Ten Steps to Your Community's Future

Now that you have done the background work, it is time to create a strategic plan, garner community support, and begin evaluating efforts.


Develop a Strategic Plan

Communities should identify goals and measurable objectives. The reviewed common definitions provided can streamline this process.

Worksheet 7 (description)

Worksheet 8

Worksheet 9


Seek Community Feedback & Commitment

Share the initial draft of community goals and objectives with everyone involved and the community at large. Involve the local news outlets. A good strategic planning group will always be receptive to new ideas and additional suggestions.


Implement the Plan

Hopefully, adequate resources and volunteers have been identified to follow-through and successfully implement the planned objectives. This is the stage where most plans falter and end up "sitting on the shelf." Adequate resources allocation and planning are critical to ensure success.


Evaluate the Effort

Continue to monitor and evaluate to determine when you are successful. If you set benchmarks to measure achievement, then you will be able to document success.


Celebrate Successes

Reward yourself and the entire community when objectives and tasks are accomplished. Organize a community-wide celebration to acknowledge both short-term and long-term achievements. This is one way to ensure continued interest and excitement from community members.


Create an Ongoing Process

The effort does not end, but is to be continuing a process that should be evaluated annually. Each year or two, the plan will need to be evaluated for possible modifications or additions. Of course, you will be removing goals and objectives when accomplished.

Source: Peterson, Mark (1996) "Harnessing the Power of Vision: Ten Steps to Creating a Strategic Vision and Action Plan for Your Community," Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas.