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The Operational Planning Process
Planning Dimensions • Planning – Determining what you want to accomplish and developing approaches to achieving your objectives. • Planning Dimensions:
Planning Process • The work plan process or cycle can be reduced to five essential questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. Where are we now? (management assessment) Where do we want to be? (goals, objectives) Generally, how will we get there? (strategies) Specifically, what will we do? (activities, outputs, resources, time) 5. How will we know if we are making progress? (support, monitoring, evaluation)
• Perhaps more than a cycle, planning is a continuum made up of a series of whats and hows. – What are you going to do? Create a vision, identify goals, establish objectives, and program outputs. – How are you going to do this? By drafting a mission, selecting strategies, and scheduling activities.
Planning Process (cont’d) A Strategic Plan helps identify, in general terms, how we will get where we want to go by identifying the general method (Question #3) the organization will apply to progress from the current situation (Question #1) to the desired situation (Question #2). Operational Plans, which translate the general strategies outlined in the strategic plan into a comprehensive package of specific activities (Question #4) that will best help us to implement the strategies.
Strategic and Operational Planning (by. Robert N Lussier) • Strategic Planning – The process of developing a mission and longrange objectives and determining in advance how they will be accomplished. • Operational Planning – The process of setting short-range objectives and determining in advance how they will be accomplished. • Strategy – A plan for pursuing the mission and achieving objectives.
Strategic and Operational Levels
Operational Planning (by. CORAT AFRICA) Ø This is more routine to ensure daily operations are running Ø It focuses on the day-to-day operations with no more than a 12 month cycle Ø This is an annual work plan explaining how the goals of the strategic plan will be implemented and what budget and processes are required
Operational planning cont— ØFocuses on adjusting and developing controls, increasing efficiencies and reducing time and costs ØThe purpose of an operational plan is to effectively execute the goals identified in the strategic plan ØAn operational plan shows where to focus attention
Operational planning cont— • Operational plans answer key questions like who is doing what? What are the day to day activities? What are the labor requirements? What are the sources of raw materials?
The Development of the Operational Plan • A. The Process • B. Tools • C. Planning Worksheets
The Process of the Operational Plan The proposed operational planning process consists of 4 steps: 1. Select Activities are the specific tasks needed to fulfill the objectives, and implement the strategies.
2. Project Outputs should provide clear evidence of the successful execution of the activity or cluster of activities.
3. Assign Responsibilities and Resources Determine the person(s) who will be responsible for executing each activity or cluster of activities.
4. Schedule Activities The activity time line, also known as the Gantt Chart, is an essential tool for developing an operational plan. The Gantt Chart is used to display the major activities in their planned chronological sequence.
Tools of the Operational Plan A. The Activity Feasibility Checklist this is a reality check, which helps to make sure you select those activities which have the greatest possibility for successful execution.
• Example: The Feasibility Checklist
Planning Worksheets Objectives are specific, measurable, appropriate, realistic and time-bound achievements you hope to realize. Each strategy should have a corresponding set of 1 -2 objectives Activities are the tasks needed to fulfill the objectives. Activities should be expressed in clear, concrete terms, and in chronological order. Each objective should have 1 -3 corresponding activity Outputs are the end results that are expected from the successful implementation of the activities. They should be expressed in absolute terms, so that there is clear evidence of their existence. Each activity or cluster of activities should have a corresponding output Responsible Here is where note the name(s) of the person(s) assigned to execute each activity or cluster of activities. When assigning a person to the activity, it is important to be as specific as possible to ensure accountability, follow-up and support to that individual Time line The Time line, or Gantt Chart, is used to display the major activities in their planned chronological sequence. The Chart shows the month or quarter in which each activity, or cluster of activities, will be carried out
Operational Plan Format
Support and Monitoring of Operational Plans • Support is provided by the higher levels of the system to the lower tiers of the • Monitoring is done to assess the degree to which outputs have been produced and to reveal and resolve any problems impeding progress. • The results of the monitoring visits are used to identify the support required during the next implementation interval.
Supporting the Implementation of the Operational Plan
Supporting the Implementation of the Operational Plan cont—
Monitoring the Implementation of the Operational Plan • Monitoring is the process of measuring, coordinating, collecting, processing, and communicating information of assistance to managers and decision-makers. • It is a critical part of the implementation phase of an operational plan, since it provides feedback that can be used to modify the plan and identify areas in which additional support is required.
SELECTED REFERENCES • Robert N Lussier, 2006, Management Fundamental, University Of Alabama, Thomson Business And Economics. • Corat Africa, Strategic Planning, Operational Planning And Business Planning, Module 5 • Judith B. Seltzer, Peter N. Cross, Jan Hoey, Handbook for Strategic and Operational Planning
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