Public sector planning is an art and a science. Part of the art is getting all the various stakeholders to effectively participate in the decision-making process.

At Decision Lens, we've had the privilege of working with a multitude of Federal, State and Local organizations. Clients use our software for strategic planning, capital improvement, and facilities planning. And time and time again we hear that one of the biggest hurdles to productive planning is the struggle to incorporate input from the public and other stakeholders.

Why is it so hard?

Challenge #1 - Different decision makers

There are so darn many of them! Citizens, engineers, legislators, regulators, special interest groups...It's really difficult to answer to so many bosses.

Challenge #2 - Competing priorities

Everyone comes to the table with a unique set of objectives, expecting that most of them will be met. And, unfortunately, what’s important to one group may not even be on the radar of another.

Challenge #3 - Resource constraints

Times are tough and belts can't get any tighter. Public organizations are under intense pressure to satisfy stakeholders' needs despite limited funds, people, and equipment.

Challenge #4 - Disparate data and opinions

Sometimes we simply aren’t doing a great job of enabling stakeholders to provide input efficiently. Open public forums can be chaotic. Focus groups may not be sufficiently representative. And, without data standardization, it's difficult to fairly compare the merits of different ideas.

Bottom Line

If your organization has one or all of these engagement obstacles, don't be discouraged.

Check out the 5 Best Ways to Boost Stakeholder Engagement in the public planning and capital budgeting process to:

  • Reduce conflict and boost stakeholder participation in strategic decisions
  • Ensure that public decisions are transparent and justifiable
  • Create a structured, repeatable framework for budget investment planning