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Sample personal development plan objectives

Individual Development Plan (IDP) Samples for Busy Managers

plan.jpg - Martin Barraud/ OJO Images/Getty ImagesMartin Barraud/ OJO Images/Getty Images

I often get asked by managers for an example of a completed Individual Development Plan (IDP). On hand, I hate to provide an “example”, because I’m afraid too many of them will just copy the example and not put enough thought into it. On the other hand, I’ve found that is exactly how busy managers seem to learn the process best – by just showing them what a completed IDP looks like.

So for all of you terminally busy, impatient, and quick-study managers, here are two examples of management IDPs.

One is for an experienced middle manager, the other a new first level manager. They both contain some of the most typical development needs and methods I tend to see. These examples are not perfectly formatted, but you should be able to get the gist of how to write one in your own template.

Example #1: Experienced Middle Manager:

Name, position, function, location, manager, etc….

Time period: 4/2014 – 4/2015

Development Focus: Improved effectiveness in current role and preparation for potential senior leadership role.

Top 3 Strengths:

1. Functional and industry expertise

2. Financial acumen

3. Problem solving & decision making

Top 3 Development Needs:

1. Improve my ability to lead change

3. Cross-functional expertise

Development Actions:
Note: Some like to include development actions for each development need. I’ve found that in practice, well written development actions tend to leverage strengths and address multiple development needs.

1. Speak to my manager about my desire to lead a high level, cross-functional process improvement team. This would leverage some of my existing strengths and allow me to gain experience in leading change and strategic thinking, as well as learn about other company functions.

Timing: next week, for potential 2nd quarter project

Cost: none, just my time, others, project costs

2. Set up monthly, one hour phone calls with Joe Smith and Jen Lopez. They’ve both had experience leading projects like this and achieved outstanding results.

Timing: start next week, schedule for rest of year

Cost: none, just my time


Take a course in leading strategic change. Check 3-4 business school 3-5 day programs.

Timing: This quarter.

Cost: approximately $8-12K

4. Read the following books:

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