All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in a retrieval system, or transmitted, inany form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without theprior permission of the publisher.Personal DevelopmentPlanningChecklist 092IntroductionEmployers are increasingly aware of the importance of investing in their staff and often have structures andprocesses in place to provide opportunities for the training and development of their employees.Nonetheless, managers also need to take personal responsibility for renewing and updating their skills andknowledge throughout their working lives. Personal development is a continuous lifelong process ofnurturing, shaping and improving skills and knowledge to ensure maximum effectiveness and ongoingemployability.Personal development does not necessarily imply upward movement; rather, it is about enabling individualsto improve their performance and reach their full potential at each stage of their career.Adopting a constructive approach to personal development planning (PDP) will help individuals to: consider where they are now, where they want to go and how they can get thererevitalise technical skills that date very quicklybuild up transferable skills (such as self-awareness, ability to learn, adaptability to change, empathyand good time management)monitor and evaluate achievements. The process of PDP provides a schedule to work to and can lay the basis for: continuous learninga sense of achievementensuring employability and survival in an age where very few jobs can be guaranteed to stay thesamemaking the most of opportunities which may arise. DefinitionPersonal development planning is the process of: establishing aims and objectives (or goals) – what you want to achieve or where you want to go, inthe short, medium or long-term in your careerassessing current realitiesidentifying needs for skills, knowledge or competenceselecting appropriate development activities to meet those perceived needs. Scheduling and timing are important but should not be too regimented.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in a retrieval system, or transmitted, inany form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without theprior permission of the publisher.Action checklistPDP is usually understood as a cyclical process, where improvement comes from moving around the loop.The following chart outlines the process:The Personal Development Planning Cycle1. Establish your purpose or directionThe purpose of any development activity needs to be identified. You may do this, either, by yourself or withthe help of your manager, mentor, career coach, colleagues, or friends. This involves: gaining an awareness of your current standing and future potential within your chosen field or sectorgaining a measure of what you are good at and interested in (because these things will motivateyou)taking account of the organisational (and sectoral) realities you encounterlinking your plans to organisational (and sectoral) needs as much as possible. Think about: your own value system, involving private life and family, work and money, constraints and obstaclesto mobility, now and in the futurethe characteristics of the kind of work that fits with your value system. 2. Identify development needsThe identification of development needs may emerge from intended or actual new tasks or responsibilities,from discussions with your manager or others, or from dissatisfaction with current routines. Some peopleknow what they are good at, others may be less sure. Various instruments such as self-assessment tests,benchmarking exercises and personal diagnostics are available to help you assess your skills in a structuredway.Your development needs will depend largely upon your career goals. If you intend to remain in similaremployment, you may need development to re-motivate or re-orient yourself, or to improve your currentperformance and effectiveness. Alternatively, development may be required to prepare you for promotion,your next job, a new career or self-employment.3. Identify learning opportunitiesAs a result of one, or several, of the assessment processes above, draw up a list of the skills or knowledgeyou need to acquire, update or improve. Compare this list with your current skills and knowledge base andidentify the gaps.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in a retrieval system, or transmitted, inany form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without theprior permission of the publisher.Consider: your learning style – some learn best by trying out new things, whilst others prefer to sit back andobserve; some prefer to experiment, others to carry out research. The Learning StylesQuestionnaire, devised by Peter Honey and Alan Mumford will help identify preferred learning styles(See Additional Resources below.) your development: in addition to your own organisation, consider government and private advisoryagencies, literature and open learning, multi-media or online packages, professional institutes, yourpeer groups, networks and colleagues and family and friends the range of learning options available – these can be broadly differentiated into three categories:Education takes place over a sustained but finite period of time, usually leads to a qualification andmay open up the way into a new career direction.Training is carried out at a specific time and place and is usually vocationally relevant and limited tospecific measurable aims