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Operational and tactical plans are more concrete and expressed in practical day-to-day terms.Operational plans might include written manufacturing capacity plans, inventory, and sales forecasts; and financial, human resource, and advertising budgets, for monthly or quarterly periods.They need to throw in anything remotely relevant, such as business planning, marketing and product development, strategic management, portfolio analysis, research into new markets, financial planning and raising capital, acquisitions and mergers planning, action plans, restructuring the management, managing the research function.
It enables organisations to think through and document what they are doing, for whom they are doing it, and why.
A corporate strategic plan, then, consists of a very few but momentous statements about the long-term future of the organization as a whole.'We will merge with a competitor' is a message of the utmost simplicity but of huge importance for any business - if they do merge life will never be the same again.
Despite the clear distinctions we are making it is also important to understand that operational and strategic planning are interrelated and complementary decision processes, which must link to each other, inform and support one another for effective management of strategies.
Operational planning is the day-by-day, week-by-week, and month-by-month planning for a myriad of local and functional activities; strategic planning sets the overall direction of your organisation as a whole, its destiny if you will.
However, the difference between operational and strategic planning is more than a matter of short or long term planning horizon.
In my view the number, scope and time span of the decisions involved are at the heart of the definition of strategic planning.The decisions that constitute the strategic plan include what the enterprise is not currently doing, but should be doing.The choices of what to do imply other things that the organization deliberately chooses not do.The strategic plan embodies very big decisions with major consequences for the overall performance.Strategic and tactical planning are different in kind.Strategic planning also provides the indicators for assessing and controlling performance of the organization as a corporate whole.We define operational planning, on the other hand, as the setting of short-term objectives for specific functional areas such as finance, marketing, and human resources.We need to keep operational and strategic planning clearly distinct in our thinking and discussion of planning in organizations.Operational and strategic planning are linked decision processes, which should be designed to inform and support one another for effective management of strategies to improve overall performance of the organization, whether business or non profit.Performance is monitored and controlled using management performance indicators (MPI) or Key Performance Indicators (KPI) rather than Corporate Performance Indicators (CPI) or Beneficiary Performance Indicators (BPI).This latter is a tool unique in the Argenti Strategic Planning Process.