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The City of Prior Lake, Minnesota has a “Vision 2030” process that has been in place for over seven years. In 2011, faced with dramatic changes to the economic and demographic factors in the vision and strategic plan, the city embarked on its regular review (every three years) of its vision/strategic plan.
The city engaged more than 85 of its citizens, department heads, city council, and city leadership in an Implications Wheel exploration to examine the possible implications of the economic, demographic, environmental, and financial challenges the city was facing. In teams of five, they generated almost 1200 implications, both positive and negative.
Based on the insights of the Implications Wheel, the city leadership and department heads engaged in a Vision Album process. They developed scenarios based on existing city properties and characteristics, new ideas, developed scenarios for both resident and visitor experiences in the city — in the future.
The multiple scenarios were combined into a three page “vision” draft for the city which was then edited to a single page “vision” scenario for the city in 2030.
In their existing strategic plan, the city had 186 goals and initiatives focused on 12 different “elements” in areas like economic development, natural resources, etc. Developing a Strategy Matrix, they reduced the initiatives to 36 in 7 “elements.” Applying the Strategy Matrix, they then assessed the priorities of the 36 initiatives for both the short term and long term — resulting in clearly set priorities for their strategic plan.