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The Five Keys 

The five keys aim to overcome the reasons comprehensive plans are not implemented. They point to important efforts beyond the traditional comprehensive and beyond the writing of the plan book.

The five keys are:

  1. Focus on the community's real, relevant issues.

  2. Organize the plan the way elected officials and citizens think. 

  3. Devise workable recommendations with action plans. 

  4. Recruit partners and create capacity to implement the plan.

  5. Build community excitement, ownership and commitment. 

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Key #1

Focus the plan on relevant, real community issues 

To make sure an Implementable Comprehensive Plan focuses on relevant and real community issues, the planner should focus on these three steps:

  • Identify the community's crucial issues

  • Prioritize the issues

  • Substantiate and validate the issues   

Key #2

Organize the plan the way local officials & citizens think 

To make sure an Implementable Comprehensive Plan is understandable and useful to citizens and officials, the planner should focus on these components:

  • The report's organization or structure

  • Content choices that tell a story

  • Communicating ideas creatively so everyone understands 

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Key #3

Devise practical and workable recommendations

Plans should provide a small number of recommendations containing practical depth and detail instead of a large number of general recommendations.

Key #4

Recruit partners and create capacity to implement the plan

  • Create a structure and capacity for implementation

  • Stakeholders, experts, and resource groups need to be participants and encouraged to take be real partners in implementation 

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Key #5

Build community ownership and commitment

A comprehensive plan the community truly owns and is committed to, is more likely to be implemented.

  • Elected officials need to be committed and involved from day one for funding and future government decisions 

  • The broader community must be involved to generate excitement and support 

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