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Translating Strategic plans into Operational Plans - Essay Example

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Summary
The hallmark of successful firms is their ability to see and understand the future and go about their daily chores with the future or the long term objective in mind. Strategic plans or long term objectives are the big picture of the future created by many colors and shades including strength or potential of the firm, the aspiration of the firm and the opportunities provided by the external environment…
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Translating Strategic plans into Operational Plans
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Translating Strategic plans into Operational Plans The hallmark of successful firms is their ability to see and understand the future and go about their daily chores with the future or the long term objective in mind. Strategic plans or long term objectives are the big picture of the future created by many colors and shades including strength or potential of the firm, the aspiration of the firm and the opportunities provided by the external environment. The contours may be fuzzy but well thought out strategic plans and long term objectives give a definite image about the future of the firm. So once the initial image which captures the dream and passion is in place the next step is creating the picture in a painstakingly manner. The picture is broken into many parts and all the micro-detailing are carried out to get the picture, the essence of translating long term objective into operational plan.
The journey of achievement of long term objective is achieved through milestones, annual operation plan and medium term business plans. Business plans falls somewhere between long term objective and operational plan so it has a mix of the elements from both these types of planning approaches. The annual operational plan is a all about how to achieve the annual milestone. It breaks the planning into distinctly different areas / aspects. These include the daily / weekly /monthly output targets, resource deployment, financial plans-both the expenditure and income side, marketing plan, human resource plan and all other associated activities like statutory, safety, investment etc.
It has been recommended that the plans should be simple and easy to understand as it is essentially a communication to work force about the goals or results which the firm wants to achieve daily, weekly, monthly or on an annual basis. The quality of planning goes a long way in making the plan successful. It will be more beneficial to involve a large cross section of people during the planning exercises. This will have an additional benefit of getting the buy in from the employees leading to higher chance of success for the plans.
A phenomena has been noticed where the sense of urgency associated with short term targets invariably forces the organizations to loose focus of their long term object which in turn moves the organization in a different direction from its long term objectives. It is advisable to see the operational plan under the frame work of the long term objective. This approach will keep the firm on its track to its destination
Translating long term objective into operational plan is basically how to achieve the long term, the micro from macro. It is breaking the gamut of organizational processes into a discreet and related set of processes along with targets, process performance measures, resources needed to keep the activity going and plans to address the needs of the employees. Good operational planning is a sure way to realize the dream of firms, history has proved this.
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http://www.osbornegroup.com/strategic&operational_plan.html Read More
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