50+ Sample Development Plans

Development Plans: What Are They?

A development plan is a document that outlines your goals, the required skills in achieving these goals, competency development, and objectives you need to accomplish in order to support continuous improvement and development. Anyone can make a development plan as long as they work closely with the field in which the plan will be considered useful. Moreover, drafting a development plan is very helpful at the onset of any endeavor. By defining your goals, you can have a true understanding of how you want to navigate for success.

Meanwhile, according to a report published by Excellent Business Plan in 2020, a business plan increases the possibility of business growth by 30%.

What Should a Development Plan Include?

The development plan will serve as a checklist for the steps or tasks you need to complete to obtain the goals you have set. It is one means to be successful in business, career, or personal life. So, here are things a development plan should include.

Well-Defined Goals: When your goals are well-defined, you know how to achieve them by formulating steps that will lead you to success. Steps to Reach Your Goals: An effective development plan should indicate the steps in achieving its goals. If there is no action taken, your goals will just remain an idea.People In-Charge: As cliche as it may sound, but no man is an island. You cannot achieve success overnight, and you cannot do it all alone. People are important to help you pave the way to success.Specific Timeline: A development plan must be measurable through time. This way, you know when to keep going and when to stop. Resources and Progress: Take advantage of the resources you have and use them to achieve your goals and continue to support your development. Also, ensure you have a metric to measure your progress so that you know if your effort really pays off.

How to Write a Compelling Development Plan

Before writing a development plan, make sure to spend time finding its purpose. You need to have a reason and need to create this document because it will ask for your time, effort, and commitment. Otherwise, you will be demotivated if you do not know why you are working on a development plan. On the other hand, if establish a plan is something new to you, doing your research and looking for references on the internet will be a great help. Additionally, follow the steps below and let them guide you in making a development plan.

Step 1: Conduct Assessment

The first step into creating a development plan is an assessment or an evaluation of your interests, knowledge, and skills about its purpose. Creating an assessment allows you to examine your current position as it relates to your goals. Also, by identifying the skills and interests you currently have, you can pinpoint the areas in which you can improve to reach your goals.

Step 2: Define Your Goals

Your goals in your development plan should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely). Using SMART goals will make them easy to track. This way, the development plan is simple to update when you complete crucial milestones. Moreover, for your goals to be easy to achieve, accomplish them by taking small steps. You can also list your goals to categorize them as a priority or not.

Step 3: Establish Strategies

The strategies of your development plan define how you will achieve your goals. Your way around this is by listing a variety of approaches like experiential learning (learning through doing), exposure (learning from others), education, and reflection. However, the general rule is that the majority of your strategies should be experiential. Why? Because it gives you a profound experience when developing new skills.

Step 4: Identify Your Resources

What are your resources? These are the places you can find growth. They might provide workshops, lectures, or other opportunities to enhance your development plan. Some resources include the following: continuing education institutions, professional associations, webinars, and so much more. And lastly, your development plan should always be a work in progress as it should grow and change over time.


What are the common types of plans?

Why is having a plan important?

Having a plan is important because it is the foundation to help you to project objectives and achieve your ultimate goals. Aside from that, it sets out measurable actions to achieving your goals. In fact, a business plan increases the possibility of business growth by 30% according to a report published by Excellent Business Plan in 2020.

How is a proposal different from a plan?

A proposal and a plan are two different documents. The main difference between the two is that a plan is a written presentation that sets out goals and steps in achieving those goals while a proposal is a call to action that convinces its readers to do something on what is being proposed.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” It seems that people have been writing about planning for as long as people have learned to write. There is no surprise because no enterprise, whether it is building the space shuttle or getting dinner on the table, is done well without a plan. So, get started with your development plan now with the help of our ready-made templates.