The work supports and produces materials for the preparers of the Council of Oulu region (North-Ostrobothnia) in the preparation of the provincial programme 2022–2025. At the same time, joint work ensures the commitment of various stakeholders to the initial guidelines of the strategy. Programme preparation support is divided into three parts: 1) identifying changes in the operating environment interactively and gathering forces for change as a basis for programming, 2) facilitating interaction and preparing material for the provincial programme process and its preparation as a base for strategic development themes and the content selection of the provincial programme 2022–2025 and 3) refining the content of the provincial programme by sparring ‘phenomenon groups’ formed around selected development themes. It is essential in the preparation to ensure the involvement and commitment of municipalities (including political) to the programme and key themes both before and after the municipal elections. In addition, it is important to ensure that business views are gathered to feed into programme preparation. A phenomenon-based approach is sought in the preparation and selection of content. This is supported by ‘new ways of doing’ in the preparation phase.