“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” ― Benjamin Franklin
What is Tactical Plan
A tactical plan defines or demarcate the essentially required steps to fulfill business plans. These plans are short term actions designed to help Business Organization achieving long term goals.
In other words, tactical planning is splitting long term objectives into short term. This is quite flexible and can be reviewed and re-examined in accordance to the need.
Normally short-term plan is considered a period of time up to one year or may be less depending upon the thinking goes in the planning.
Further, tactical planning helps in realizing the specific objectives, however, it majorly depends on different variable like time period, available resources, therefore it may get changed as per the developments happening within the organization.
Tactical planning brings in different departments like marketing, HR or personnel, purchase, production and finance. Subsequently, all team members are involved in working towards achieving the set goals through daily on time meetings monitoring the progress and solving the problems faced or resolving any conflicts that may arise.
But, before going into the tactics, a meticulous homework is required. The following points need to be put on the paper to give better clarity
1. Setting larger objectives that the teams should be aspiring to take them forward.
2. Setting up the specific goals and priorities that everybody will be concentrating for the decided period.
3. Setting up a calendar for deliverables.
4. Setting up a system to monitor the advancement of functionalities.
Tactical Business Plan: 7 Important Elements
1. Foresight – Vision
2. What to achieve – Goals
3. Schedules – Timelines
4. Participants – Team Members
5. Monitoring – Key Performance Indicators
6. Functionality – Resources
7. Actions & Flexibility
1. Organization Vision
“We are limited, not by our abilities, but by our vision”. – Khalil Gibran
Undeniably, the existence of any organization depends on thinking process and a strong standing in coming times on continual basis. Vision can be very well defined as creating a clear sketch where the organization want to be for that stipulated time.
Vision helps in setting the directions with the better understanding as well as allowing the organization to achieve as desired.
Constructive vision offers a distinctive approach to transform the ideas into conversion. A target oriented focus on everything that is part of process, no matter, how small it is.
Vision is not a onetime process; it is an everyday activity. Setting a vision and not monitoring the progress, catching up with the backlog and performing corrective and preventive actions, the results will not be the same as craved.
Vision is what and why of an organization. The process of creating a well-defined Vision is not a simple piece of work. Further, the two important factors which must be considered are Visualization as well as Principles.
These two supports in dealing with clearly described objectives and values and purpose. We can say without a well-conceived vision, an organization is like sailing in a boat without oar.
2. Organization Goals
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
The important element of tactical plan is to set out the goals. Goals are part of every organization which makes it easier to move in the right direction with right motivation and right focus. Basically, goal setting is the key to achieve success.
Accordingly, business Goals can be set as a whole for the organization as well as for different working verticals and their team members to ease out the execution. Common goals fixed for the organization serves the larger purpose and represents the growth achieving functionality.
Goal setting is always a helpful method to create a clear and smooth roadmap. Setting a goal with SMART ideology is any time useful and better than the just vague ones. Here SMART stands for:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Relevant
T – Time Bound
Specific: A clear and specific goal will help in achieving in a better way. Afterwards, it should be tapered to make it simple and sensible so that significance is not lost. Further, this will assist to understand and take actions in order to complete it.
Measurable: The importance of goals which can be measured is that it can be tracked and monitored during the course of action. Hence, evaluating the outcome and progress keeps motivated and at the same time focus is maintained to meet time frame.
Achievable: To be successful, goals must be realistic and can be achieved. It may push till the limits; however, it remains possible to accomplish. Before deciding, a question must be put across to make it sure that whether it can be attained.
Relevant: This is to make sure that it is in line with the requirement. Besides it should be worth a while and in relevance with others. This must be contributing to broader objectives in order to align with efforts and needs.
Time Bound: Firstly, it is the most important parameter as everything is dependent on finishing on time. Secondly, delay in completing the task dissolves the purpose of setting the goals. Finally, it not only affects the self-achievement but also for the other team members.
3. Time Lines
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ― Mother Teresa
It is true that once the time has gone it will never come back and things to do in that period of time will eat away the next hours which were actually meant for something else. The procrastination completely breaks down the chain of process and defies the purpose.
A lot of mind goes in while working and deciding on objectives and goals. The schedules of achievements are very important and setting up the timelines is the most constructive system for any organization.
Framing a milestone for each and every piece of work will allow to build up the pathway for successful completion of project and getting the benefits out of it.
