Rather than create one large plan you can create a number of smaller, more manageable
plans, and then link them together. Linking small plans together also gives you
more control over who can access which plans.
However, dealing with linked plans can be unfamiliar at first so it's important
to understand how they work before trying to use them.
Hint: Linking/Unlinking plans changes their structure, so you need
Controller access to a plan in order to change its linking options.
How Linked Plans Work
When we link plans together we end up with two plans, with one position which
is common to both. This 'Linked Position' appears on both plans, and
is always the top position on the lower plan. We essentially treat the Linked Position
as belonging to the upper plan (for editing, security, etc.) but being
visible on the lower plan. The effect is as follows.
While on the upper plan, you can:
- See the Linked Position as normal.
- Make changes to the Linked Position (like renaming it,), which affects the lower
- Delete the Linked Position, breaking the link and leaving the lower plan with its
own copy of that position.
- Add/Change holders and candidates on the linked position, which are not visible
on the lower plan.
- Add/Change other positions which report to the linked position, without affecting
the lower plan. Why?
- On the Organisation Viewer, follow the link down to the lower plan.
While on the lower plan, you:
- Can see the Linked Position at the top of the plan, but it is 'read only'. Why?
- Cannot make changes to the Linked Position (e.g. cannot rename).
- Cannot add/change holders and candidates on the linked position.
- Can add/change other positions which report to the linked position, without affecting
the upper plan.
- Can, on the Organisation Viewer (and if permissions allow), follow the link up to
the upper plan.
Hint: You can create links to multiple lower plans from the same
Linked Position, for example to create alternative scenarios. But be aware that
things can get complicated as the number of links increases, and remember: you can
always link plans up later, so if in doubt, create separate plans first and link
them up later if it helps you to keep things organised.
How to do it?
'Shortcuts' to the link-related functions are included in appropriate menus throughout
the Succession Planning area.
They can also all be found in one place by choosing 'Configure Plan Linking'
in the menu for an individual plan. There you can see how the current plan is linked
up to others, with options to remove/create links or split/join the plan.
Linking and Unlinking
Linking two existing plans
If you have two existing plans which you'd like to link together,
first identify how they should fit together. You need to identify the following:
- An 'upper' plan. Representing the higher levels in your organisation,
it may need more tightly-restricted access.
- A 'lower' plan. Representing the lower levels in your organisation,
it may need less tightly-restricted access.
- A Linked Position. This position will be common to both plans,
and will be the top position of the lower plan.
Once you've identified these, go to the upper plan
, and choose
'Configure Plan Linking'. You want to Link this Plan to an existing plan, so choose
that. You'll then be asked to specify the Linked Position, followed by the lower
plan. Because linking up will change the lower plan, you must have Controller access
to it, and it cannot already be the lower plan of another link.
Careful: When you link down to an existing plan, that lower plan's
top position is removed and the chosen Linked Position takes its
place at the head of the plan. This is because when you link two plans together,
you're saying that there is just one position which is common to
both plans: the Linked Position.
Extending a plan
If you have an existing plan that you want to extend without it getting larger,
you can Link it to a new plan. You'll be choosing a position on
your plan that you would like to extend down from, and creating a new plan which
starts at that position.
So, from the 'Configure Plan Linking' page on your current plan, choose to Link
this plan to a new plan. You'll just be asked to specify the Linked Position which
will become the top position of your new (lower) plan, and a name for the lower
plan. Your new lower plan will be created with the same sharing options as your
existing plan, so if you want to restrict access further you'll need to go to the
new plan and adjust those options accordingly.
Unlinking two plans
If two plans are linked together, that link can be broken from either plan to leave
two independent plans. Go to the 'Configure Plan Linking' page for either plan,
find the link you'd like to remove and click 'Unlink'. When you do this, the plans
become completely separate: each plan will have its own copy of the original Linked
Position, and they can move their separate ways. No other changes are made to either
Splitting and Joining
Splitting a plan in two
Splitting a plan allows you to take one large plan, and split it into two smaller
ones. You can do this from the 'Configure Plan Linking' page for the plan. When
we split a plan in two, we actually create a new lower plan and move the lower positions
onto it. You'll need to choose the Linked Position which will become the top position
of the lower plan, and a name for the lower plan.
The following changes are made:
- Original (upper) plan: Positions below the Linked Position are
moved onto the new lower plan.
- New (lower) plan: Created with the given name, and contains the
Linked Position along with all positions below it. Sharing options are the same
as the original plan and may need to be restricted, but other information (like
Notes) are not copied.
Joining a plan to its parent
When you have two smaller plans that you'd like to become one larger one, you need
to join them together. In plan you join 'upwards', the lower plan adding to the
upper one - its parent. To do this, go to the 'Configure Plan Linking' page for
the lower plan, and choose 'Join this plan back to its parent'.
Careful: Positions on the lower plan will be moved up onto the
parent plan, but any other information relating to the lower plan (e.g. comments)
will be lost. Where information can be sensibly transferred up to the parent plan
along with the positions (like notes and attachments), you'll be given a choice
to either move them up, or lose them.
Controlling Security with Linked Plans
In the Succession Planning area, you can Share plans with others. However, you can't
control access to individual bits (e.g. positions/holders/candidates) of a single
Plan, only to the Plan as a whole. However, using multiple smaller plans allows
you to individually set the sharing options for each plan, perhaps restricting access
to the higher-level plans.
For example, you can restrict access to the Executive-level succession plan, while
still allowing colleagues in Finance and IT access to the respective linked plans
for their areas - of course, privileged users will be able to see both and move