The team development plan

by Prof David Clutterbuck

The aim of a team development plan is to identify the collective learning needs of the team, in the context of:

  • The team purpose and the capabilities needed to achieve it
  •  The support each team member requires from colleagues in achieving personal development goals, which may be related to team purpose or their own career self-management

Creating an effective team development plan requires seven steps:

  1. Clarify what the team is there for (its purpose)
  2. Clarify the knowledge, skills and other competences required to deliver the purpose a) at good enough level and b) as a high performance team. (A useful question here would be: What would be the impact of not having this competence at the appropriate level?)
  3. Agree which capabilities are needed across the team (i.e. everyone needs them), which are needed strongly only by some people and moderately or not at all by others, and which can easily be accessed from outside the team, when needed
  4. Agree how these can be incorporated into the personal development plans of each team member
  5. Each team member, including the leader, shares their full personal development plan
  6. The team discusses in depth:
    a. How can we take individual and collective responsibility for the learning that needs to take place?
    b. How can we support each other’s learning (e.g. by co-coaching)?
    c. How will we monitor individual and collective learning?
    d. When and how will we review learning?
  7. The team development plan becomes a formal document, establishing:
    a. Learning objectives
    b. Individual and collective responsibilities
    c. Resources required
    d. Timescales