Using planning to construct a better future
A DETR case study

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Page 1: Introduction

Detr 4 Image 1Planning is the process of deciding what you want to achieve in the future and then thinking about ways of making it happen. First comes defining aims which are specific, measurable and achievable - which can be the most difficult part. Once you have done that, you can set about identifying what practical steps are needed.

Planning is not just important for individuals. It is also vital for the success of organisations. Forward planning is essential for every organisation whatever its business is. It should never be seen as a paper process or intellectual exercise with no relation to the real world. It is a practical tool, providing a guide to the complex series of actions which individuals and teams need to carry out over an extended period to achieve a goal.

Planning makes it possible to evaluate the effectiveness of action against clear standards. A plan can also contribute to a sense of common purpose and corporate identity. It is not easy to appreciate the various elements of the planning process if you do not have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in preparing a plan. The aims of this case study are to:

  • help you to appreciate the various elements of the planning process
  • give you a practical example of a complex problem which can be tackled by developing a plan based on research, survey data and consultation with other people
  • involve you in developing a travel plan for your school or college.

Planning should be a cyclical process leading to continual improvement. Monitoring and feedback lead to revision of the aims and of the ways of achieving them, and the results are in turn monitored. Doing this effectively requires not only teamwork and co-ordination, but also consulting all those who need to take action or who are affected. Each group and individual will have their own agenda, and a successful plan will consider how to deal with fears and concerns and sell the benefits.

The four school transport plans illustrated in this case study show how schools, teachers and students have worked together to develop plans to improve the journey to school.

DETR | Using planning to construct a better future