Strategic Planning for Public Managers

Strategic Planning for Public Managers

Strategic Planning for Public Managers

Strategic Planning for Public Managers


Designed for local government managers and administrators, this pioneering work offers a clear and comprehensive guide to the use of strategic planning techniques in the public sector. The author presents a concise overview of the strategic planning process, defines the terms involved, and provides a step-by-step methodology for organizations ready to move into the actual implementation of strategic planning.


The best plan is only a plan, that is, good intentions, unless it degenerates into work. The distinction that makes a plan capable of producing results is the commitment of key people to work on specific tasks.

--Peter Drucker

Those charged with the responsibility of directing the activities of local government today live in a much more complex world than the one of twenty years ago. Twenty years ago there were no problems like Proposition 13, recession like that of the late 1970s, or substantial federal resources devoted to state and local concerns. It appeared likely that the trends set in the prosperous 1960s might continue forever.

The environment today is dramatically different. In today's local government you are as likely to deal in the economic development area with Nissan, Phillips, or Bank of Tokyo as you are with General Motors, IBM, or Chase Manhattan. Single- issue voices dominate participation in local government. Major national magazines feature articles on the "not in my back yard" syndrome and the gridlock resulting from our inability to plan and implement major transportation strategies in this new participatory environment. The information age has changed the composition of our workforce, shrunk our world and our communities, and fueled the embers of participation. Federal strategies such as Gramm-Rudmann have reduced federalism to a relic of the past. Demographic changes are making a tremendous impact as we adjust to an aging population and the increasing involvement of blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and other minorities in all aspects of society.

Perhaps William Dodge and Douglas Eadie put it best: "Gone are the predictable and predictably-funded days of local government. There was a time not that long ago when local government knew exactly what it was doing since it had already been doing it for years. . . . Now it is much more difficult."

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