Tofino’s strategic plan is helping staff and Council move forward together
It’s never too late to convene Council and senior staff in a strategic planning process to identify priorities and key projects to focus on over the next three years – just as the District of Tofino did earlier this year.
Not only did the District realize the importance of bringing staff and Council together to set shared direction for the next four years, they also recognized the importance of using the strategic plan as one of the most effective ways to align municipal direction with their community-wide ‘Vision-to-Action’ Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) that was just developed in 2014.
We designed and facilitated their strategic planning workshops and developed the content of their four-year strategic plan. Council and senior staff participated in two full-day strategic planning sessions using the goals of their ICSP to structure their strategic plan, align key priorities (big moves) and consider specific key actions they should aim to complete in the next four years based on available resources and opportunities that arise. The process resulted in 15 clear priorities for the Council term, as well as a number of corresponding action ideas that will be considered for implementation through their financial planning process.
Tofino’s 2015-2018 Strategic Plan was adopted by Council in June 2015 and it includes a commitment to review the plan by June 2017, which will mark two years into its implementation and just under a year and a half before the end of the current Council term. The commitment to review and update the plan is based on the fact that things change, so the District plans to modify the priorities and key actions for the remainder of the term as necessary by taking into account the progress they have made (or not made) and any emerging community needs, new information or resources that might become available.
“Developing a strategic plan is one of the most important and sometimes elusive tasks for Councils and their management teams. The strategic planning process led by Shannon with the Whistler Centre has created the clarity and focus we need for the next four years – and it brought our managers and Council team together in a forum of equals. A clear, well-designed process has us all moving in the same direction. Shannon did a superior job documenting our outcomes into a plan that our team uses every day.”
Bob Macpherson, CAO, District of Tofino