FAQ: Succession Planner

Answers to common questions about Succession Planner.

How do I?
Is there available a trial version of Succession Planner?

Yes. The Succession Planner sample planning file was created for this purpose. The demo file is preloaded with sample data so that you can familiarize yourself with the tool and educate leaders and other key players who will later need to collaborate with you to administer the process. While you cannot add data to this demonstration template, all of the functions and features are fully enabled. Download the sample planning file from the Succession Planner product page. While you are there, be sure to download the free User Guide at the same time.

I am trying to use the free sample demo version. How do I find out how to use it?

The fully illustrated User Guide is packaged within the zip file you received. You can also download the free User Guide from the Succession Planner product page or click this Succession Planner User Guide link.

Is Succession Planner compatible with Macintosh computers?

You should experience no problems reading our PDF files as long as you have the Acrobat (or similar) PDF reader installed. Our Microsoft Office for Windows doc and xls files can be read on Mac OS 8 or later with Mac Office 4.2 or later. Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac dropped VBA support, which means that our Training Tracker, Project Master and Succession Planner cannot be opened on this version of Office for Mac. Please note that we do not support our products on Mac systems.

How do I?
How do I obtain the free upgrade to Succession Planner Version 2.0?

Send your proof of purchase to us at products@businessperform.com  Proof can be your original confirmation email that you received from our e-commerce transaction processor. If you cannot locate your confirmation email, send us the year and month of purchase, the name and company name of the purchaser and their address. Once we confirm purchase in our database, we will send version 2.0 to you by return email.

I downloaded the file and when try to open it Excel gives a message saying that it contains macros. How do I open the file?
  1. If you are using Microsoft Excel 2002(XP) or Excel 2003, on the main menu bar under Tools > Macro > Security, set the security level to Medium.
  2. If you are using Microsoft Excel 2007, set the trust setting to the default setting. Click the Microsoft Office Button, then click Excel Options, then in the Trust Center category click Trust Center Settings, then click Macro Settings and then click Disable all macros with notification.
How can I import our employee names from our existing database into the All Data sheet without having to retype them all?

You can copy and paste the bulk list of employee names into the All Data sheet by following these steps:

  1. Save your workbook (in case the paste operation fails).
  2. Select the names you want to copy from the other source.
  3. Press Control+C to copy the names to the clipboard.
  4. Select the first cell in the Name column on the All Data sheet where you want to paste the names.
  5. Select Paste Special - Text from the Excel menu bar or ribbon. If you are pasting from another MS Excel workbook, Select Paste Special - Values.

Ensure that you use the Paste Special command and not the usual Paste command, as the cell formats will be overwritten. In addition, please ensure that you never use the Cut command to remove data from the All Data worksheet.

I tried to install Succession Planner, but my computer says that it does not recognize the file.

Both the sample demo file and the full purchased version are supplied as a compressed zip file. If your computer does not recognize zip files, visit www.winzip.com or www.7-zip.org to download the zip file compressor/extractor. Follow the instructions to install the software to your computer and then double click the zip file again.

When I try to replace a name on the All Data sheet using Find and Replace, I am prompted for a password to unprotect the sheet.

To replace one person's name with another one on the All Data sheet, follow these steps:

  1. Use the "Finder" function in cell B1 to find all instances of the affected person.
  2. Make the appropriate changes in column B. For example, add a new person whilst keeping the former, or replace the former person's name with a new name.
  3. Change all instances of the former person's name that needs to be changed in "Reports to" and "Successor by Rank".
  4. If the former person was replaced by a new person, change their values in the ratings section as well.
I am trying to modify a worksheet, but I get a message asking me for the password.

The various worksheets in the workbook are protected to guarantee the integrity of our product. The various worksheets contain complex formulae and formatting, which are at risk of being overwritten by users of the workbook. To give out these passwords would cancel our warranty of the product.

You are able to complete all tasks described in the User Guide without unlocking password protected sheets. If you wish to customize the product, please contact us with details of your desired changes and we will be pleased to offer you a quotation for our customization services.

Our organization is very large, with many divisions. Your tool will be used on one standalone computer only. How many licenses do we need?

