What Is Typically Included in an Individual Development Plan?


Quick Answer

An individual development plan typically includes both long-term and short-term goals for the person creating the document and a clear set of actionable steps to take in order to achieve the goals. The plan may also include an analysis of the creator's current situation and reflections on how the short-term goals help to achieve the long-term goals.

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Full Answer

The main concept behind an individual development plan is to encourage a person to conduct an introspective analysis of herself in order to identify her goals in a specific area, typically a career, and create a method for achieving them. The process starts with a thorough investigation into the plan creator's current situation, asking questions about what she wants to achieve. It then moves on to the creation of goals over two distinct time periods, one short-term and one long-term, with achievement of the short-term set directly contributing to achievement of the long-term set.

The remainder of the plan should include an action plan that focuses on achieving both sets of goals, outlining specific steps to position the creator for success. The plan may involve learning new skills, obtaining a new position or changing careers completely. Goals in these plans generally focus on multi-year periods, though they can function on shorter terms if necessary. The process also involves regularly conducting self-evaluations to check progress toward the goals and make any necessary adjustments.

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