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The individual development planning process

The individual development planning process

An individual development plan is prepared by the employee in partnership with his or her supervisor. The plan is based upon the needs of the employee, the position and the organization. A good individual development plan will be interesting, achievable, practical and realistic. It is implemented with the approval of the employee’s supervisor.

Step 1 – Self-assessment

The employee identifies his or her skills, abilities, values, strengths and weaknesses. To conduct a self-assessment:

Use the many self-assessment tools found on the internet
Compare your knowledge, skills and abilities to those identified in your job description
Review performance assessments (performance assessments are often used as the starting place for developing individual development plans)
Ask for feedback from your supervisor

Step 2 – Assess your current position and your work environment

The employee does an assessment of the requirement of his or her position at the present time and how the requirements of the position and/or organization may change. To conduct a position assessment:

Identify the job requirements and performance expectations of your current position
Identify the knowledge, skills and abilities that will enhance your ability to perform your current job
Identify and assess the impact on your position of changes taking place in the work environment such as changes in clients, programs, services and technology.
Based on your analysis in Steps 1 and 2, use the sample Individual Development Plan form to answer the following questions:

What goals do you want to achieve in your career?
Which of these development goals are mutually beneficial to you and your organization?
Write what you would like to achieve as goals. Select two or three goals to work on at a time. Set a time frame for accomplishing your goals.

Step 3 – Identify development activities

Identify the best ways to achieve your development goals.

What methods will you use?
What resources will be required?

Step 4 – Put your plan in action

Once you have prepared a draft of your individual development plan:

Review your plan with your supervisor for his or her input and approval
Start working on your plan
Evaluate your progress and make adjustments as necessary
Celebrate your successes

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