If there is general understanding in our organization that the environment is favourable and the organization is ready for participative decision making then the next step is planning – setting of concrete goals, timeframe, participants and rules. The questions for helping to run this phase of participation smoothly are:
1.What do we want to achieve when we e-engage somebody?
2. What is the timeframe for participation – the beginning, the phases and the end? When should the decision be made?
3. Who should be involved in the planned process? Who are the target groups whom the specific question would directly affect? Who has expert knowledge in this field? Who are the interest groups who could help reach the target groups?
4. How can the target and interest groups be reached? Is it enough to distribute information via e-channels or should other channels be used?
5. What are the rules of participation? How will participants’ input be used and feedback given to them? Who makes the final decision: the participants (for example, through voting) or the local government?
6. How will e-participation be organised technologically? Which technologies will be used? Can the existing ones be used or should new ones be sought? Where will we find them? Will we use freeware or will necessary solutions have to be ordered?