In simple terms, an operational plan definition is a detailed and thorough plan used to depict a clear picture of how an organization’s department, section or team will contribute to the accomplishment of that organization’s strategic objectives.
Strategic objectives of an organization are described in the business plan or strategic plan, which underlines the organization’s intended direction.
This is the direction that your business plan on moving in the future.
An organization’s strategic plan identifies:
• The organization’s strengths and weakness
• Where the organization is positioned within the marketplace
• Areas susceptible to vulnerability
• Potential areas of growth
Alignment With The Overall Goals
An organization’s operational plan should be in alignment with the overall objectives and goals that are described in the strategic plan.
The alignment can be realized by making sure that the department, section or team purpose aligns with the common objectives and goals of the strategic plan.
In return, the operational plan of the department, section or team should also align itself with the same purpose.
An operational plan can be used by an organization to identify:
• Common objectives and goals of the department, section or team
• How these common objectives and goals will be accomplished
• What kind of resources will be required to meet the goals and objectives
While there are no set rules to adhere to in the format of an operational plan, it will normally bear the following information:
• Organization’s specific goals and objectives
• Kind of actions required to accomplish these goals
• The amount of human resources needed to achieve these goals
• Physical resources required
• An outline of how long such goals and objectives will take to accomplish
• Required budget
Contingency planning typically involves creating alternative plans in the event that circumstances change. Creating an operational plan involves making an accurate prediction on what will happen.
However, certain situations may change during the course, resulting in the initial plan being unsuitable. For this reason, it is important to have an alternative strategy in place which will deal with such changes.
The degree and level on contingency planning that you carryout will largely depend on how your plan will impact on the organization and to the level of which the environment may change.
Here is a practical example: A typical contingency plan often used to create a contact center is normally for unplanned absences.
This kind of contingency plan will be used to provide strategies for how unplanned absences will be dealt with, and with time will be used, or if personnel not on the roster will be called into work.
A team performance plan identifies the team’s required performance, and the method for accomplishing this level of performance has to be in alignment with the operational plan.
The aligning of two plan improvements in the performance of the team can be directed to ensure that the team expands on the skills necessary to achieving the goals and objectives that are outlined in the operational plan.