7 practical steps to creating a strategic plan your community will love (Part 2)

by | Oct 29, 2019

Recapping

This is the second part of our series about creating a strategic plan that your community will love.  Recapping, we have outlined seven main steps to follow:

1.  Assess the community

2.  Establish a solid process

3.  Involve all kinds of people

4.  Develop a vision

5.  Rank the community’s priorities

6.  Set your goals and actions

7.  Implement your plan

If you need a refresh, we covered the first four steps in our earlier article.

So, after you have assessed your community, established a solid process, involved all kinds of people and developed a vision – what do you do next? 

Step 5:  Rank the community’s priorities

Next it is time to rank the issues in order of importance.  Is providing jobs the most important issue for your community?  Or is environmental protection the key concern?

When you develop your priorities, you are setting the direction for your community.  At this step, you should describe your priorities in enough detail so that everyone will know what they are.  You should also consider whether the priorities are in line with higher level council, as well as State Government requirements, such as your community strategic plan or regional plan.

In this step, you do not need to say how you will achieve the priority.  This is the following stage.

Step 6:   Set your goals and actions

When you talked to your community earlier in this process, you may have brainstormed about different ways or the path to achieve your priorities. This will begin to form the basis of your goals and actions. 

You will be more likely to identify creative strategies when a diverse group of individuals are involved in the process.  This will help you identify and avoid any negative or unintended consequences.

Now it is time to develop a list of actions and then evaluate them to decide which ones will be most effective. The level of detail in the actions will depend upon the nature of the strategic plan. For example, in a local strategic planning statement, the actions do not have to be too detailed.  That comes next – for example, Council may need to do a detailed residential land use strategy to determine where people will live.

Here are some questions to help you think about the impacts that the actions could have:

  • How will the strategy affect the community’s economic diversity and vitality?
  • How will the strategy affect the community’s self-reliance and vulnerability to outside influences e.g. global mega-trends or climate change?
  • What will be the cumulative effect of this and other related actions?  For example, will allowing more rural residential land affect productive farmland?
  • How will this action further the community’s long-term vision?

Step 7:   Implement your plan

You are now up to the final step in the development of your strategic plan.

No strategic plan is complete just because it gets written.  The hard work of implementation comes next.  Your plan will be full of further studies or actions to undertake.  Not everything can be done at once, so a strategic plan should be divided into several stages.  You will also need to be clear about who will undertake this work and when the actions will be complete.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, creating a strategic plan that your community will love involves a number of critical steps.  Sometimes, these can be undertaken together in a condensed style.  Alternatively, the steps may be completed over a longer period of time.  Either way, following this guide will provide you with a robust process and approach to your next strategic project.

If you need assistance with creating priorities for a strategic plan like a local strategic planning statement or engaging with your community about its future, please get in touch with our planning and strategy team.

Steve Thompson Director Planning and Strategy

Steve Thompson

Director - Planning and Strategy

T   0419 700 401

E   steve@localeconsulting.com.au

Related News

Three engagement methods for community-led planning projects

Three engagement methods for community-led planning projects

Following on from our blog Ultimate guide: Community-led planning resources, we are continuing to notice councils become increasingly aware of the importance of community-led planning projects. There is a growing recognition of the success of the “bottom-up” approach...

read more
Social licence: What is it? How do you gain and maintain it?

Social licence: What is it? How do you gain and maintain it?

Social licence is critical to your success when delivering a project or working within an organisation that is publicly facing like local government. But what exactly does this mean and why does it matter? More importantly, how do you gain and maintain a social...

read more
Local government as an enabler to the visitor economy

Local government as an enabler to the visitor economy

In NSW there are 128 local government areas each with unique attractions that lure visitors to the area. In a post COVID-19 world there is likely to continue to be reduced opportunities for overseas travel and a greater focus on domestic travel options. This makes it...

read more