Whether Operational Plans are subsets of strategic goals and objectives or Strategic Plans are subsets of operational goals and objectives is not particularly material, and varies widely from many perspectives, mostly personal or organizationally. What does matter is that Operational Plans and Strategic Plans both describe a set of actions or inputs and resources needed to accomplish a goal or objective over a specific time.
These plans describe how, when, and where a corporate initiated effort will commence and for what expected outcome or purpose. Some operational plans are process oriented and some are goal oriented, focused on improvement of internal processes or external achievements. Most all strategic and operational plans are internal, intended for specific management, leadership groups or teams, with the express purpose to help facilitate and refine the overall decision-making process.
Your Business plan is only complete when all of your operational and strategic plans are collectively expressed along with financial analysis, fiscal projections and process milestones. In this way, operational plans are essential to the completion and ultimate success of your business plan. Your operational and/or strategic plans must describe your corporate desired outcomes along with required or anticipated inputs or resources to achieve success. And, whether your business is a nonprofit, not-for-profit or for-profit, the operational or strategic plans contained within your business plans should be written with your intended audience in mind, i.e., will it be a public document or solely proprietary.
Therefore, your business plan cannot exist without sufficient operational plans (including marketing plans for corporate packaging, distribution, price of products and/or services, analysis of competition, and promotion) to facilitate periodic review, monitoring, evaluation and corrective decision making.
Make your Operational and Strategic Plans meaningful and with sufficient detail to be able to discern achievement, relative success and utter failure. Unfortunately, many small nonprofits and not-for-profits, especially those who have not been around for very long, struggle with the planning process and often focus on activities rather than outcome. Charitable Success specializes in strategic planning utilizing logic modeling and SWOT analysis and can help you to develop strategic or operational plans that can be achieved with feasible short-term, mid-term and long-term desired outcomes.
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