Succession Resident

Succession Planning Residency and Resources

In 2021, our Compensation and Benefits Analysis found that pooling was expected to lose over 75 percent of top executive talent by 2031. To ensure your pool can navigate any upcoming executive transition — planned or unplanned — it’s important to prepare now.

Our Succession Planning Residency is designed to help pools preserve and transfer vision, skills and knowledge in the event of executive turnover. However, the concepts and tools are also applicable to all pool staff.

NEW: Read our newly released Succession Planning Guide for a comprehensive overview of the succession planning process for top pool executives.

It is recommended but not required that you complete residency initiatives in sequence:

  1. The Big Picture Project, a template-based toolkit to help you articulate your strategic vision to your pool team. There are written and video instructions for the toolkit, and most executives engage with the materials and produce their Big Picture Project slide deck in less than 90 minutes.

  2. Our Knowledge Silo Matrix Exercise, a method for identifying your pool’s critical operational knowledge, expert resources and areas of talent risk. Use our Knowledge Silo Matrix template to identify skill gaps and talent risks across operational silos at your pool. After watching the video tutorials we provide, complete this work independently and at your own pace. (It will only take you a couple hours.)

  3. The Skill Development Plan (SDP), a tool (a) to identify core skills and tasks within your pool’s operational silos and (b) to plan how you’ll transfer knowledge of those skills and tasks. You can refer to the sample plans collaboratively generated by Knowledge Transfer Workshop attendees or generated by AGRiP Executive Director Ann Gergen in preparation for the Oct. 2021 event.

    Also refer to our supplemental materials as needed: 
    • Rules for a Skill Development Plan. This one-pager contains guidelines for writing out skills and tasks as well as questions to measure whether knowledge has been transferred to your apprentices.
    • First Meeting Agenda. Use this template to prepare for your first knowledge transfer meeting with an apprentice.
    • Five Minute Meeting Plan. Use this template to quickly organize knowledge into a structured mentoring meeting outline.


Direct questions about the residency to
Steve Keller.

AGRiP Succession Planning Resources


External Succession Planning Resources

  • Use the Cybrary (login required) to find succession planning resources applicable to public entity pools. Search terms like “succession planning,” “executive succession,” “executive retirement” and so forth. You might focus on tabbed results from member pools, QEI Patrons and associations.

Example resources found through the Cybrary:

AGRiP Presentations

Executive Succession Planning Tips for Pool Governing Bodies (June 2021 AGRiP webinar presented by Steve Trautman)


Emergency Succession Planning
(Aug. 2020 AGRiP webinar presented by Steve Trautman); see associated presentation slides

Steve Trautman

2020–21 Succession Planning Resident

As Succession Planning Resident, Steve Trautman helps pools adequately plan for succession of key organizational leaders and transfer knowledge that’s critical to pool operations. To do this, Steve uses his experience as a talent risk management expert and his practical, data-driven ideas on knowledge transfer. Steve is the principal and founder of The Steve Trautman Co. and has written three books, including Do You Have Who It Takes? Managing Talent Risk in a High-Stakes Technical Workforce.