An Individual Development Plan is a two-part worksheet that outlines a succession candidate’s goals, action plans, and milestones for their growth and development. The purpose of these worksheets is to clearly state developmental opportunities and track progress toward goal attainment over time. Although succession candidates should take responsibility for their own development, the Develop Talent Stage of your succession plan is best conducted with the help of a trusted leader or coach partner.

The most effective way to use the Individual Development Plan is after you have created Success Profiles for the role you are succession planning for, and identified candidate skill gaps with the Candidate Succession Profile.

Candidate Information

For both sheets, begin by listing the candidate name and current role, as well as indicating all positions this candidate is being considered for. Rate their readiness and timeline to move into each potential future role.

Top Development Areas

Indicate the top opportunities for development for this candidate. These should be informed by the gaps identified in the Candidate Succession Profile worksheet.

Development Plan

Prioritize development opportunities based on need, urgency, and candidate interest. For each area of opportunity, the leader or coach and the succession candidate should mutually set a realistic goal for development. Specify the actions needed to reach this goal, and set realistic deadlines. Revisit these goals on a regular basis, keeping track of any setbacks, successes, and lessons learned.

Development Activities

Use this section to consider and plan development activities across a range of content areas. Candidates will be more well-rounded and accomplished if their training includes self-development, support from other leaders, cross-functional experience, international project involvement, and any other diverse opportunities that may be available. You may need to look outside a candidate’s immediate department to provide the most holistic development opportunities. Keep track of those that are completed vs. recommended for future growth.

This stage of your succession plan is often the most time consuming and labor intensive. Development does not happen overnight, but it is the phase that will make or break the success of your program. To learn more, read our blog on developing your talent.

Download SIGMA’s SIMPLE SUCCESSION TEMPLATE GUIDE for Succession Planning Templates for each stage of your Succession Planning Process

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