An Overview Of Operational Planning

Operational planning is defined as the process that involves planning strategic goals, objectives and tactical goals.

It describes conditions and milestones that are necessary for success and how or what portions of a strategic plan will be implemented into an operation during an operational period during a fiscal year, in commercial application or during some other budgetary term.

Operational planning forms the basis for justifying an operating budget request. For this reason, a five year strategic plan would normally need five operational plans that are funded by five different operating budgets.

An operational plan should be able to establish the budgets and activities for each part of a business for a period ranging between 1 and 3 years.It links strategic plans with activities that the business will deliver as well as the kind of resources needed for this delivery.

Operational Planning Draws Directly From Where?

Operational planning draws directly from program and agency strategic plans to describe program and agency goals, mission, program activities and objectives. Just as with a strategic plan, operational planning address the following four questions:

•             Where are we currently?

•             Where do we want to be?

•             How do we measure our level of success?

•             How do we get there?

Operational planning includes the first and last step in creating an operational budget request.

In the first step, the plan provides planning for resource allocation; and in the last step, the operational plan may be modified to indicate financial changes or policy decisions made during a budget development process.

An operational plan should be created by individuals who will be involved during its implementation.

Quite often, there’s a need for cross-department communication as plans created by certain parts of the organization may inevitably bring about implications on the other parts.

Creating An Operational Budget Request?

Operational planning should contain the following:

•             Clear organizational objectives

•             Types of activities to be delivered

•             Quality standards

•             Perceived outcomes

•             Resource and staffing requirements

•             Processes for monitoring progress

•             Implementation timetables

The Purpose Of Operational Planning

The whole purpose of operational planning is to provide personnel within an organization a clear picture of the tasks and responsibilities they are supposed to undertake in line with the objectives and goals that are contained within a strategic plan.

In general, an operational plan involves planning for the implementation of strategies that are contained within a strategic plan.

It’s a management tool necessary for facilitating coordination of an organization’s resources to enable the objectives and goals in a strategic plan to be achieved.