and objectives.Development encompasses a wide range of activities with learning potential that are either workbased (such as work shadowing, job rotation, secondment, attachment, mentoring, delegation,counselling or coaching) or personal (such as private reading, authorship, presenting papers, peergroup contacts, networking, or community involvement).There will be occasions when unplanned development opportunities arise, such as, a last minute vacancy ona course or a place at an event, which will require you to take account of your priorities when consideringwhether to follow up on that opportunity.4. Formulate an action planFor each of the skills and knowledge gaps you identify, set yourself development objectives. These need tobe SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. There must be an element of challengein them so that they stretch you as an individual and carry you on to new ground. But they must also beattainable and viable within a realistic time-frame, otherwise time will overtake you.5. Undertake the developmentPut your plan into action- what you do and how you do it should be your choice. In addition to trainingcourses, options include work shadowing, secondment, job rotation, project work, networking and communityinvolvement.6. Record the outcomesKeeping records serves to remind you – and others, such as potential employers – what you have done. Mostimportantly your records will help you to focus on what you have got out of your development activity. Recordthe date, the development need identified, the chosen method of development, the date(s) whendevelopment was undertaken, the outcomes, and any further action needed.7. Evaluate and reviewEvaluation is the key stage in the self-development cycle. There are two issues you should reflect upon:whether the development activity you have undertaken was appropriate and worthwhile; and whether andhow your skills or working behaviour have improved as a result. Evaluating development activities alsoinvolves asking the following questions:a) What am I able to do better as a result?b) Has this experience thrown up further development needs?c) How well did this development method work?d) Could I have gained more from this activity?e) Would I follow this approach again?Evaluation will also provide a key lead for the next stage of the continuing cycle. Goals change, tasks varyand new needs will emerge. It is important to revise your own plan accordingly.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in a retrieval system, or transmitted, inany form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without theprior permission of the publisher.Managers should avoid: repeatedly putting off planning your personal developmenttrying to tackle everything at once – select one area to work on and then move on to the nextbeing too ambitious – development normally takes place in incremental stepsbeing afraid to ask for help from your line manager, colleagues or HR departmentforgetting to reflect on and evaluate your learning experiences. National Occupational Standards for Management and LeadershipThis checklist has relevance for the following standards:Unit AA1: Manage yourselfUnit AA2: Develop your knowledge, skills and competenceAdditional resourcesBooksStudy skills for part-time students, Dorothy Bedford,Harlow: Pearson Education, 2009This title is available as an e-bookStrengthen your strengths: a guide to enhancing your self management skills, Peter Honey,Maidenhead: Peter Honey Publications, 2008Personal development and management skills, Chris Routledge and Jan CarmichaelLondon: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2007Continuing personal development, Peter HoneyMaidenhead: Peter Honey Publications, 2007A managers guide to self development, 5th ed, Mike Pedler, John Burgoyne, Tom Boydell,Maidenhead: McGraw Hill, 2007This title is also available as an e-bookLearning styles questionnaire : 80 item version, rev ed, Peter Honey and Alan MumfordMaidenhead: Peter Honey Publications, 2006Discover your hidden talents: the essential guide to lifelong learning, Bill LucasStafford: Network Educational Press, 2005Practical self development: a step by step approach to CPD, Bob Norton and Vikky BurtLondon: Institute of Management Foundation, 1997This is a selection of books available for loan to members from CMI’s library. More information at:www.managers.org.uk/libraryRelated checklistsSetting SMART objectives (231)Testing for personal effectiveness (164)Internet resourcesPalgrave Study Skills www.palgrave.com/skills4study/pdp/Offers advice about Personal development planning including: setting priorities, making choices, keepingpersonal records and structured reflection.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in a retrieval system, or transmitted, inany form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without theprior permission of the publisher.Revised September 2013This is one of many checklists available to all CMI members. For more information please contactt: 01536 204222 e: [email protected] w: www.managers.org.ukChartered Management InstituteManagement House, Cottingham Road, Corby NN17 1TT.This publication is for general guidance only. The publisher and expert contributors disclaim all liability forany errors or omissions. You should make appropriate inquiries and seek appropriate advice before makingany business, legal or other decisions.
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