Tactical Planning: The 5th Step to Operational Excellence

Tactical Planning: The 5th Step to Operational Excellence

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Tactical Planning

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Planning brings about a difference to a process and gives it a sense of purpose. Be it something as basic as planning for a trip with friends or something more complicated like the plan to start an organization. Planning can help every member involved to be on the same page, working towards a common goal with minimal setbacks. With proper planning, it is possible for a company to run smoothly towards its mission and vision with ease. You never know what is ‘round the bend, but being prepared for it will make a team prepared if any obstacles do pop up en route. This sense of looking out for the future in a tactical way, better put together as Tactical Planning is the 5th step in Operational Excellence.

Tactical Planning is an important part of a company’s strategic planning process. A company usually begins with its mission and vision and tactical plans are the necessary action steps necessary to get the results. While strategic plans give a sense of direction and vision for the company and its employees, tactical planning is the final stage that makes all the difference. Tactical plans are sometimes called short term action plans as they breakdown bigger picture goals into narrower, actionable tasks. The key to a well-developed tactical plan according to Small Business portal is having specifically-stated actions assigned to particular employees with specific deadlines. The goals and strategies give a vision, while actions make the company plans real. These actions are achieved through tactical planning,  giving the organization a major boost in terms of growth. While developing a plan, always go above and beyond the possibilities keeping backup plans ready. Always have the question ‘what if’ in your mind while you are drafting any plans, from a simple task to an elaborate long-term project. This helps in switching routes when things do not go as planned and to make things better even if they are going smooth. It helps out in anticipating a best and worst case scenario. A good tactical plan can help sort out most of the emergency situations that arise within an organization. Let us consider a general example. If an organization needs to hire 1000 people then more than one department will have their hands in the process. The Human Resources department takes care of the hiring process while the Administrative department takes care of the space and other facilities for the new workers and also arrangements would be made for training sessions and materials. In this case, the ‘What if’s can be as follows –

  • If the company is asked to hire more than 2,000 employees instead of the 1,000.
  • If you only end up hiring 200 people instead of 1,000.

A good tactical plan should be able to cope with the changes and fit in perfectly. With perfect tactical planning, the employees are able to mitigate situations without dragging the top level management into the confusion. However, standard operating procedures should be made for the various situations that arise along the way. Tactical planning should essentially focus on a handful of core company goals. Too many points would lead to fragmentation of the employee activities and this in turn would give rise to confusion inside the organization.

Thus, strategic planning clears the issues pertaining to the mission and vision of the organization, while tactical planning is the day-to-day tasks that must be done in order to lead the organization to its mission. Set the stage with strategy and tactics to take your organization to a whole new level of  Operational Excellence.

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