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Plan ahead…before it’s too late – 3 ways project management helps in succession planning

succession planning
We know – you’ve heard it a thousand times: you MUST have a succession plan, and you must have it now. The problem is, many companies still don’t have a plan, and/or, don’t have one that takes into account all the different levels and roles within their company. This usually stems from the fact that many companies don’t actually know where to start with their succession planning, particularly as it relates to the lower levels of their company or organization. Don’t worry – we have you covered! Based on our 30 years of experience as project managers, we’ve compiled the following list of 3 ways project management helps in succession planning, and why it matters to you:

1. Highlights skillsets amongst your existing employees

As we’ve discussed in other blogs, project management is one of the best business tools available for companies for highlighting the strengths of their existing employee base. It creates an environment separate from daily tasks, therefore allowing employees and teams to try and often excel at tasks and skills typically underutilized. Why does this matter for succession planning? Understanding your employees’ true strengths and weaknesses lets you know who will best fit in the overall succession plan. This helps identify the roles they will best fit into, how well they will work with others, and what suggestions you might obtain from other employees as they see peer talents come to light.

2. Showcases where your gaps are, i.e. what you need to hire for

Just as project management allows the skillsets of your employees to be highlighted as mentioned above, it also readily shows you the current gaps you have within your employee base, and overall company structure. How? Because the project manager provides a neutral 3rd party view of your company, and will show you what, why and how to fix any issues discovered during their project management time. Understanding this is monumental in implementing a successful succession plan because it allows you hire and/or put hiring instructions in place for key individuals and processes not currently implemented. It also helps ensure that all information is documented from key individuals so businesses are not left high and dry if an instrumental employee leaves the company or retires early. Maintaining company history and protecting institutional knowledge can make all the difference for the organization’s future.

3. Promotes a healthy company culture – i.e. happy employees = happy company

A vitally important element of any succession plan is keeping the company culture alive, no matter what changes a company might go through. Project management has proven to be extremely successful in helping to promote, increase, and create a sustainable positive company culture. It can also help ensure that the right elements of your company culture are documented in the succession plan, because it will take into account employee feelings and needs, as well as maintaining the overall company mission and vision.

The above examples are just three of many that should serve as an important lesson: companies must start now to look for tools they can use, such as project management, to make certain their succession plans are thorough and speak to all parts of the company. This is more important than ever in our multi-generational workforce. Don’t wait – explore what project management can do for you today.

Interested in learning more about how project management can influence and assist in your succession planning efforts? Contact our team at today!

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