Federal IT managers dissatisfied with succession planning, says paper
While agency human capital practitioners think they have delivered effective succession plans, most information technology managers aren't aware of the programs or find them ineffective, according to a paper (.pdf) published by ACT-IAC's human capital shared interest group in June.
All IT managers interviewed for the report said their agency's succession planning program was partially developed, poorly developed or non-existent. Seventy percent said they were not invited to participate in agency- or department-level succession planning discussions, says the paper.
Paper authors point out that succession planning for IT leadership may be lacking because it skew toward senior political appointees, who tend to "execute short-term agency agendas of two years or less, thereby invalidating and/or marginalizing the necessity for long term agency succession planning."
"These 'disconnects' between program managers and succession planning processes indicate that human capital strategies to meet agency goals often times result in insufficient or inadequate outcomes," finds the paper.
Still, 88 percent of IT operational management surveys said succession planning was critical to their program's mission. Some of the IT managers who said succession planning is mission-critical and haven't seen results from their HR team are implementing their own, ad hoc succession plans, says the paper.
"I have a succession plan for my 'department' which I refer to, but the agency succession plan is not a part of the decision-making," said one interviewee, according to the paper.
"When succession planning is performed down at the program level the agency loses opportunities for cross-fertilization. Employees have fewer career enrichment opportunities, and agencies have higher administrative costs for narrower results," concludes the paper.
- download the whitepaper, "Bridging the gap in federal succession planning: Observations on current practices and differences in perceptions between human capital and IT operations managers" (.pdf)