Linking the tasks with dates in chronological order enables the tracking of events decided. Each assignment and duration of time should be connected, however, while deciding on the timelines, the reality check must be done in order to see the accomplishment versus failure ratio.
For the purpose of speeding up and shortening the time period may lead to collapsing of system and motive behind it. The thought process at the back of setting a timeline is to discharge the decided goals effectively in span of time and start the process for the next journey.
Setting up timeline is to give a title to the tasks, breakdown further to subtitles, assign the manpower for every activity. Further, fix the duration date wise, monitor the advancements and give a close look two days prior to finishing line to avoid any last-minute disappointments.
4. Team Members
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success”. – Henry Ford
Vision is clear, goals are decided, timelines are set but who is going to work to deliver the jotted ideology!
None but the members of respective teams with specific tasks assigned. Additionally, it is the moral and professional responsibility of each member to perform and achieve what is desired.
Forming a team and selecting the members mainly depends upon the capability, capacity, strength as well as weakness of each individual. While defining the roles and responsibilities, the aforementioned parameters should always be considered in order to avoid repenting at the last moment.
Timely and clear communication along with participation and collaboration are prime factors for the team to move ahead. Silence is important, however, not at a point when it should be broken. Communication makes the action into conversion.
A well-formed team works with many different perspectives. Timely decisions, understanding the consequences and problem solving happens as and when needed. Altogether, working on the feedbacks improves the efficiency.
Working together and bringing about the results does not go smoothly some of the times. Lot of motivation and inspiration is required to boost the confidence and bonding of members. Social gathering is another booster. This also helps in soothing out the internal differences.
Other than that, a scheme of incentives pays lot of dividends.
5. Key Performance Indicators
“If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it” – Peter Drucker
Key Performance Indicators or KPIs in short are analytical metrics that enables to evaluate and track the overall performance of organization.
Usefulness of Key Performance Indicators:
a. KPI clearly gives the data of advancement towards accomplishment of ideal outcome.
b. These indicators determine and offer a correlation that checks the level of execution change over the long run.
c. It provides balance between lagging as well as leading parameters.
d. Inputs, that is keeping track of resources going in.
e. Process, to monitor the activities and also controlling the resources used.
f. Output, quantifying the amount of work done in the form of outcome.
g. Risk factors involved which can obstruct success.
h. Manpower for evaluating performances, skills developments as well as behavioral aptitude.
Types of Major KPIs
Leads, Sales, Customer Development & Retention, Revenue generation, Conversion Time, Response time.
Cost, Expenses, Revenue vs Target, Profit
Production, Efficiency, Customer Support
Employee Retention, Employee Satisfaction, Employee Turnover
6. Available Resources
“Great Vision Without Great People Is Irrelevant.” – Jim Collins
Basically, the success of any project planning and its execution depends on the resources available and deployed. Resources means manpower, materials, plant & machinery, finance and even what is to be arranged from outside.
Eventually, most of time, we have the availability of all the resources, however, either these are not used as per the capacity to perform and on the other hand we have another set which is given extra responsibilities and hence results are not adequate.
This is the point where proper planning is required to utilize the resources to derive the best.
Further, detailed and accurate information of available resources as per the core competency and skills is essentially required to have equal distribution to fill in the spaces as per the requirements.
Any haphazard deployment can lead into adverse results. Absolute synchronization among the task force is much needed criteria for achievements.
7. Actions & Flexibility
“Action and Flexibility create opportunity” – Garrison Wynn
Most important factor in any planning and getting results is Action without which everything remains on the paper. Actions in the form of various steps convert defined goals into results.
Also, it is very important that every action has its own time to implement, otherwise, any delay happening may keep the plan lagging behind.
It is always advisable to assign specific actions for a specific goal to a specific individual to avoid confusions and eliminating the chances of lapses by depending on others. Maintaining data in the form of action taken and output received is always handy and useful.
Even after inserting best efforts while forming tactical plan, chances are always there that something does not work or at a pace it was supposed to be. Here the flexibility comes into picture which should be part of planning to modify the process.
Despite of Plan A is not working well than Plan B as a backup must be implemented for advancements. Further, flexibility does not allow actions to be uncoordinated rather it should meet the necessity of organization.
Tactical Planning is not extensive form rather attainable to convert short terms goals in the real time frame. In case required, tactical plans can be amended as the current scenario of business. Since there is second line planned, hence risks and failures can be well taken care of.
Tactical Business Plan: 7 Important Elements
GO – PLAN – DO – ACHIEVE – ENJOY