Operational company planning: what it does and what’s its importance. A step-by-step guide


operational planning


Does your company have a base of solid operational planning?

Considered to be a crucial factor for your organization’s success and fulfilling results. Operational planning is oftentimes neglected by companies.

That is because they believe that only strategic planning is enough to handle the business model, but what about the practical part, the “hands-on” aspect?

Just as important as defining business strategies, is to be able to arrange the necessary undertakings so that strategic objectives can be achieved. That’s the function of operational planning.

We’ve prepared the content of this article to explain what is operational planning, its importance in a company, and how various types of OP differ.

Beyond that, we’ll demonstrate in the next few pages a step by step guide of how to do operational planning:

Put down the organization’s objectives on paper;

Establish a budget;

Set up a timetable;

Select which tasks need to be carried out;

Determine who is responsible for each task;

Monitor the implementation of operational planning.

Read also: Organizational planning: everything you need to know about this important management tool

What is the operational planning of a company and why is it important?

Operational planning is a document that seeks to enable the achievement of goals and objectives set out in the strategic planning of an organization.

In other words, it is in the operational planning within the daily tasks and the details of a company’s performed procedures that make strategic objectives possible.

This document also shows who is responsible for each task, the budget needed to finance the operations, the schedule for carrying out the activities, and the mechanisms for monitoring performance.

With this in mind, operational planning is important for the creation of a truly effective daily workflow.

Through it, it is possible to transform long-term objectives into smaller, executable tasks. In addition, this type of planning allows to identify bottlenecks in internal processes and reduce costs.

What are the types of operational planning within a company?

There are two types of operative planning: single-use and ongoing.

Single-use operative planning

This type of planning should be used for a very short period or to solve a specific project problem.

Ongoing Operational Planning

For ongoing planning, the implementation period is longer. In addition, it changes the results of the undertakings that are observed.

Example of operational planning in a company

Check out this summary table of business operational planning:

Step by step: how to do operational planning for your company?

Now that you know what operational planning is, its relevance, and what types there are. It’s now time to find out how to make one for your business model and turn goals and objectives into workflows.

Step 1 – Put down on paper the objectives of the organization

The first step of operational planning is to identify what are the organizational objectives undertaken in the strategic planning.

The OP must be aligned to these objectives; therefore, do not lose sight of them.

Do you know the difference between goals and objectives? this video can help you:

Read more: How to organize goals and objectives for better results

Step 2 – Create a budget

Continuing the steps of a company’s operational planning, it is necessary to establish the available budget to fund the company’s day-to-day operations. Thus, avoiding spending more than necessary.

Difficulties with numbers? See how to make a business budget:

Check it out on our blog: Learn how to make a business budget in 4 steps and guarantee the space for your business to grow next year

Step 3 – Set up a schedule

Working with deadlines is essential. Therefore, your operational planning must have a well-defined schedule based on the degree of complexity of each activity to be performed and within the available budget.

Check also: 7 steps on how to build a successful schedule for projects 

Step 4 – Establish which tasks need to be performed

Operational planning deals with the practical part of business strategies. Therefore, you need to establish which tasks need to be performed to achieve the strategic objectives.

Another video that will help you:

TIP: How to prioritize tasks when your manager doesn’t

Step 5 – Determine who is responsible for each task

Besides determining the tasks of the business operations, it is also necessary to establish who will be responsible for each task. Knowing who’s responsible for the results helps to ensure the quality of the plan’s fulfillment.

Step 6 – Monitor the execution of operational planning

Finally, the closing the stages of operational planning, monitoring the performance of employees in the carrying out of their tasks, and encouraging the necessary improvements.

A performance follow-up software will be of great help when monitoring your operational planning. Get to know STRATWs One:

Learn more: Meet 3 of the main business management tools to plan and monitor your business

STRATWs One is a corporate performance management software that has already won over a thousand companies around the world and is used by over 180 thousand of their employees.

Do you want to know why? Then check out some of its advantages:

Share KPIs with agility and transparency;

Enhance corporate governance;

Manage risks and analyze scenarios;

Use meritocracy and management by sight to motivate and manage teams;

Employ the main strategic planning methodologies such as BSC, OKR, and SWOT;

Integrate people, operation, and strategy;

Finding opportunities for improvement

Manage meetings and project portfolios;

Increase productivity.

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