players
You’ll want to have a discussion with all the key players, those currently in a role identified as needing a successor and those who you would like to groom to take the role over. You should make sure that everyone is agreeable and on the same page. The current employee should be willing to train their successor so that a seamless transition can take place once the time comes. The person identified as the successor should be motivated to learn the role they will step into one day and a timeline should be established. Typically these identified successors feel an increase of pride and a greater investment in the company, according to The Balance website.
Internal vs. External Successors
Identifying an internal successor has multiple benefits. They know the company’s culture, have a sense of loyalty from currently working there and have been through the basic training program. In addition, they know colleagues internally and may also know some of the external clients as well. In cases where a suitable internal employee can’t be identified, an external one may have to be. This will entail more effort and time to be invested in finding and training a suitable candidate.
Succession Planning Benefit
Succession planning is a key necessity in running an efficient business. You want to have a plan for the future of the company, and identifying and training successors to step into key roles will ensure that your organization doesn’t miss a beat.
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NHS England business continuity management toolkit
This document highlights the need for Business Continuity Management (BCM) in NHS organisations so that they can maintain continuity of key services in the face of disruption from identified local risks. Under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (as amended), all NHS organisations have a duty to put in place continuity arrangements. The toolkit is driven by the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle along with being updated in line with both ISO 22301 principles, as well as the Business Continuity Good Practice Guidelines 2018.
NHS England is not responsible for content on external websites.
Accessible version of version 2.
Published 20 April 2023.
PDF version of version 2.
NHS England business continuity management toolkit: part 1 – plan
Part 1 of the supporting documentation refers to the ‘Plan’ aspect of the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle. Here is where an organisation establishes the Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) by developing a policy, as well as using documentation and templates. This section also allows organisations to embed Business Continuity into their culture.
NHS England business continuity management toolkit: part 2 – do
Part 2 of the cycle is attributed to ‘Do’ element of the PDCA cycle. This section defines business continuity requirements, determines how to address them and develop procedures to manage a disruptive incident. Once your BCMS is designed, it is necessary to implement it successfully. In order to do this, NHS organisations should understand their role and how to complete documentation that is required for the BCMS to be effective.
NHS England business continuity management toolkit: part 3 – check
Part 3 focusses on the ‘Check’ aspect of the PDCA cycle. This part of the cycle summarises the requirements necessary to measure business continuity management performance for an organisation. It also links to the BCMS compliance and seeks feedback from top management regarding expectations, gaps and inconsistencies.
NHS England business continuity management toolkit: part 4 – act
Part 4 of the PDCA cycle refers to ‘Act’. It identifies and acts on BCMS non-conformance through corrective action. The review of your system also allows the potential to make changes based on updated guidance and changes to the organisation.
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- Data Security Standard 7 - Continuity planning
- Know your services (7.1.1)
This guidance relates to the 2023-24 (version 6) standard.
A continuity plan is in place to respond to threats to data security, including significant data breaches or near misses, and it is tested once a year as a minimum, with a report to senior management.
Standard 7, National Data Guardian (NDG) review
A business continuity exercise is run every year as a minimum, with guidance and templates available from the toolkit.
Those in key roles will receive dedicated training, so as to make judicious use of the available materials, ensuring that planning is modelled around the needs of their own business.
There should be a clear focus on enabling senior management to make good decisions, and this requires genuine understanding of the topic, as well as the good use of plain English.
The business continuity lifecycle is a continuous cycle of:
- testing and acceptance
Please refer to further note on professional judgement, auditing and UK GDPR .
Last edited: 28 September 2023 11:07 am
- Business continuity and disaster recovery - part 1 (7.1.2)
- Business continuity and disaster recovery - part 2 (7.1.2 - 7.1.4)
- Business continuity and disaster recovery - part 3 (7.2.1 - 7.2.2)
- Business continuity and disaster recovery - part 4 (7.3.1 - 7.3.6)