Where the computer is not connected to a network, you will require a single user license only. Other people may use the tool on the same computer, but not at the same time.

Each of our company's three divisions undertakes their own succession planning. How many licenses do I need?

If one person in each division will be using Succession Planner on their own computer, you will need to purchase three licenses. If succession planning is also conducted at the corporate level, above the three divisions, by a fourth person on a separate computer, then you will need to purchase a fourth license.

Is my single license sufficient as I now want to also install the tool on my laptop and access Succession Planner on the company's network from my home computer?

If you are the only person using Succession Planner on one computer at work, then installing Succession Planner on your laptop computer will not require an additional license. This use is regarded as personal use on another computer by the license holder. However, to access Succession Planner over the network will require the purchase of an additional license for each computer accessing Succession Planner. If your home computer will be the only computer accessing the tool over the network, then you will be required to purchase one additional license.

We have three part-time HR staff members using the tool on the one computer. Can we buy just one license?

If the three part-time staff use Succession Planner at different times, you will need to purchase a single user license only.

I have been transferred to another division within my company. Can I delete the existing data and files and start again with new data in my new division?

Yes, on the condition that you remove entirely all program files and data files produced by Succession Planner, including all copies of workbooks, assessment forms and the Process Guide. If you wish to leave behind any such files, you will need to purchase an additional license for the new division.

I have left my current organization. Can I take Succession Planner with me and install it on my new employer's computer?

No. Your new organization will need to purchase the requisite number of licenses for use in the organization.

I manage succession planning for four different divisions within my company. How many licenses do I need to buy?

If Succession Planner is installed on a single computer, you will require a single user license. However, if other people will be accessing the tool on other standalone computers or over a network, your organization will require additional licenses.

Some HR Officers will use the tool on home computers, some from networked workstations and some from standalone laptops. How do I work out licenses needed?

First, divide the computers that will be used to access the software into two groups: standalone and networked.

  1. For the standalone computers, count the number of computers and the number of non-simultaneous users and, if they are different, take the lesser of the two numbers.
  2. For the networked computers, count the number of computers used by the HR Officers. Now add the two counts. The total count represents the number of licenses your organization requires.

Say, for example, your situation is this. You have 20 HR staffs in your organization. Six HR Officers will be working on succession planning with the various business units. Two will be working on standalone computers from home, four will be working from networked workstations and two of those will also use standalone laptops.

In your case, your organization will need to purchase eight licenses. It works like this. The number of standalone computers is four (two home computers plus two laptops). The number of people using the tool on these computers is also four. The numbers are identical, so the count is four. Next, the count of the number of networked workstations accessing the tool is four. Adding these two counts (four plus four) yields eight required licenses.

I have purchased one license. How many copies of the Succession Planning Assessment Form can I print or copy?

You may print, copy and use an unlimited number of forms on the condition that the forms are used for their intended purpose and the people using the forms received the forms from a valid license holder.

I have purchased one license. How many copies of the Succession Planner Process Guide can I print or copy?

You may print or duplicate one copy only for each valid license that you hold. If you purchased one license, you may print one copy only.

Can I use the tool and Process Guide in a client organization until the organization has the capability to manage succession planning independently?

If you are an external consultant and want to use the tool and Process Guide to introduce, implement or manage succession planning in a client organization, your client organization will need to purchase the requisite number of licenses directly from Business Performance Pty Ltd. Unauthorized third parties, including unauthorized external consultants and contractors, are prohibited from selling, reselling, licensing, renting, leasing or lending Succession Planner. Third parties are free to, and actively encouraged to, distribute and demonstrate the sample demonstration version to help close a contract. Following this, the client organization will need to purchase Succession Planner directly from us.

I want to sell Succession Planner to a customer, but play no role in its implementation and management.

The license expressly prohibits onselling by unauthorized third parties. Customers and client organizations are required to purchase Succession Planner directly from Business Performance Pty Ltd. You are free to distribute the complete and unmodified sample demonstration version to whomever you wish. You are prohibited from receiving any kind of payment for such distribution. If you wish to become an authorized reseller of Succession Planner, please contact us.


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