Develop Tactical and Operational Plans

The planning process begins at the top of the organization, where upper-level managers create a strategic plan, but it doesn't end there. The execution of the strategic plan involves managers at all levels.

Tactical Plans

The overall plan is broken down into more manageable, shorter-term components called tactical plans. These plans specify the activities and allocation of resources (people, equipment, money) needed to implement the overall strategic plan over a given period. Often, a long-range strategic plan is divided into several tactical plans; a five-year strategic plan, for instance, might be implemented as five one-year tactical plans.

Operational Plans

The tactical plan is then broken down into various operational plans that provide detailed action steps to be taken by individuals or groups to implement the tactical plan and, consequently, the strategic plan. Operational plans cover only a brief period – say, a week or a month. At Notes-4-You, for example, notetakers might be instructed to turn in typed class notes five hours earlier than normal on the last day of the semester (an operational guideline). The goal is to improve the customer-satisfaction score on dependability (a tactical goal) and, as a result, to earn the loyalty of students through attention to customer service (a strategic goal).