SMC Launches Online Individual Development Plan Tool
By Dave Wilson, SMC University
/ Published March 30, 2011
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- SMC and SMC University have launched an automated individual development plan to assist employees in defining their future in terms of the Air Force personnel developmental models and competencies. The SMC IDP is neither in conflict with, nor to be confused with, the various Air Force development planning already available. The difference is that the SMC IDP is an active database, which allows the Center to program training for the individual.
The IDP serves as a tool for individuals to plan their development program that includes SMC University courses and other education and training opportunities such as the Air Force Institute of Technology, and other acquisition and professional military education. A course or program must be in an employee's IDP and approved by their supervisor in order for them to pursue enrollment. A complete list of available courses currently is located in the "SMC University - Training & Education Opportunities" section on the base intranet site.
All employees should complete the IDP during the planning phase of the performance management cycle, no later than 30 days after the beginning of the rating period for current employees and no later than 30 days from the date for newly appointed or assigned members. The employee should complete the IDP during the time in which performance objectives for the rating period are being developed. Civilians and officers should complete an initial IDP by April 30. This allows General Schedule employees to complete the plan as part of their appraisal cycle and Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System employees to complete it as part of their mid-term review.
Completing the individual development plan will help employees develop their talent; expand their capabilities and competencies to build a successful career by allowing employees to define and create their own path to success and acts as their roadmap. They may set short and long-term goals, assess their strengths and weaknesses, identify their development needs, increase their job performance and enhance career growth opportunities.
Throughout this process, the IDP serves as a documented record and a developmental agreement between the employee and supervisor. This process benefits both employees and supervisors and leads to a stronger overall SMC workforce.
SMC uses the information in the IDP to identify learning needs, assess professional strengths and weaknesses and budget the resources required to meet development goals. Designed to promote more holistic thinking and encourage dialogue, the IDP is seen as an investment strategy that helps sustain personal and career growth while inspiring progress toward career goals. From the resulting database, SMC University will be able to bring courses to SMC rather than having to send individuals to classes on a one-at-a-time basis.
SMC personnel should work closely with their supervisors to clearly identify the development objectives that best contribute toward building expertise and enhancing potential. The IDP allows employees to clearly communicate their career goals, as well as the plan of action for achieving those goals. It also records and confirms achievements and progress.
Additionally, SMC leadership encourages supervisors to use the IDP as a tool to help employees sustain a competitive advantage and achieve their career goals. The supervisor aids the employee by identifying the organizational vision, mission and goals and providing support, guidance and assistance in developing career objectives and goals. The IDP also helps supervisors provide essential feedback and assess strengths and weaknesses.
SMC members are encouraged to contact their organization's training manager for more information about the IDP.