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17 Examples of Development Goals

Development goals are targets that a professional sets for their future talents, skills, knowledge and capabilities. These are usually designed to be smart, meaning that they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. It is common for development goals to communicate a path to a promotion or career change. Development goals are an opportunity to ask for new responsibilities, work assignments, training and management support. Alternatively, development goals communicate that you are working on a weakness and trying to turnaround low performance areas. The following are illustrative examples of development goals.


Gain leadership experience by leading a development team to deliver a project to schedule, budget and stakeholder satisfaction.


Develop strategic planning competencies by creating a technology roadmap for sales and gaining stakeholder approvals for plan.


Increase visibility in the organization by presenting information to stakeholders and other teams. Target: Complete 3 presentations in Q2.


Improve influencing capabilities by developing and pushing for project proposals, business cases and budgets. Target: Represent team in the annual budget approval process.


Increase my coding productivity by working from home 3 days a week. Target: Complete billing automation code to schedule.

Work Quality

Improve my logo designs though practice and participation in design conferences and workshops. Target: Increase client acceptance of final design submissions to 77%.

Customer Service

Improve listening and relationship building skills to better serve the customer. Target: improve customer satisfaction to 84% for my service interactions.

Conflict Resolution

Attend a conflict resolution workshop to better deal with dissatisfied customers and other situations that may generate conflict. Target: gain experience reacting calmly and professionally to dissatisfied customers. Measurement: resolve five or more such interactions with a positive outcome.


Develop in-depth knowledge of the product and industry and build an extensive network of relationships with leaders, creative talent, engineers and customer influencers. Goal: attend 3-5 conferences, workshops or industry events in 2035.


Read books about persuasion, advertising and marketing. Target: read 3-5 books per quarter. Goal: improve copywriting talents to increase conversion rate to 2% or greater for my offers.


Improve business analysis capabilities by attending _____ training.

Software Development

Develop software design skills by delivering the designs for assigned projects. Target: deliver 3 designs in 2035.


Improve organization skills by preparing meeting agendas and minutes. Target: create agendas and minutes for the weekly architectural review board meeting. Measure: feedback from stakeholders.

Relationship Building

Develop more relationships and visibility across the organization. Target: attend cross-departmental meetings such as lunch and learn sessions.

Career Change

Gain experience in sales meetings as a step towards transferring to sales in the long term. Target: attend sales meetings as a product expert.


Take elevator repair courses and complete certification. Target: attain qualification to service elevators.

Time Management

Improve time management and productivity by reducing time spent in meetings. Carefully control calendar and require meetings to be well managed. Target: reduce overall time in meetings by 20% to focus on core work such as coding.


Many organizations do not require that development goals be smart as they may not be used for evaluation but are rather a chance to communicate your ambitions. In this case, you can state where you would like to change and how you need support. A good development goal is a call to action or nudge that asks your manager for support such as training, business travel and assignment to worthy projects, initiatives and meetings.

Smart Goals

The examples above are smart except that several don't include target dates. In order to make your goals smart make them specific. Ask yourself -- can this goal be checked off as complete or is it hopelessly open-ended? Smart goals also need to be relevant to your role and achievable. Professional development goals typically stretch you out of your role a little and need not be completely relevant to your core work.

Performance Goals

This is the complete list of articles we have written about performance goals.
Business Goals
Company Goals
Customer Service Goals
Individual Goals
Performance Appraisals
Performance Feedback
Performance Goals
Performance Goals II
Performance Issues
Performance Objectives
Performance Outcome
Performance Reviews
Sales Goals
Smart Goals
Smart Objectives
Team Goals
Work Goals
Work Quality
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