A Planning Process Step 03 - Research Your Community

To plan effectively, it is important that the initial participants work collectively to obtain a solid and objective understanding of the existing situation from a systemic or more holistic perspective.

Consequently, a community scan that focuses at a relatively high level needs to be implemented in order to better understand the overall community as a system, to take its 'pulse', and to zero in on priorities.

Typically this isn't an in-depth assessment but rather more of a review or scan of existing plans, ideas and research, conversations and interviews with key informants, and other forms of information.

Unlike many who will want to drill down to the details, this stage of the planning will appeal more to those who are 'big picture thinkers' who intuitively examine the system without finding it to be intimidating.

Community leaders are more apt to be those who are addressing real needs, issues, or trends rather than simply reacting to symptoms.