Definition, Types and Examples of Operational Plans for Business

Operational planning examples can be defined as plans that are prepared by an organization’s components that define the actions to be taken to support strategic objectives and plans for upper level management.

To fully understand what operational plans are, we need to look at operational planning examples within an organization.

Attributes Of An Operational Plan

Let’s describe the attributes of operational plan. Firstly, it presumes that upper level management has created a tactical plan as well as a strategic plan.

This goes to mean that lower level managers should have a clear understanding of what they are trying to realize. To make this happen, they need to create a thorough and detailed plan.

Secondly, the operational planning examples is only limited to a single part of the business.

A typical case scenario of operational planning examples will be, a big corporate (strategic plan) has a manufacturing department (tactical plan) which produces certain products, A,B,C. Every product is produced in a different plant run by its own plant manager who creates his or her own separate operational plan.

In essence, operational plans can be divided into two categories:

•             Single use plans – These only address a specific problem or the current period. A typical example would be to make plans to cut costs in the following year.

•             Ongoing plans --- These carry ahead to future periods and are modified as necessary. A typical example would be to create long-term plans to retain the workforce instead of retrenchments.

Operational Planning Examples

Congratulations, you've just been promoted to plant manager for product B! The department manager, who’ll be your new boss has just notified you that the business’s strategic plan is to boost returns to shareholders over the following five years.

The department’s tactical plan to sustain this corporate objective is made of three major parts. First, the manager will want to reduce costs by 10% over the following year.

The next step will be to avoid retrenchments, but boost production by 3%.

He then asks that you create an operational plan for your plant’s activities and objectives to show him how you’ll achieve them. He also wants to know the kind of actions you’ll take, when the actions will be executed and who will execute them.

He also needs to know if you’ll require extra resources such as manpower or financial to implement the plan.

An operational plan aligns business strategic plans with the actual daily operations of the business. This is where macro meets micro.

Effectively running a successful organization requires paying a great of attention not only to the broader objectives, but also to how these objectives will be met on a daily basis, further backing the need for creating such intricate plans.