Convening for Action in British Columbia: What ‘Outcome-Oriented’ Means

Note to Readers:

During the November-December 2010 period, the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia released a series of five articles that are designed to inform local governments and others about a ‘course correction’ for Integrated Stormwater Management Plans (ISMPs). The series describes:

  • what ISMPs are;
  • how local governments can do more with less; and
  • how local governments can ensure ISMPs are outcome-oriented.

The first in the series provides regulatory and historical context, identifies introduces guiding principles for implementing change on the ground, explains what outcome-oriented means, and sets the stage for the four stories that follow.

ADAPT - guiding principles for ismps

What ‘Outcome-Oriented’ Means

Tim-Pringle_2008_120p“Outcome-oriented planning is a problem-solving PROCESS. It is not a procedure. It is not a matter of applying a regulation or a checklist,” explains Tim Pringle, founding Executive Director, Real Estate Foundation of BC. “Going through a process becomes talent development. Participants have to be committed to the outcome. To get there, they have to function as a team. It is the talent development process that enables development of outcome-oriented plans. It is very definitely a grounded approach.”

Focus on Values and Actions

Experience has demonstrated that four ingredients will be in the mix when practitioners in a local government setting undertake to develop outcome-oriented plans. The participants will have to collaborate to:

  1. Define the problem
  2. Declare the community’s values
  3. Select and apply the right tools
  4. Wrestle with the solutions

This is not high-level or theoretical language. It is about hard work and applying common sense. Mutual support and the shared process are also critical. This is what has been learned from successful outcome-oriented processes such as the Bowker Creek Blueprint. Focus on values and actions. Keep it simple. Find a starting point that is intuitive to everyone. Ensure actions are practical and easy to implement.

To Learn More:

To read the complete story posted on the Rainwater Management Community-of-Interest, click on Story #1 in the ISMP Course Correction Series: Re-Focus on Stream Health and Watershed Outcomes

ISMP story #1 - cover (475p)