Papakura Business Association - Continuity Programme

Changes in BID and Business Association committee members can challenge the consistent implementation of a strategic plan.   The Papakura Business Association experienced just this issue after multiple new committee members were elected, and a new town centre manager was appointed between 2011 and 2014.  In response, and to help avoid this happening in future, Business Lab developed its Continuity Programme which is now being piloted in Papakura.  The programme provides valuable ongoing support, regular progress reviews, and a refresh of the plan after 12 months – all covered by a simple monthly payment that spreads the cost throughout the year.

The first plan:  In 2011 Business Lab ran a collaborative planning process for the Papakura Business Association which included 32 face-to-face interviews with selected stakeholders and a workshop attracting 58 participants from a wide range of businesses, landlords, community groups and other local agencies.  The plan adopted a range of carefully selected initiatives under three strategic themes that reflected the wisdom of local business-people and input from wider community.

Between 2011 and 2014 the members of PBA committee changed significantly, and a new town centre manager was appointed.  During these changes, and with the new team coming on board, focus on the 2011 plan initiatives was lost. 

Getting back on track:  In 2014 a committee member came across our 2011 plan and enjoyed its clear simplicity as an ideal way to refocus the Association’s work.  The committee reviewed the 2011 plan and found that many of the initiatives had been implemented and decided it was the perfect time for a refresh.  Whilst updating the plan using a streamlined collaborative process, Business Lab developed and proposed its new Continuity Programme to make sure that implementation of the plan would not be disrupted again when new committee members were elected.

“Business Lab worked through an extensive Strategic Plan review for us and produced a practical and effective implementation plan. They have made it simple and easy for us carry on with our work and to stay on track with our strategic plan. We are also the first of their Continuity Programme clients ensuring that the work invested into the plan is kept on track, and that KPI’s will be met going forward.” 

Tracy Shackleton

Papakura Town Centre Manager

Future continuity:  The Continuity Programme is designed to make life easy for business association mangers and committees.  It provides valuable support at key times of the year – including the AGM – as well as offering an ongoing contact point for the town centre manager on an as-needed basis.  It can also include monthly check-in calls with the town centre manager to review progress and develop an action list for the month ahead.

Secondly, the service makes sure the strategic plan remains a living document to ensure agility and a responsive approach by providing an independent six-monthly review.  At this review a Business Lab team member attends a regular committee meeting to assess progress against the plan , and to facilitate a discussion that sets short-term targets or goals for the next six months.

The main feature of the programme is an independently facilitated and comprehensive review of the strategic plan after 12 months at a full committee meeting.  One-on-one conversations with the chairperson and the manager prior to the meeting provide context for the workshop, with the whole committee then reviewing progress and agreeing what initiatives should be prioritised for the next 12 months.  Once changes are agreed, updated strategic and action plans are delivered back to the association.

The Continuity Programme runs for up to three years, at which point a full collaborative planning process is recommended to engage business members, the local community and other key partners.