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Sustainable Action Plans
After the vision statements are completed, the next step is the development of action plans that can then be developed to translate the visions into short-term and long-term actions. Let's review the process for developing action plans.
Organization - Establish a group of committees which will each address subject areas identified in the visioning process. Include at a minimum some linkages to the visioning groups including structure and individuals.
Limit the number of committees to several selected action planning focus areas. It may be necessary to combine more than one action planning area under one committee.
Appoint a team leader for each action area.
Appoint a facilitator to support the work of each committee.
Develop a common format among the groups before they develop action plans. The format should be designed to guide the subcommittees through the process of establishing goals and objectives which meet the intent of the vision statement; provide specific steps for developing recommendations and guidance; and identify indicators that monitor how the action plans are meeting the intent of the vision statements and progress on the action planning process.
Create a checklist of items that will be needed to effectively complete an action plan.
Determine resource needs including people to participate in the process, professional support, data needs and other technology needs such as mapping, computer software and communications.
Action Planning Checklist
An Action Planning Checklist can assist in getting the action planning process off the ground. The Action Planning Checklist identifies specific actions that should be considered for each action plan.
Responsibility/Leadership - For an action planning item to succeed it needs to have a champion or promoter. At the beginning of the action planning process identify potential candidates and determine if they will accept the responsibility.
- Elected Officials
- Planning Commission
- Community Development Department
- Others (Private/Non-Profit/Academic)
Stakeholders - Determine who will be impacted by the action item and get them involved in the process including any committee process established for action plan development. An early buy-in and participation by stakeholders may ease implementation later on. Identification of stakeholders and their participation will increase the sensitivity of action planning recommendations.
- Professionals (Planners, Engineers, Architects, etc.)
Resources - An important part of the action planning process. What type of resources will be required, are they readily available, are they costly and can they be managed by the individuals involved in the process? Resources may include data, mapping, personnel, budgets, software and facilities.
- Computer Hardware/Software
Regulatory Changes - Identify the regulatory environment in which the action plans operate. Will action and implementation require changes or amendments to existing regulations or will they give rise to the need for a new body of regulations?
- Subdivision & Land Development
- Building Codes
- Stormwater Management
- Soil & Erosion Control
Obstacles - Identify the most obvious obstacles even before you set out to develop the action plans. The identification of obstacles may assist in selection and development of action planning items.
Support - Where can you count on support in the community? Will it be the community- at-large, elected officials, appointed officials, or public agencies? Much like obstacles, you need to determine who you can count on for support as a way of shaping action planning items.
- Planning Commission
- Elected Officials
Cost and Funding Sources - These are items that are mainly the concern of the "Let's Go" section on implementation. However it is useful in the action planning step to give some consideration to funding sources since funding availability may influence how an action plan is constructed.
- Estimated Cost of Action
- Local Funding
- State/Federal Funding
- Private Funds
- Other Funding Possibilities
Click here for more information on Action Planning:
Visioning and Strategic Planning Handbook
National Civil League
Alliance for National Renewal
1445 Market Street, Suite 300
Denver, Colorado 80202
Community Energy Workbook, A Guide to Building a Sustainable
Rocky Mountain Institute
1739 Snowmass Creek Road
Snowmass, Colorado 81654