Operational plans should be prepared by the people who will be involved in
implementation. There is often a need for significant cross-departmental dialogue as
plans created by one part of the organization inevitably have implications for other
Operational plans should contain:
activities to be delivered
staffing and resource requirements
a process for monitoring progress.
- a specific short-term work plan that middle-level managers
from broader strategic plans.
- what the future
look like, whereas planning predicts what the
The term is also used for describing the formal procedures
used in such an endeavor, such as the creation of documents, diagrams, or meetings
to discuss the important issues to be addressed, the objectives to be met, and the
strategy to be followed. Beyond this, planning has a different meaning depending on
the political or economic context in which it is used.
Sales forecasting is probably the most important for operational planning.
Sales forecasting, a company tries to predict the demand for its products or
services, is often most directly involved in operational and production planning.
There are several methods of sales forecasting. A popular approach is market
research, where customers are questioned, and their answers are used to forecast
This is known as market research--asking the customers what they think.
The counterpart to planning is spontaneous order
There are two types of plans--standing and single-use.
include rules, procedures, and policies--plans that are always in
is broad and long-term, and may be made up of short-term
This describes a program, a single-use plan which usually covers a
specific time period. Single-use plans include programs, projects, and budgets.
(Contingency) A single-use plan is an operational plan
that is only used one time as
it is designed to deal with a non-recurring occasion or situation. First-level
managers, such as team leaders and supervisors, enact operational plans as a
means by which to achieve their job responsibilities. Operational plans directly
support the tactical plans designed by middle-level managers.
A rolling plan is a variant of a single-use plan--it involves a long term plan which is
updated at regular intervals
A contingency plan is part of the operational planning process, and involves
anticipating what could go wrong, and preparing for it.
The decision-making part of the planning process consists of two parts--problem
solving and decision-making.
Decision-making can be broken up into two parts--
problem solving, and then the actual decision-making. Problem-solving is where the
problem is defined, and possible courses of action are identified.