Planning activities are essential to effective agency management. Frequently, they are the responsibility of a permanent component of the agency; however, they may be performed by staff from various units or contracted to an outside professional consultant. Complex demands for services and limited public resources require that the park and recreation agency carefully research operational alternatives and plan future programs. Precise guidelines should establish the parameters of planning tasks and responsibilities.
The strength of the planning unit's leadership is a major ingredient in a productive and effective planning effort. This competence may be reflected both in academic training and in prior professional experience. The chief administrator should be closely involved in the planning process. A direct relationship between planning personnel and the chief administrator enhances the ability for the planning personnel to collect data and make recommendations, and the chief administrator's ability to make informed decisions.
Strategic planning is vital to high performing organizations and involves organizational and community input to identify and come to agreement on vision, mission, and values that support and guide the systems, structures, and strategies as a framework for organizational progress to achieve results.
These standards examine the types of planning necessary for administrators to efficiently and effectively manage both day-to-day and long-term operations of a park and recreation agency.