Succession planning tools help your organization prepare for upcoming expert or executive departures. The industry-leading tools developed here at The Steve Trautman Co. enable you to:

  • Locate talent risks within your organization and mitigate them.
  • Break the work your expert does down into teachable moments that can be smoothly transferred to their successor.
  • Test your successors to ensure they are ready to step into their new role.
  • Track not only the work that needs to be transferred but also the work that will cease when your expert leaves (and other blind spots in your current succession plan).
  • And more…

To help you prepare your own transition plans, this blog post will introduce you to the specialized succession planning tools we use to carry out successful employment transitions.


Succession Planning Template

The harsh reality is that since no two cases of succession planning are alike, there is no such thing as a succession planning template. While the certified consultants here at The Steve Trautman Co. do follow a loose step-by-step process, this process is intentionally vague so that it can be customized to meet the unique needs of each succession plan we do.

If someone promises you an easy template for succession planning, they are trying to fleece you, not help you.

While we cannot supply you with a one-size-fits-all template solution for succession planning, we can provide you with a number of effective tools that will enable you to fine-tune your succession plan for success.


Succession Planning Tools & Resources

The Steve Trautman Co. has spent decades developing and refining a set of tools that enable us to create and execute effective succession plans. By partnering with us, your organization will gain access to these resources and can use them to perfect your own succession plans.

The following is a brief introduction to each tool, the advantages these offer your company, and some of the best practices you should follow while using these tools.


The Knowledge Silo Matrix

Often, experts and executives have difficulty putting the exact tasks they do into words, and so it is difficult to prepare a succession plan for them as you are unsure exactly what skills a successor will need.

The Knowledge Silo Matrix, or KSM, provides a framework that experts and executives can use to articulate the work they do. Additionally, the KSM highlights the unique value that an individual brings to your organization and their associated talent risks. For these reasons, the KSM is much more specific than traditional alternatives, like competency models.

The KSM enables you to quickly get to the secret sauce that makes an individual worth writing a succession plan for.

Knowledge Silo Matrix Best Practices

A couple of practical tips to help you make the most out of the KSM while succession planning are:

  • Use the KSM to break your expert’s work down into blocks that can be taught within one year. Then break these blocks down into bite-sized tasks. Within the context of succession planning, “tasks” are units of work that can be taught to a successor within one hour.
  • Be very open to finding multiple successors for a departing expert. It’s common for experts to do a lot of work that is outside the purview of their job title. To ensure that your primary successor succeeds in their role, offload the expert’s work that is unrelated to the primary role onto other successors.


Skill Development Plans for Succession Planning

Our Skill Development Plans (SDP) take the results of the KSM a step further, helping you turn all the identified “tasks” into an actionable learning plan. Again, within the context of succession planning, “tasks” are units of work that can be taught to a successor within one hour.

Armed with a Skill Development Plan, your successor will know how many tasks they have to learn and the order in which they should learn them.

Another advantage of using our Skill Development Plan tool is that it also identifies all the work that will stop once your expert or current executive departs. This is a crucial step that many succession planning tools forget to account for.

Don’t wait until you have people asking “Why hasn’t X work been done this week?” Use our Skill Development Plan to uncover every action that will stop occurring when the successor takes over. This will mitigate blind spots and enable you to go into a succession with your eyes wide open. The SDP enables you to actively choose which activities to stop and which to pass on.

Best Practices For Your Skill Development Plans

Here are a couple of tips to help you make the most out of the SDP:

  • Be practical. Make sure the skill development plan includes the actual work activity your expert does, not simply the competencies they exhibit.
  • Write everything down. Making a record of all the work to be passed on and the work you plan to stop ensures that all participants in the succession are on the same page. Writing everything down also turns the SDP into a resource that your successor can refer to in the future.


Knowledge Transfer Tests

Our Knowledge Transfer Tests are powerful succession planning tools that work for every kind of job, from relationship-based positions to jobs that are heavily technical. They demystify work by helping apprentices track their progress through their Skill Development Plans.

An additional benefit of our Knowledge Transfer Tests is that they provide a framework for dialogue between the target departee and their successor. Instead of stressing over how best to use the limited time a departee has at the company, your successor can use the Knowledge Transfer Test to quickly determine which blocks of work require attention.


Expert Coaching for Knowledge Transfer Sessions

The knowledge transfer session is where the rubber of succession planning meets the road. These one-hour sessions put your expert and successor together so that your departing expert can prepare their replacement for the succession.

Again, our specialized tools will provide an easy-to-follow framework for these knowledge transfer sessions. To streamline the process even further, if you partner with The Steve Trautman Co. for your succession planning, our certified consultants will coach your expert and successor on how to conduct these sessions.

We understand that most people are not born teachers, which is why we’ve developed a coaching system for getting your expert and successor up and running in as little as two days. From there on, your expert and successor will be able to run the sessions autonomously, using the tools provided above (KSM, SDP, & Knowledge Transfer Tests) as a road map for their knowledge transfer sessions.


Unlock Access to These Succession Planning Tools

The key to an effective succession plan is not waiting until your expert has already announced their exit. By using the Knowledge Silo Matrix and Skill Development Plan, you can identify talent vulnerabilities within your organization and begin training apprentices now. Doing this ensures that your company experiences minimal disruption during eventual successions.

To unlock access to Steve Trautman Co.’s industry-leading succession planning tools, contact our team today.