“Strategic Planning Vs Operational Planning”

01-December-2020 by Virtue Ventures

We experience a typical misunderstanding while working with organizations that distinction between strategic planning and operational planning. While both of them are closely connected, it's critical to understand how they are different and how an organization can use both types of plans.

Many companies mistakenly believe they have developed a strategic plan after meeting with their team and creating a list of short, medium and long-term tasks and projects. In any case, strategic planning is a high-level, macro activity that hones in on your organization’s strategic priority areas and goals for the mid to long term range.

A solid strategic plan fills in as a guide to follow from where you are currently, to where you need to be. An operational plan, however, focuses in on the micro, or the day-to-day and weekly actions that can help your people achieve organizational goals.

Strategic Planning:

A strategic plan outlines your mission, vision, and high-level goals for the next three to five years. It also takes into account how you’ll measure those goals, and the major projects you’ll take on to meet them.

The strategic plan asks questions about the organization such as:

What do we do and for what reason do we do it?
What are our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
What market trends or client demands support the vision?
What barriers may we encounter?
Where is our organization now, and where do we want to go in the future?
Which key regions would we want to concentrate on?


Strategic Planning Process Steps

Each business should have a strategic plan—but the number of businesses that try to operate without a defined plan might surprise you.
Since such a significant number of organizations fall flat in such matters, you can get ahead of the game using strategic planning.


What is the strategic planning process?

In the most straightforward terms, the strategic planning process is the method that organizations use to develop plans to achieve overall, long-term goals.
The strategic planning process is more extensive—it helps you make a road map for which strategic objectives you should put effort into achieving and which initiatives will be less helpful to the business. The strategic planning process steps are outlined below.
1.  Determine your strategic position.
2. Prioritize your objectives.
3. Develop a strategic plan.
4. Execute and manage your plan.
5. Review and revise the plan if required.


Strategic planning offers the following benefits to the organization:


> Financial Benefits

> Optimum Utilization of Resources

> Guide to Organizational Activities

> Competitive Advantage

> Minimizes the risk of failure

> Increases the motivation and Innovation amongst the team members


Operational Planning:

An operational plan is a methodology of what your department/team will focus on for the near future - usually the upcoming year.

Operational planning generally supports strategic planning efforts. Whereas strategic priorities are concentrated on a few areas that need to be reviewed on a continuous basis, operational plans can have more items ranging from a single to do short, mid and long-term projects. While strategic plans often begin at the organizational level, operational plan looks into individual departments and teams and can converge on the day to day necessities of running the business.

Operational plan is the second step for any organization after preparation of the Strategic Plan. If your people don’t understand where the organization is headed, it can be difficult to decide which operational tasks and projects can propel the company into its ideal future state.

In short, operational planning can be done at the end of a strategic planning session, once the organizational priorities and goals are established – AND/OR - If the organization already has a strategic plan, operational planning can be done on an ongoing basis to remain aligned with the company’s strategic direction.

Operational plans ask questions such as:

    > What projects do we need to associate with to achieve our goals?

    > What daily tasks do we need to implement, continue, or stop in order to function?

    > Who is responsible for what?

    > Does this task or action support the organizations mission, vision, and values (and is it aligned with the strategy)?

Difference between strategic Planning and Operational Planning