Implementation Month: The Committee

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It’s National Implementation Month! Last week we discussed the Implementation Matrix. But the matrix is worthless without someone to actually work on the implementation actions. In small towns across the United States, there simply isn’t enough staff to implement the action items listed within that matrix. This is where the Implementation Committee comes in.

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Most comprehensive plans have a stakeholder committee of individuals that provide input on the plan throughout the planning process. This committee is often made up of select city staff, a few elected officials, appointed board members (Planning Commission, etc), and select persons within the community. Quite often this group is an integral part of the development of the final plan document, but most times this group is disbanded upon plan completion and adoption.

Don’t let these people get away from the process. They have the most intimate knowledge of the plan of anyone in the community. Hence, they are a logical starting point for an implementation committee that can take the goals and objectives of a comprehensive plan and help push them forward towards implementation.

However, if the original comprehensive plan stakeholder committee is long-disbanded, one can get started from scratch. Here are a few suggested members:

  • Select city staff
  • One or two elected officials
  • Appointed officials (members from the Planning Commission, Park Board, etc)
  • Representatives from the local chamber of commerce or industrial foundation
  • Representatives from major employers
  • A local school superintendent or principal
  • Hospital board member
  • Non-profit representatives
  • Other highly-motivated individuals

Regardless of who you put on the committee, make sure they have the right personality for the job. Implementation is tougher than it may seem at first. They need to energetic, willing to work with others, and unwilling to give up.