You may have the talent in place to meet your operational needs today, but what about tomorrow? Succession planning is a vital exercise to help your company determine critical roles, distinguish what skills will be needed to sustain them in the future, and then identify suitable candidates to develop to take over those positions. Succession planning requires close coordination with diversity and workforce planning activities, and can no longer be conducted behind closed doors. In these pages, we look at succession planning models and best practices. As with all things, what works at one company may not gain traction at another. The first step in any succession planning strategy is to understand your organization fully so you can design a plan that plays to your strengths and prepares for your challenges.