Succession Planning: Building Bench Strength

Company Profile:

A manufacturing company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska; 2600 employees spanning nine plants across the country.


The CEO and Vice President of Human Resources recognized that a few of the executives would be retiring within the next two to seven years, many of whom did not have a clear successor. Most of the top levels of management did not have career paths for employees or plans to fill key roles as positions became vacant. There was a lot of talk about preparing people, but little planning and action.

Revela Solution

The succession planning process began with the executive team working through a SWOT analysis. The purpose of this was to think about the human resource needs for the future company versus what was needed at the time of the exercise. From this information, each executive identified the critical skills, knowledge, and experiences for their own position and those of key positions across the company. Job descriptions were updated to reflect the future needs.


Next, we assessed the skills, knowledge, and experience of potential candidates. This information was documented so that it could be updated as individuals gained knowledge, skills, and experience. Through this assessment process, it became clear who potential candidates might be and the training and experiences needed to prepare them or find positions that suited them better.


Following the assessment phase, the executive team created an organization chart identifying potential candidates for each key position, working to find multiple options where possible. These organization charts included timeframes of how long the person would likely fill that role before moving on to another position or leaving the company.


Assumptions for these decisions and options were included with the organization chart for future reference.


Executives and managers then met with the people on their team to determine individual goals and aspirations for the future. From these discussions, charts were updated and training and experience plans were created to provide each person with the support they needed as they prepared for future roles.


The CEO, Vice President of Human Resources, each area executive, and Revela met to review each plan to challenge assumptions and identify overlaps between departments.  During this process, the human resources department gathered information related to recruiting, training, and experience required to build the resources and support necessary.

Where We Are Today

Today, this is an annual process. Plans and job descriptions are updated and supports are created. There is more depth within all of the key positions than ever before.

Why Succession Planning With Revela?

Because of the experience of working with companies of different sizes and numbers of locations, Revela can guide a company through the various steps and challenge the current thinking to prepare for the future. Revela creates a process and the discipline to help companies not lose sight of preparing people for the future.

Revela Process
  • The succession planning process is always customized according to the goal(s) of the company.
  • Determine future company human resource needs.
  • Update job descriptions after identifying core competencies for each position.
  • Assess potential candidates for each role.
  • Create a training and experience plan for each candidate.
  • Help human resources create a support process.
  • Implement the plan and review annually.