The three-year review period for activity management plans sure comes around quickly! Do you recognise the folllowing scenario?

You’re sitting in an open plan office with an activity management plan (AMP) to review in the next three months. You’re feeling a bit daunted, but you need to get underway. You read the first few pages. Then the person at the desk next to yours answers their phone, and begins a long conversation. You put your headphones on but you can still hear her voice in the background.

Your computer reminds you about a meeting due to start in 15 minutes. It’s not really worth going back into that document right now so you grab a coffee instead, knowing it’s going to be another late night because you really have to make a start on that AMP review.

Later that night, at home, you turn on your computer. But where to start?

Take one small action

Allocate a block of time (say, four hours) in your calendar for carrying out a scoping process. Plan to spend this time in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted or distracted. Ideally, this time should be during the part of the day when you do your best work – such as in the morning, if you are a morning person. Then turn your computer off.

Carry out a scoping process for your AMP

A scoping process will help you to see what needs to be done, and will lead naturally to a project plan of achievable steps. Here are the three steps to follow during your scoping process.

Step 1

Read the key sections of the 2021 version of the AMP, noting what has changed since that document was written.

The strategic direction/context chapter is a great place to start, to think about how events in the past three years are affecting your activity. This may include climate change-related events, other natural hazards, growth, legislative changes, and changes in your council’s spending priorities following the 2022 election, and/or due to recovery costs associated with a significant natural hazard event.

Your improvement plan is another important chapter to review. Note what actions have been completed, and which haven’t.

Skim the remainder of the document for any other details which are now out of date, or will need updating.

Step 2

Prepare a list of the questions you need to answer before making changes to the strategic context chapter of your AMP, what information you need to research, what data needs to be collated, and what things you need to ask other people in your organisation.

Step 3

Write a scoping document for your project that identifies: the extent of changes to be made; the key issues; new data or other information; relevant council documents; and external documents.

Include these topics in your AMP scoping document

Extent of changes to be made

Note any required changes to the structure of the document, as well as the chapters which will need the most changes and the chapters which will only need a few tweaks.

This will help you to estimate the time required to complete your AMP review.

Key issues

List the key issues that your document needs to address. This list is likely to include updates on issues already identified in the 2021 version, and some new issues. You can also remove any issues from the 2021 AMP that have now been resolved.

New data and other information

Do you have any new asset condition data to be include in the AMP?

Has the implementation of the 2021 improvement plan provided you with new information to reflect in the 2024 AMP?

Relevant council documents

List the council documents that you will need to refer to while completing the review of your document. Here are some that you may need to include:

  • your council’s most recent climate change strategy and/or implementation plan, and climate change risk assessments
  • records of community feedback related to specific assets, including responses to any relevant questions in residents’ satisfaction surveys
  • growth strategy
  • development contributions policy
  • spatial plans
  • any changes to resource management documents (at a district or regional level)
  • the most recent annual plan, signaling any changes in spending priorities
  • your council’s strategic/spending priorities and community outcomes
  • any relevant reserve management plans
  • the 2021 Long Term Plan, infrastructure strategy, financial strategy and funding policy.

Don’t get bogged down with reading these documents at the scoping stage. Just note what they are, and where to access them.

Central government documents and funding

What central government legislation, plans, guidance or policy statements might be relevant to your AMP?

Examples include:

  • RMA reforms
  • National policy statements or national environmental standards
  • National Adaptation Plan
  • Emissions Reduction Plan

Have you received central government funding for staff roles or activities that are relevant to your AMP?

Examples include:

  • Kainga Ora developments
  • Covid Recovery funding
  • Better off Funding as part of the Three Waters reform programme.

Again, don’t get lost in the weeds, just note what might be relevant and move on to the next step.

Write a project plan to complete your AMP

When you have scoped your review it becomes much easier to prepare a project plan which breaks down your review process into achievable bites. Ideally, schedule uninterrupted time in your calendar for each of your steps.

Edit your AMP and write the executive summary

Now you just need to edit the AMP and write the executive summary. Here are two resources to help you with these last steps: