Key Steps for An Impactful Budget to Drive Your Agenda

By Kristopher Browning

Budget season is back for public agencies across the country. Public sector leaders, charged with developing a budget that drives their organization’s core mission and brings value to the community, are once again beginning to review, evaluate, and prepare budgets for the coming fiscal year.

As your organization begins the process of crafting its budget, several key steps can support creating an impactful financial plan to effectively drive your agenda:

  1. Set clear goals. With clarity, define the specific outcomes your organization will strive to achieve in the coming year. What will measurable success look like at the end of the fiscal year?
  2. Develop a workplan. What are the key projects, programs, and activities that teams will need to complete over the course of the year to achieve the desired outcomes? (See suggestions on this below.)

  3. Develop a budget. With outcomes and a workplan to achieve them in place, what are the financial resources required to deliver the workplan?


As your organization develops a workplan for the year, consider conducting a Start-Stop-Continue exercise to capture priority areas and activities for delivering success outcomes. The exercise sets the stage for leadership teams to identify, develop, and create a plan to change or continue activities that will support envisioned success.

The most successful agencies have a budget that’s informed by their workplan and are focused on delivering on the success outcomes. How are you going to define and create a path to success for your organization’s next fiscal year?


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