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What’s your Plan for When a Key Team Member Leaves?

What’s your Plan for When a Key Team Member Leaves?

Avoiding a catastrophe when you lose your SPoF

Here are 5 ideas for keeping an SPoF from shutting down your chapter.

  1. Make sure Bob has an understudy. No person is an island. Each individual should have at least one backup or partner, who understands the role and can jump in as needed.
  2. Learn what your boards, committee members, and volunteers do. Even something as simple as a vacation can cause undue stress if there’s no one who knows what needs to be done.
  3. Make each person’s responsibilities easily accessible. Don’t spend hours trying to find out what a person does.
  4. Have solid transition plans. Be sure you know what needs to be done, if you do have a role that can only be managed by a single person and that person leaves.
  5. Decrease the number of different systems you use. Consider consolidating the number of systems and processes used to run your chapter. Having one system for email, membership, the website, and more means all of your information is stored in a single place. It also allows your board members easy access to that information, and you’re not relying on the passwords and technology habits of a single person.

If you have no way of getting around relying on one person for something, you need to identify that person and plan for his or her unexpected departure. It’s not a complicated process, just one that requires you to identify your SPoF and have a plan to mitigate the risk if it happens. You may need to spend a bit of money and time, to purchase new systems, learn responsibilities, build relationships with new vendors, or develop alternative processes. This isn’t a one-and-done exercise, but one that should be repeated regularly, to account for any changes in processes and systems. 

Without a plan for avoiding an SPoF, your chapter could be doomed. What’s your plan for ensuring your chapter survives and can still execute its mission if a key member leaves?


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