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GUIDE to the COMPLETION of A PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN
What is a Personal Development Plan?
The aim of creating a personal development plan is to document a process of self-analysis,
personal reflection and honest appraisal of your strengths and weaknesses. This should
enable you to evaluate the value of the leadership and management training you have
received, and to consider your future leadership development.
What do I need to do?
An example of a PDP included later in this GUIDE, and should be read in conjunction with
the requirements outlined below. This task is relatively short, succinct and designed to be
helpful in evaluating your leadership development. It enables you to reflect upon your recent
experience and to focus on the next stage of your training and development. Creating your
PDP has three stages as follows:
a. Stage 1 – Personal Analysis. The first stage is designed to analyse your
strengths and weaknesses. You will be able to draw heavily upon your career and the
outcomes of courses that you may have attended. These should be supplemented by
the perceived opportunities that will have been derived from your experience and any
threats to your continued success.
b. Stage 2 – Setting Goals. This involves setting new and clearly definable goals
for yourself which are measurable. The example PDP provides clear guidance on
identifying these. You will need to consult your immediate superior (your first reporting
c. Stage 3 – Personal Objectives. This stage involves setting out your personal
objectives. These can also be set in context within your civilian employment as shown
in the example, which will be helpful in reinforcing its value.
Example of a Personal Development Plan
Mr A is a 25 year old graduate working for a well-known mobile telecommunications
company. He is 2 years into their graduate recruitment programme. He joined the
organisation while at university and transferred to his current department following
graduation. After a year he was encouraged to enter a managerial leadership and
management development programme. He re-joined his department as a junior
His employer is supportive and has been reasonably flexible and supportive in making
allowances for the additional time off work to complete all the training modules.
Once properly qualified and with more experience, he is keen to take on more
responsibility and be seconded to another part of the company.
The example PDP is set out over the following page
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN (EXAMPLE)
Name: Mr A Department: Organisation:
Date Personal Development Plan Completed:
Part 1 – Personal Analysis
Before setting your short medium and long term personal development plans, you should conduct a personal analysis: Eg – What are my strengths
and weaknesses? What external opportunities or threats might affect any plans I might make?
Areas for further development
My personal administration in the company and basic
skills are good and my detailed knowledge is generally
sound for my level of training.
I gained confidence from proving that I could cope with
the pressures of the L and M course, even with sleep
depravation. I was assessed to be composed during
practical work and provided clear direction.
Having the opportunity to lead a team over an extended
period of time, I demonstrated that I have the ability to
provide clear direction and manage people to achieve
specific tasks whilst under pressure.
It was difficult to maintain the work/life balance and
maintain my physical fitness standards during
academic studies. As a result I have lost some
I need to take more time in planning a task
thoroughly before briefing my subordinates. Ie
provide the solution not present the problem. My
understanding of the estimate planning process is
still superficial in places and requires more detail.
In order to build my confidence in command I need
more experience of team management in different
Demonstrate to my employer that I have had both
structured management and leadership training and
Balance work and personal commitments.
experience of leading teams to achieve specific tasks.
Also to highlight that I have been exposed to a more
structured approach to analysing problems which will
assist me in providing clear solutions will be of value to
the quality of my work for the company I work for.
This activity provides a space for renewal in a hectic
business environment to achieve a better work life
balance allowing me to be refreshed and more focused
I can call on the support of my line manager to give me
guidance on personal development.
The company formal annual appraisal process will
provide a source of guaranteed feedback.
Part 2 – Setting Goals
What do I want to
What do I have to do?
What support and
resources will I need?
How will I measure success?
Greater depth of
leading in the
Complete M and L Course (4
weekends) Training and the
company Young Managers
(YM) development programme
and YM Course
2. Finding 2
weeks for the YM
could be difficult.
1. Courses Assessment.
2. YM Course Assessment
3. Line managers
Appraisal Report (LMAP)
appraisal will assess
Get to know my department
team and build their
confidence and trust in me.
Advice from my
Line Manager and
1. Formal and informal
Identify key training
opportunities in the Business
Forecast of Events and de
conflict with work and social
life. Because of YMs course I
may not be able to engage in
all business activities
I will need to
discuss and agree
my priorities with
my Line Manager.
1. Prioritisation of goals
forms part of my appraisal
2. Ensure that I have
attended all the agreed
high priority training.
Learn from the more by
managers. Gain their
friendship and trust.
Allocate specific evenings
during the week for fitness
training and allocate time at
Advice from Gym
Improved fitness levels will
Improved Personal Fitness
Develop personal fitness
programme to improve fitness
organisation update training
Secure bonus benefits as
in as a leader/
Volunteer to lead ad-hoc cross
functional projects to build
credibility and experience as a
Feedback from the team
and the project sponsor.
Gain further experience of
business analysis processes.
Use this in a working
environment to speed up and
improve complex decision
Good YMs course report.
Part 3 – Personal Objectives
Short Term Goals (next 12 months)
Complete Young Managers Course in order to become eligible for engagement in complex business project
(I accept that some of these goals may slip into year 2 but no further).
Have accountability for a significant cross-functional project at work.
Medium Term Goals (next 2 – 3 years)
Be given responsibility for leading and managing a small team of in support of a challenging business project.
Engage in supporting some functions of a cross-functional project team which gives me significant business
Longer Term Goals (beyond 3 years)
Gain promotion to middle management and gain a support of work colleagues and senior managers.
Be given responsibility for managing a large team of direct reports/ a number of teams (Work towards
becoming a Head of Department).
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