Alternatives/Supplements to
Traditional Economic Development Strategic Planning

“Serial ED” – Uncovering the hidden values of incrementalism in Economic Development Strategic Planning.

Some jurisdictions are well-served through traditional methods of preparing economic development strategic plans: periodic processes involving research/documentation pertaining to the local economy and various foundational conditions, meetings with stakeholders, and vetting of alternative strategic action items. For other places, an alternative, incremental approach may be more productive, for any one of the following reasons:

  • An incremental approach facilitates the continuous updating of the strategic plan, maintaining currency with rapidly changing global-to-local economic disruptions and other evolving conditions.

  • An incremental approach helps to institutionalize engagement of stakeholders over the long term, which can help stakeholders, particularly those who function as economic development partners, stay up-to-date, maintain their sense of accountability for previous commitments to action items, and sustain an appropriate level of focus on the interrelationship of economic development to other issues.

  • An incremental approach can help stakeholders absorb unfoldment of the strategic plan over a timeframe more compatible with their other ongoing duties.

  • Numerous online platforms for stakeholder engagement can expedite multiple processes critical to the strategic plan development. For example, allowing flexibility in the timing of participation by both the overall stakeholder group and any individual, and expediting continuous monitoring and updating of the action plan.

  • Budget commitments can be spread over a longer period of time and even be part of an ongoing annual appropriation.

McClure Consulting welcomes the opportunity to explore this concept with interested parties.

“No Strategy Left Behind” Internal Coordination of Strategic Development Initiatives

Jurisdictions can set an example for economic development stakeholder partners by demonstrating an internal commitment to implementing development-related strategic plans. To this end, McClure Consulting recommends that jurisdictions consider establishing a “Strategy Clearinghouse.” Within this clearinghouse framework, plans related to land use and capital improvements, along with budgets and other relevant documents, are assessed according to the extent to which the documents reflect the jurisdiction’s development-oriented strategic direction, throughout the organization and over time.

McClure Consulting can provide a customized design and/or implementation plan to accomplish this objective.