A Practical Approach with Actionable Results

Our economic development strategic planning process follows the guidelines established by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC): 
  • A realistic assessment of the available resources, constraints and opportunities including current economy by cluster, industry segmentation and workforce availability
  • The formulation of a clear mission and a shared vision
  • The development of achievable goals
  • The formulation and implementation of project action plans to reach these goals and identify who will champion them
  • The design of clear metrics of success
  • Garnering public support
Our methodology begins with the Inception Report.  For the first month of the project, we will meet with the stakeholders for the community and identify exactly what they expect to gain from this planning process.  The pre-planning phase is critical to establishing in what context the strategic planning will be conducted and further define the specific areas that will be assessed.

Our second phase includes 2-3 months of collecting information to complete the assessment of the local economy.  We will accelerate this process by leveraging past studies and research completed, by ourselves and others, on specific industry clusters and existing economic development initiatives at the local, city and state levels.  Our assessment findings will include SWOT analysis and industry specific trends, directions and potential disruptions both domestically and globally.  The intention of this analysis is to clearly identify barriers, challenges and opportunities within the short-term and long-term eco-system.  The resulting Assessment and Analysis Report will be presented, in executive summary form, to the Mayor, the City Council and selected stakeholders.

After the assessment process, we will spend approximately 2 months drawing up the Economic Development Agenda which will include the CITIE transformation, economic development projects and relevant triggers and timelines.  This will be a comprehensive description of project and initiatives with cost projections (direct and opportunity) expected impact, by KPI, and comparative scoring (qualitative, quantitative and option-enabled by indicator) for executive level decision-making.  This will initiate a collaborative process to cull the agenda within budgetary, resource and time constraints to assign priority and sequence for implementation.

Last, we plan to spend one month editing and preparing the final strategic plan for review by the community.  This will require a series of Town Hall format sessions and stakeholder meetings in multiple locations within the community.  Feedback and comments from those events will be collected and presented in a final implementation report to the client.

Overall, we expect a Strategic Planning project to take 5-6 months, however, issues like the availability of data, access to stakeholders, support of financial and IT staff and resources for Stance baseline participant enrollment could delay delivery of our Assessment Report.