Strategic Planning Vs. Operational Planning: The 5 Main Differences

Strategic planning and functional design are both vital to an organization ‘s success. Oftentimes, organizations use both terms to mean the like thing, but they should n’t .
Are they the same ? If not, what ’ s the deviation ? Do you need both ? We hear these kinds of questions frequently. To help answer them, first we ‘ll walk through the definition of each. then, we ‘ll walk through the main five differences between them .

What Is A Strategic Plan?

A strategic plan outlines your mission, imagination, and high-level goals for the future three to five years. It besides takes into account how you ’ ll measure those goals, and the major projects you ’ ll take on to meet them .

What Is An Operational Plan?

An operational plan ( besides known as a sour design ) is a highly detail outline of what your department will focus on for the approach future—usually the approaching year. The plan will answer questions – who, what, when, and how much – regarding casual or weekly tasks.

strategic plan vs operational plan definition
Simply put, your strategic plan shares your vision for the future, while your operational design lays out how you ’ ll drive there on a day by day to weekly footing .
Both concepts describe your party ‘s plans for the future, but in unlike context. Below we ‘ve called out five major differences between them that you can use as guideposts to ensure you ‘re using these two concepts the right way .

Strategic Planning Vs. Operational Planning: The 5 Main Differences

1. Time Period

Your strategic plan outlines long-run goals for the following three to five years. What you ’ ll be doing to achieve those goals in the shorter term ( typically the following fiscal year ) is outlined in your operational plan .

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2. Goal Focus

The goal of your strategic design is to outline the company ’ s long-run vision and how all departments should work together to achieve it .
The finish of your operational plan isn ’ thyroxine company-focused—it is department-focused. There can be overlap between departments, but that ’ s the exception preferably than the convention. large departments may require multiple operational plans .

3. Plan Generation

Your arrangement ’ second high-level leadership team—the administrator team or city council, for instance—is creditworthy for creating the strategic plan. Once it ’ second created, the strategic plan will be pushed forth by cross-functional teams who work together to ensure the scheme is successful .
Every department should have a leader or team of leaders creditworthy for creating their functional plan. Although each operational design is designed for a single department, its successful execution will lead to organization-wide success. For exercise, your marketing team has a set of activities they use to increase visibility. These activities should translate to more sales opportunities and ultimately more gross for the constitution ( both of which could be goals in your strategic design ) .
Having the right people in the room no topic what type of design you are doing is key. This is particularly true if your arrangement always needs to adjust their strategic or functional plans because of an unexpected change in the operational environment .

4. Budget

The budget for your strategic design comes from your strategic budget, not your operational budget. Your organization may implement a Strat-Ex budget that aligns separate of your budget directly to your strategic projects or initiatives. This is a unlike approach than putting a budget against each of your divisions or departments .
The budget for your operational plan comes from your department ’ second annual budget. If your annual department budget needs to be cut, consider which elements don ’ triiodothyronine align to your strategic plan and cut those first. For example, if your strategic plan defines a selling goal of establishing a potent on-line presence, your trade show budget should receive budget cuts before web log publish does .

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5. Reporting

When you report on your strategic plan ( typically both per annum and quarterly ), your strategic planning committee or administrator team will want to look at how your company is performing on its chosen measures. Depending on the meeting, these discussions should remain fairly high-level so you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate get bogged down on details .
Your functional reports, on the early hand, outline hundreds of projects or tasks people in the department are working on. monthly operational report meetings give the leadership—and the lie of the department—an indication of each project ’ randomness condition .
Unlike your strategic report, updates on operational projects can be anecdotal or qualitative ( as it ’ second frequently difficult to quantify actions that aren ’ thyroxine tied to measures ). Some organizations have a running text comment either in an Excel plain or a Word document. This comment is update hebdomadally or monthly, even if there are no send measures for that separate of the operational plan .
5 main differences in strategic plan vs operational plan

Understanding strategic planning vs. operational planning doesn’t mean you choose between them!

To be a strategy-focused company, you need a strategic design and departmental operational plans. If you ’ rhenium sigh and think, “ Great, one more thing I have to start doing… ”, hold up ! Most departments have some form of operational work plans in place already. So you shouldn ’ t need to start from chicken feed ; plainly put your current plan into a framework or format that helps you perform at a higher floor .
similarly, if your caller doesn ’ thyroxine have a in full fleshed-out strategic plan, we have you covered. By the time you ’ ve filled out this absolve toolkit, you ’ ll have a change agenda fix and a strategy map created—complete with your top-priority goals ! download it below .

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What are the key elements of a strategic plan?

The best strategic plans have clear goals, key metrics to track the goals, and smart initiatives to help meet these goals .


What’s the difference between strategic and operational plans?

A strategic plan focuses on long-run goals. functional plans focus on how you ’ re going to make your long-run goals happen. Operational plans focus on daily work and goals .


When should I use a strategic plan versus an operational plan?

Your strategic plan lists your long-run goals. When your arrangement is looking to talk about goals that will take longer than a year to achieve, you need to create a strategic design. once you ’ ve created a strategic plan, then you can create and use functional plans to dictate how you will meet your goals .


What is an operational plan?

Your operational plan dictates what your team will focus on within the near future to help you meet your strategic goals. operational plans include your daily and weekly tasks .


What is a strategic plan?

A strategic design is your administration ’ south long-run goals and highlights how you want to grow in specific categories. The strategic design lists objectives and goals for each area your caller would like to grow, and lists initiatives the constitution will take to meet their goals .