continues to be one of my first posts written in 2008 called How
to Write a Great Individual Development Plan (IDP).
In one of the earlier versions of
that post I had offered to send readers an IDP template. With the growth of my
blog, the volume of requests got to be unmanageable so those requests now get
an auto-response directing them to my eBook, which includes a
copy of the template, along with a 9-Box
Performance and Potential Grid.
For those of
you that may have landed here as a result of a search, this post serves as
another option for you. Consider it to be a menu of elements often found in
IDPs and feel free to copy and paste it into your own template and adapt it as
Individual Development Plan
Name: The employee’s
Position: The employee’s
Department: The employee’s
department, unit, or function
Location: City, country,
Manager: The employee’s
Time period: The development
planning period, usually one year
Development in current role, preparation
for a future role, or both
applicable, list possible next
positions, could be lateral or vertical
Top 3 Strengths: List the employee’s top 3 strengths, from
last performance review or other assessments. It’s important to acknowledge
strengths in a development discussion as they often can be used to help
overcome development needs.
Top 3 Development Goals: Development goals are areas in which if
strengthened, the employee’s performance would improve in their current role or
they would help prepare the employee for potential future positions. They can
come from performance reviews and/or other assessments. Organizations often use
competency models and 360 assessments as a way to identity strengths and
12 Development Goals for Leaders for some examples.
Development Actions: This section is the heart of the development
plan. It should include specific actions that will enable the employee to learn
and practice skills related to their development goals or leverage their
actions should include a combination of projects, assignments, courses,
reading, learning from others, coaching, and mentoring.
development actions, like a stretch assignment, may end up addressing multiple
development needs – in fact, they usually do.
Challenges: What challenges is the employee currently facing that would
provide an opportunity to learn new skills tied to the development needs?
Challenges: What new challenges will the employee be facing that
would provide an opportunity to learn new skills tied to the development needs?
Feedback: How can the employee receive ongoing feedback in order to
check progress on development goals or identify new development needs?
Tasks: Projects, stretch assignments, task forces, delegated
responsibilities from the manager, etc…
Coaches, and Mentors: Role models are other employees that the
employee sees as highly skilled in the areas in which they to improve. Often,
they may not be able to identify anyone, so the manager can be a resource in
helping to identify subject matter experts.
come from the manager, or an external executive coach.
often other managers, sometimes 1-2 levels above the employee’s manager, who
can provide career advice and assistance.
Timing: Start date for each action
Cost: cost, if any.
Desired results: List what will change or improve, and how the improvements
will benefit the employee and the organization. When you take the time to
discuss and document the benefits of development, it helps provide context and
Notes on Progress, Lessons Learned: A development plan should be a living document that is discussed
throughout the year and updated as needed. It’s important to track progress and
adjust as needed. Use this space to make notes on progress or obstacles, and to
reflect on lessons learned from completed development actions.
plan: when the first development action
This plan is agreed to as indicated by the signatures below.
the employee and manager sign the plan represents a two-way commitment.