Case Study

City of Westerville, Measure of Public Opinion

The Context

A thriving municipality in Central Ohio, the City of Westerville has experienced tremendous population and commercial growth in the past ten years. To help plan for the future needs of its constituents as well as to solidify the base of businesses located there, the City needed to obtain and consider the perspectives of key stakeholders – residents, business leaders, and city employees.

The Critical Question

What do key stakeholders perceive to be the City’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats?

Our Solution

Our research team organized and facilitated multiple focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders throughout the community. Using a variant of the Compression Planning method for facilitating small group discussions, which is a visual process that separates the generation of ideas from the evaluation of those ideas, the participants shared their opinions, perceptions, and suggestions.


After a careful analysis of the results from these group sessions, we identified multiple areas of consensus among these different stakeholder groups. We also identified issues specific to each group, helping the City better understand the unique needs and desires of these key groups.


These key communal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats were presented to the City and directly influenced the revision of the City’s Strategic Plan.