6 Benefits of a Good Management Reporting System

Strategic planning is a key tool for running an effective local government. When done correctly, it turns today’s vision into tomorrow’s reality. But in order to meet the goals in the plan efficiently, local governments need a management reporting system to help them implement the plan. A good reporting system is the foundation for successful strategy execution.

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.

Why You Need a Strategic Plan and an Action Plan

Your strategic plan is the roadmap to success for your organization, connecting decision-making with a shared vision. A strong strategic plan affects every department and all levels of stakeholders, whether you’re a senior leader for your city or part of the municipal staff. But designing a roadmap for the future is only one part of the process. If there’s no implementation, the goals and milestones you’ve meticulously mapped out might as well be stuck in the glovebox. It’s like starting a car on an empty tank of gas—it takes an action plan to rev the engine, navigate, and reach your destination.

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