Written by Heather Wood

Development Planning is an important piece of the annual performance management process and when done correctly is designed to help you:

  • Think through your job/career goals
  • Focus on developing knowledge and skills for your current position and for future job opportunities
  • Think about how to better utilize your strengths, talents, experience, and passion in your work

To assist with planning, don’t forget the following tips:

Completing a development plan should be a joint effort between you and your manager. The plan is not intended to be a “wish list,” but a realistic working document.  An individual development plan reflects your personal career development needs and interests in the context of departmental needs and your job.

Assess your skills, interests, and career aspirations.

  • Short Term Goals
    What areas do you want to develop over the year to two? Perhaps you want to manage a particular project, add a new responsibility to your job, or further develop a skill or area of knowledge.
  • Long Term Goals
    What do you hope to achieve in the next 3 or more years?

Identify specific development focus areas. Each development area should be a skill, competency or area of knowledge you want to develop in relation to your short and long term goals.

Outline a strategy for achieving your development objectives.  This includes documenting the actions and activities planned with realistic time frames for accomplishing each activity.  Development opportunities can take many forms, and a mix of experiential learning and training should be included.

Key points to remember about the development plan:

  • It is designed to be a blueprint for your success
  • It is designed to be a working document it should change as time goes on
  • As priorities and needs change, update your development plan
  • The planning and talking between a manager and employee is the most important and beneficial aspect of creating a development plan
  • If you don’t accomplish everything on your development plan it doesn’t mean you failed priorities and resources change throughout the year

At MCG Partners we are passionate about helping managers and leaders develop themselves and their teams.If you’re interested in hearing how we can help you strengthen the development planning process within your organization, please contact us at 508-279-0400.