Manage the influence processes

Create outcome accountability

Hold a comprehensive, long-term vision

Aim for consensus


Stakeholders, Investors, and Voters cooperatively manage a comprehensive, agreed-upon Growth and Land Use plan.

Intended Outcomes

If actual outcomes do not meet or exceed intended outcomes only four things can be the cause. More . . .

The Context Model

The Context Model provides the highest-level description of the overall system.  In the case of Growth and Land Use planning, the context model is a simple planning model. 

In this model, a Plan with certain Goals & Objectives is created based on Theories.

Best practices compare a Plan's Goals & Objectives (it's Intended Outcomes) to actual Outcomes using Measures.

Differences between Goals & Objectives and actual Outcomes are analyzed to provide information for Plan Adjustments.

Plans are always based on Theories which can be explicitly defined like the theory of Smart Growth and New Urbanism that provide the basis for WA State's Growth Management Act or they can be implicitly defined by the infrastructure used to implement the Plan.

Goals & Objectives provide the optimal starting point for Plan Adjustments.

In Washington State, the Growth and Land Use planning Context Model uses a Decision-Enforcement system as its basis.  Legislation is used to capture decisions in the context of law and are enforced by Service Agencies.

Key Elements of the system are Existing Legislation, the Decision Makers, the Enforcement Agencies, and the Influences on the Goals & Objectives provided by Stakeholders, Investors, and Voters.

The fundamental strategy is the Influence Model for the Context System.

Influencing the Key Elements is critical to the Quality of the Context Model.  The Quality of the Process used by Stakeholders and Investors to set Goals & Objectives and influence Decision Makers and Enforcement Agencies is one cornerstone.  Others include the Quality of the Decision Makers, the Existing Legislation, the underlying Theories, and the Measurement system.

These set the priorities for the explicit architectural definitions included here.

Keep it simple

It would be a mistake to look at the Context Model and try to make it complicated.  The model is applicable to any situation where a plan exists that intends to produce any type of outcome and can be descriptive even in the simplest situations.

Say, for example, that you wanted to bake a cake.  You would get a recipe (the theory) and would create the cake by following the recipe, mixing the ingredients and baking the mixture (the plan) with the idea of producing a good looking and great tasting cake (the goals and objectives).  When the cake was done you would taste it (the outcomes) and compare it to the results you had in mind.  Assuming that the cake was not what you intended you would take your observations (the measures) and make changes to the recipe (the adjustments) and produce a new plan.

Key Elements Framework Map

  • What
    • Existing Legislation
  • Who
    • Decision Makers
    • Enforcement Agencies
    • Stakeholders
    • Investors
    • Advocates
    • Voters
  • How
    • Influences
  • Why
    • Goals & Objectives

The Plan Context Model