16 February 2012

Charrettes Produce Action Plans for the Department of Defense

The use of charrettes is not limited to physical design projects. While the NCI Charrette System™ was created for the world of architecture and community planning, it is being used for other types of non-physical planning as well.
NCI recently conducted a week-long training for the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) at the US Department of Defense. The OEA provides assistance to communities that have been affected by base closures or expansions and addresses compatibility issues between military and civilian programs.

One of the training case studies involved a base expansion that required a regional response to infrastructure improvements. A joint land use plan had been completed but what was really needed was an action plan agreed upon by the various state and local agencies and cities.

During the training, the DOD project team customized the NCI Charrette System™ to create a process by which the key stakeholders would convene for a three-day charrette to co-author an action plan roadmap. The process included a pre-charrette period during which a core stakeholder group will develop several alternative roadmaps that are brought to the charrette.

During the charrette the larger group of key stakeholders will be involved in a series of feedback loops over the course of the three days, during which they review, debate and synthesize the best ideas from each alternative. The core group will then take the results of each feedback session to develop a final preferred roadmap for presentation and approval by the larger stakeholder group on the last charrette day.

The NCI Charrette System™ is the quickest and most efficient way to arrive at an action plan. Instead of a series of meetings held over the course of months, the charrette approach brings together key stakeholders for a concise, compressed period during which they get out of their silos and work together to create lasting agreements.

See NCI Executive Director, Bill Lennertz, discuss charrettes for action plans: