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Identify Problems, Planning Objectives and Constraints. Problem Identification. Successful plans address real problems Problem identification directs future activities and the allocation of resources. A Shared Vision.

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Presentation Transcript
problem identification
Problem Identification
  • Successful plans address real problems
  • Problem identification directs future activities and the allocation of resources
a shared vision
A Shared Vision

What is needed most is a Common Understanding

of the Problem

Common Understanding of the Problem Requires:

Agreement on Appropriate Levels of Detail

Common Understanding of the Problem Requires:

Willingness to Learn About the Issues

to begin
To Begin
  • Solicit input
  • Identify problems that currently exist, have been experienced in the past and are expected to recur, or could occur in the future
  • Identify the conditions under which these problems occur
  • Prioritize the problems identified
importance of goals and planning objectives
Importance of Goals and Planning Objectives

Goals are general concepts

  • Economic efficiency
  • Environmental quality
  • Fairness
  • Health
  • Happiness

Objectives are operational definitions of goals

planning is iterative
Planning Is Iterative

We will find ourselves refining all stages of the planning process. These are iterations

When we iterate, we change the scale, time, focus or emphasis of the process.

Iteration relies on feedback for knowing how much is good enough.

We use different techniques planning detail in our iterations.


Screening - separate the obviously bad from the others

We screen on all levels of the planning process (goals, objectives, constraints, alternatives, data, processes, etc.)

Screening is essential but over screening eliminates valuable choices.


Scoping - an open and early process for determining the scope of issues to be addressed an for identifying the significant issues related to a proposed action. (NEPA)

1. Invite participation of all parties

2. Determine scope and significant issues

3. Identify and eliminate from detailed study issues not significant or previously covered.


4. Allocate assignments for preparation of EIS among lead agencies

5. Identify other public ongoing studies or other EISs

6. Identify other environmental reviews

7. Relate study timeline to decision making.

other considerations
Other Considerations

Planning Area “location of resources that would be directly or indirectly or cumulatively affected by alternative plans”

Period of Economic Analysis Period over which we are to study, may be less than life of project Must be the same for all alternatives

definition of planning objectives
Definition of Planning Objectives

A planning objective is a concise, formally structured statement which outlines

  • Whata plan should accomplish
  • Wherea plans influence should be felt
  • Whena plan should be initiated





purpose of planning objectives
Purpose of Planning Objectives

Planning objectives are developed to

  • Focus efforts on problems of greatest concern
  • Ensure that multiple goals are explicitly considered throughout the process
  • Provide a common vision
  • Allow evaluation of a plan
importance of planning objectives
Importance of Planning Objectives

Without good planning objectives

  • Planning loses focus
  • Important interests ignored
  • Important problems not addressed
  • Effective alternatives not formulated
  • Plans cannot be evaluated
  • Implementation becomes impossible
comments on past experience with planning objectives
Comments on Past Experience With Planning Objectives

Experience suggests

  • Poor planning objectives are difficult to overcome
  • Reframing planning objectives late in a study results in lost time and higher costs
  • The importance of planning objectives is not fully appreciated
  • Planners (as well as engineers) do not embrace innovative approaches to meet planning objectives
strategic versus tactical planning
Strategic Versus Tactical Planning

Tactical plans

  • Contain effective responses that mitigate the adverse impacts of short term problems such as drought
  • Can be implemented quickly
strategic versus tactical planning20
Strategic Versus Tactical Planning
  • Contain long term responses related to resource availability, system management strategies, or legal frameworks
  • Requires time to implement

Strategic Plans

elements of well defined plans
Elements of Well Defined Plans

Both tactical and strategic plans must include

  • Clearly stated policy objectives
  • Forecasts of future conditions
  • Evaluation criteria
  • Multiple alternatives
  • Comprehensive description of a preferred strategy
strategic and tactical plans are interrelated
Strategic and Tactical Plans Are Interrelated

Both contribute to system sustainability

formulation of planning objectives
Formulation of Planning Objectives

1. Identify problems of greatest concern

2. Translate problems into achievable objectives

3. Identify where this objective is to be met

4. Identify under what conditions the objective is to be met

Objectives should be stated in a positive sense!

two sheets of paper
Two Sheets of Paper

Every Planning Study should be able to summarize the “Problems and Opportunities” and the “Planning Objectives” on two sheets of paper.

A fourteen-year old should be able to read these to his/her class and everyone in the room should be able to understand the essential features of the problem.

examples of poorly defined planning objectives
Examples of Poorly Defined Planning Objectives
  • Develop a drought contingency plan
  • Build a pumping station at the X reservoir
  • Evaluate instream flow requirements at the Y River basin
  • Avoid adverse effects to fish and wildlife during 50 year droughts
  • Enhance hydropower production
examples of well defined planning objectives
Examples of Well Defined Planning Objectives
  • Enhance the long term reliability of municipal water supply in the Y River basin
  • Ensure adequate instream habitat protection in the Y River basin during drought
  • Enhance fish and wildlife protection in the Z River basin during drought
  • Enhance annual hydropower production in the X River basin for the next 30 years
  • Maintain navigation on the X River during drought
definition of constraints
Definition of Constraints

Constraints are limits to the range of planned responses

Three types of constraints exist

Natural - bound by the laws of nature

External - enforced by outside agents

Perceived - assumed to be undesirable, prohibited or impossible

role of constraints in the planning process
Role of Constraints in the Planning Process

Constraints are used in the planning process as

  • Situations that define the status quo
  • Screening criteria for alternatives
  • Guidelines for project evaluation
when should constraints be challenged
When Should Constraints be Challenged?

Constraints should be challenged if they

  • Obstruct planning objectives
  • Significantly reduce alternative effectiveness
  • Address external agents that no longer exist
  • Are unfounded


  • Problems should be identified and prioritized so that planning objectives can be properly formulated.
  • Planning objectives focus planning efforts and provide a framework for evaluating alternative solutions and formulating effective strategies.
  • Tactical and strategic plans, although inter-related, address different time scales and responses.
  • Planning objectives are essential elements of any tactical or strategic plan.
  • The impact of constraints, real or perceived