How to create an effective PDP

Personal development is a continuous lifelong process of building your skills and qualities in order to reach your potential.

To achieve success and happiness in your personal development you need to assess your life goals and values, and build a plan that divides your goals into chunks. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

This article will give you tips on how to create an effective personal development plan.  

Your PDP:

  • is a deadline-oriented document that helps you focus;
  • helps you identify strengths and weaknesses, and empowers yourself to boost career;
  • maps out a path towards your version of success and tracks your progress;
  • finally, it enhances your mental wellbeing and reduces stress. 

What is the 5-step guide to creating an effective individual plan?

Here we depict 5 steps you need to best compose a personal development plan.

#1. Complete a competencies matrix / SWOT analysis

Competencies or team skill matrix is a tool to map required skills for a company, team, or project. It will help define career and behavior standards for further performance evaluation.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This framework helps to identify what could help or hinder your personal development. 

#SavvyUA team leads & managers with HRD will prepare a competencies matrix and then will do assessment and help their teams with the competencies wheel and personal development plans. 

#2. Set your goals

Think about no more than 3 things you want to achieve in your education or career during the next 3-6 months. You might create them using your weaknesses & opportunities points.

Then, a list of your goals and ensure that they are SMART, which means they should be:

  1. Specific and precise 
  2. Measurable and quantifiable 
  3. Achievable and realistic  
  4. Relevant for your current position
  5. Time-bound with realistic timelines 

#3. Create your action plan

Once you have clear SMART goals, break them down into 5-7 action points.

Then, set the deadlines for each action established in the previous step. Otherwise, action plans without deadlines run the risk of never happening.

#4. Identify resources and talk to your manager

It is also crucial to ensure you have all the necessary resources to develop your competencies, complete your tasks, and proceed with your action points. 

Therefore, you might need to discuss your goals and actions with a team lead or a manager. Together you will rearrange the list, define priorities, and choose the appropriate materials or steps that will help you stay more efficient, consistent, and proceed within your PDP.

#5. Set up sync ups and go, go, go

Monitoring and evaluation are probably two of the most important things in your PDP process. There is no point in creating the entire PDP and then forgetting about it. It’s up to you to always be present and active and for your manager to provide support and reminders whenever you feel you need them.First, create a schedule in your Google calendar to report submissions with your lead. Always review your action plan and move on to adapting your actions and objectives to your goals.

These materials might help… 

The following article on DOU describes variations of individual development plans. It might be helpful if you like to know more about different approaches and versions of PDPs at 14 IT companies in Ukraine.

Here is a link to a video-steam from an open PDP event made by #SavvyUA. Participants have shared best practices and discussed PDPs in a small group of 12 people.

Wanna get #SavvyUA PDP example? 

Message us and we will send you the draft 💚