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Managing a Planning Organization
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Managing a Planning Organization

Managing a Planning Organization

64 min
Credit: AICP CM

This course is approved for 1 AICP CM credit.

Planning is a technical profession by training. Most planning directors and other managers get their positions by being good planners first, and good managers second (if at all). Learning how to manage staff can be a challenge for people who may be very good at subdivision review, or long range planning, but have not had much experience or training in how to motivate people. Add to that the extra challenges of a public office—limited control over pay raises and union involvement in labor relations to name just two—and its clear a whole new set of skills is needed.

At the end of this course, you will understand how to motivate and inspire staff; what steps to take to deal with unmotivated personnel; and how to manage an office as part of a larger organization.

In This Course

  1. As with many technical professions, planners are generally trained to be good at their practice. They are not always taught to manage staff or organizations. Sometimes a professional manager is brought in to manage the office, without any planning background. More often someone who is a good planner is promoted or hired to manage a planning office. The best planning managers are good at the technical side but also understand organizational management.
  2. Managing a Planning Office
    Management consists of many different roles. This chapter will summarize the major roles and how to succeed at them.
  3. Working in the Public Sector
    Government offices are not entirely different from private ones, but there are some key variations. This chapter describes those differences and how to make the most of them (or minimize the down side.)
  4. Motivating Good Employees
    If you can’t just hand out raises and bonuses, what can you do to motivate and retain good employees?
  5. Difficult Employees
    Not every employee is a good one. Even after giving several chances to change, some employees will undermine you or simply try to slide by doing as little work as possible. How do you address these challenges without alienating the office?
  6. Recruitment and Retention
    Recruiting and keeping good employees is essential to your success as a manager.
  7. Managing the Money and Logistics
    Management is about more than people. As a manager, you will need to prepare a budget and provide for operational leadership as well.
  8. Closing Thoughts
    This chapter reviews the key concepts discussed in the course.
  9. Frequently Asked Questions
    This chapter reviews common questions and concerns.

Published 2017