Strategic Planning for Government Entities - dummies

Strategic Planning for Government Entities

By Erica Olsen

Government planning reaches farther than business planning because most strategic plans — whether community cultural plans, regional tourism plans, county plans, or neighborhood development plans — exist outside the realm of any single agency. Therefore, successful planning requires enough authority and resources to assure the plans’ intentions are fulfilled.

Basically, the majority of for-profit planning takes a single entity approach instead of a community or regional scale approach. When you’re planning for a single organization, boundaries, authority, and responsibilities are well defined. When the planning scale expands beyond individual organizations to include a community, different methods are required.

Running a streamlined planning process can be challenging due to various stakeholder groups that are involved. Set your agency up for success by implementing some of the following tips and suggestions:

  • Identify specific agencies charged with implementation of clear outcomes. Doing so only works if named agencies participate in the planning.

  • Identify a single, coordinating entity charged with overseeing implementation. In some cases, the coordinating agency or group is created to implement the plan.

  • Involve respected and representative community and business leaders in your process.

  • Reconvene the planning steering committee periodically to monitor implementation progress. The expectation of a public accounting for results can be a powerful incentive to act.

  • Plan for the municipality or county to commission a formal evaluation of the plan two to five years after publication.

  • Widely distribute a well-designed plan. Describe goals in general terms and actively encourage individual groups and agencies to fulfill the plan as it serves their interests.

  • Keep the presentation simple and very clear.