The probability of a business to succeed without concrete plans is ephemeral, even unreal. And planning does not only refer to the budgeting of the financial resources and the marketing of products or services. The management of a company should also micro-manage the operations of their business. With this, they should plan out how each employee, team, and department of the workforce will contribute to the overall success of the company. This specific process is what we call operational planning. Read this article to learn more about operational plans.
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What Is an Operational Plan?
An operational plan is a detailed guide, which specifies the goals of the company and how the departments and all its members will help accomplish these. Moreover, an operational plan outline details the company’s daily operations for at least a year. It is also important to note that a strategic operational plan defines the tasks to accomplish, the department assigned to each duty, the deadlines, and how the workforce should do it. The benefits of operational planning include guiding the workforce on how they can contribute to the company, informing the employees of their obligations, and setting a clear path to a business’s success.
How To Write an Operational Plan
One must know how to come up with a strategic plan, especially when it comes to creating an operational plan. Bear in mind that this document should be able to illustrate the process of the organization’s operation on a daily basis. That is why if you need help in creating this type of plan, you can refer to an operational plan example or an operational plan template. But if you want to know the process from start to finish, here’s how:
1. Set Goals
The first step in creating an operational plan is to set goals for your business. In doing so, make sure that they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timebound. Setting unclear goals may not direct your organization to success. Furthermore, you should also consider the budget, the current state of your business, your vision for the coming years, and the measures to take to achieve your objectives.
2. Assign People
Now that you already set the goals, it is time to list down tasks and delegate them to specific departments of your company. See to it that the ones you assign for each role are capable of carrying out what was assigned to them. Also, don’t forget to allocate a budget for the resources each team will use during the operations.
3. Communicate the Plan
When creating an operational plan, it is highly essential for the workforce to have a full understanding of it. For this reason, you have to communicate with everyone involved in the organization. Inform them of the chosen Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the employees’ respective roles.
4. Monitor Progress
As you implement the plan in your organization, you must also monitor the progress made. That said, it is crucial to keep a record of every task and milestone a team has accomplished. Moreover, everyone in the organization should have access to the KPI dashboard for them to have a clearer picture of their progress. This way, they will know what specific aspects to improve.
What is included in an operational plan?
The components of an operational plan are the following:
- What – What are the tasks to complete?
- Who – Who will carry out these tasks?
- When – When should the assigned people complete these tasks?
- How much – How much is needed to reach the goal?
What are the types of operational plans?
The two types of operational plans are standing plans and single-use plans. Standing plans cover the policies, procedures, and regulations of the business operations. For this type of plan, the company may utilize it more than once, depending on the need. On the other hand, the purpose of single-use plans is for the workforce to have a guide in accomplishing a particular project. For this reason, it should be as specific as possible.
Who approves an operational plan?
Before communicating the plan to the employees, bear in mind that the senior staff members and the management committee should approve it.
If we measure the size of a company based on its number of employees, Walmart would be the largest. According to Statista, this company houses more than 2 million employees as of 2018. With such a large workforce, the management still has to look into the micro and departmental levels of the organizational structure to create an effective operational plan. However, regardless of the size of your company, one must have strong attention to detail and critical thinking skills to develop an operational plan. And if you need help in accomplishing these tasks, just make use of one of the professionally-written templates and sample documents provided in this article.
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