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Comprehensive planning, a form of strategic planning for local governments, is mandatory in several states and voluntary in others. Researchers (Boyne, 2001) conducted studies in the area of strategic planning by private organizations and concluded that strategic planning associated with superior performance. In addition Boyne concluded that the empirical relationship between strategic planning and performance in the public sector is unknown. Other researchers have concluded that while local governments have been practicing comprehensive planning for decades, they do not know what contributes to its success or failure. The private sector has found that strategic planning optimizes return on capital investments, increases productivity and profitability and meets the customers needs.

Dr. Van Buskirk conducted three years of research to determine those factors that lead to a successful comprehensive planning process and plan performance. He developed and tested a survey instrument that can scientifically determine the per cent of the plans objectives and goals will be accomplished as a result of the activities that take place during the planning process. The instrument also determines what activities a local government should include during its process to be successful. Communities that are interested in the survey instrument and its application can contact Dr. Paul Van Buskirk. The following are some examples of some of the questions on the survey instrument.

The PVB Survey instrument as illustrated here can be produced online or in hard copy and the data can be processed by Van Buskirk, Ryffel & Associates, Inc. to predict comprehensive plan performance. The PVB Survey has been successfully tested for reliability and validity.


Copyright 2011 by Van Buskirk, Ryffel and Associates, Inc.