Targeting Food and Agriculture Sector Resources to High-Priority Resilience Needs

Client: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Infrastructure Protection
tilled agriculture field Food and Agriculture Sector Government Coordinating Council value proposition graphic Food and Agriculture Sector Government Coordinating Council vision graphic FASGCC strategic plan pages Food and Agriculture Sector Government Coordinating Council Strategic Plan cover

Project Overview

Nexight Group designed and implemented a strategic planning process for the Food and Agriculture Sector Government Coordinating Council (FASGCC), a group of federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government representatives working with private-sector counterparts to ensure the resilience of Food and Agriculture facilities and networks.

Need

In its first seven years, the FASGCC worked with the private sector to develop critical tools, exercises, and training. But facing a rapidly evolving threat environment and growing budget constraints for members, the Council needed to expand its membership and focus limited resources on the activities that offered the greatest impact to the sector.

Our Solution

Nexight Group developed and facilitated a comprehensive strategic planning process that culminated in a concise and actionable 3-year Strategic Plan for members. Before the Council could jump into Strategic Plan development, it needed to first identify and communicate the value of Council participation and better engage membership at the state and local levels. Because the full Council meets only quarterly, we established a Strategic Planning Working Group of dedicated Council members to lay the groundwork for the Strategic Plan between meetings. To maximize time and travel resources, Nexight facilitated a series of six in-person quarterly Council meetings and six 1.5-hour Working Group conference calls to guide a focused discussion among GCC members over an 18-month period. Nexight used the outcomes of those strategic planning sessions to develop five strategy publications for the FASGCC:

  1. Value Proposition: We facilitated the Council to articulate five values that can be gained through GCC partnership participation. It serves as a concise outreach document for new members.
  2. Engagement Plan: This plan characterizes obstacles and solutions to member diversity and outlines immediate next steps to increase participation in the GCC, including the development of a three-year Strategic Plan.
  3. Engagement and Implementation Plan: The Implementation Plan defines the scope, design, and requirements of the Strategic Plan, which the Strategic Planning Working Group used as a tasking document to guide plan development.
  4. Strategic Plan (2012–2015): The three-year Strategic Plan is an actionable guide for GCC members and an effective outreach piece to communicate GCC activities to government leaders and industry partners. It includes the GCC’s vision, mission, strategic goals, and priority activities within each of the four goals. The core of the plan is eight brief work plans that identify tasks, completion dates, roles and responsibilities, expected accomplishments and benefits, and immediate next steps.
  5. Next Step Action Plans: Nexight Group developed a template for immediate tasks and critical decisions to help jumpstart implementation once the plan was approved.

Impact

Council working groups are now working to implement the Strategic Plan’s eight activity work plans. Members noted that the plan’s clear tasks, roles, and metrics for achievement made it actionable and has encouraged members to voluntarily lead activities. The FASGCC proposed this process as an ideal planning process for other Government Coordinating Councils.