First, we need to recognize and acknowledge that a development plan is an important tool for achieving professional growth. Everyone can benefit from identifying ways to improve their job performance and to reach short- and long-term career goals. This usually and preferably done in a periodic basis with or without their direct superior.
If you are in a managerial position, when you meet with an subordinate to discuss a development plan, begin by asking him or her to propose ways to close any performance gaps or to build new skills. This will make the person more responsible for and committed to the plan. As your subordinate offers the proposal, suggest ideas for strengthening it.
If the subordinate doesn’t come up with a proposal, take a more active approach. Be sure to specify ways in which you can support the subordinate and provide resources that will help to improve performance. The desired outcome is a plan that you both agree with and that the subordinate can commit to pursuing.
A thorough development plan includes:
- Specific goals
- Action steps
- Expected outcomes
- Training or practice that needs to occur
Also, it is better is a tracking mechanism is in place in order to monitor the progress made. Yes, majority of the article deals with the role of manager, but as Jim Rohn suggest, go to work everyday to work primarily on yourself.