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31 Decision Points within resource agencies. A scope may define the geographical bound- the Vision Guide aries of a community or establish the range of issues to be addressed, which may in turn inform partner efforts. Estab- To enhance compatibility across current Capacity research lishing the scope also represents a commitment by the spon- areas, this project has mirrored the TCAPP approach by soring organization to complete a visioning process within identifying transitions within the model visioning process at a certain time frame or including certain activities, and can which a practitioner may arrive at key decision points. As a be linked to future progress reporting efforts. This decision result, these decision points also provide important linkages point marks the transition from the preparation phase to the to the transportation processes identified in the TCAPP Deci- activities involved in creating the vision. sion Guide. The following descriptions of decision points highlight the importance, purpose, actors involved, and link- ages for key transitions within a visioning process. Approve Goals Reaching consensus on community goals is a key milestone What Is a Decision Point? in a visioning process and substantially informs many future activities. Approval of goal statements by stakeholders or From the perspective of a visioning practitioner, certain steps sponsors provides an early opportunity to establish a shared are arrived at within visioning processes that represent a mile- identity, to create a sense of purpose for the vision, or to iden- stone or critical juncture. These decision points may mark the tify common values. end of a phase or the completion of a key activity, but they Goal statements are important outcomes that are continu- commonly represent important opportunities to reach con- ally transferred through the visioning process. Community sensus on a vision outcome with partners and stakeholders. goals are often used as a basis to assess the merits of alter- Decision points also provide important linkages to other native futures, to organize task forces or issue area working processes, plans, or procedures. For example, a vision out- groups, or to inform the principles, indicators, or other out- come once adopted is more likely to be used by a public agency comes of a visioning process. Approval of goals by stake to inform ongoing efforts. The opportunity to recognize and holders and the public may be more significant than approval adopt a vision outcome formally is considered a decision by the vision's decision-making body. Broad buy-in to the point and an opportunity to transfer information from broad ideas and commitments represented by goal statements from visioning efforts to defined planning and project development a number of partners will help ensure the longevity of the processes. vision. Approval of goals by key partners and implementing Within the Vision Guide, five decision points are identi- agencies also is important and may be completed by a formal fied and depicted as gray boxes. Decision points may occur at process to be recognized by an agency. Once approved, goals the end of a phase or represent interim steps within a phase. may be used as inputs to the planning efforts of partners, by Determining decision points was completed in close coop- helping establish the scope of a long-range transportation plan, eration with the contractor of the SHRP 2 C01 project to ensure or by assisting in the selection of alternatives to be assessed in compatibility between the two research efforts. Each decision a corridor planning effort, for example. point is described in more detail below. Adopt Futures Approve Scope Common to any visioning process is the creation and selec- Effectively planning visioning activities and managing the tion of a preferred future or multiple futures. This may be expectations of stakeholders and partners are critical to a suc- accomplished through scenario-planning activities and cessful process. At this point in the preparation of visioning involving stakeholders in assessing alternatives and selecting activities, seeking approval of the project scope from a lead preferences. This important decision point, when consensus committee, sponsoring organization, or funding partners is reached on a preferred course of action, is an explicit objec- assists practitioners in both these aims. A scope of work tive of visioning. should establish a detailed, phased approach that allows for Adopting a preferred future may be accomplished by solic- reassessments at critical junctures in the process. A scope iting the approval of stakeholders through extensive outreach may be approved and committed to by the leadership of a and involvement opportunities. This may be followed by for- sponsoring organization, but it also should be clearly docu- mal adoption from the leadership of a convening organiza- mented and communicated to a broader audience to help tion, or the pledge of elected officials, or through recognition manage expectations of the vision's purpose. by public agencies. It is this formal adoption step that enables The scope for a visioning process may also provide impor- transfer of the vision's preferred future into related plan- tant links to parallel planning efforts by transportation or ning efforts.