How to Develop a Strategic Plan for Your Community

While there is no "right way" to develop a strategic plan—the culture and needs of each city or county are unique—to be successful, there are key elements that should always be considered (if you want to see real examples—these are a good place to start). What you choose to include is often determined by what you're trying to accomplish. Some plans are initiated to address known issues in the community. Some are started because the elected body wants to provide direction. Others are launched because staff needs to understand how to prioritize conflicting needs. Even though the motivation may be different and there are many paths for implementation, to be effective, each strategic plan should identify a destination and map the precise turns needed to reach the intended outcomes—including a clear picture of the ideal future state, near-term priorities, and measurable goals.

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