2 Step Tactical Plan Framework for Multi-Level Strategy

Jun 25, 2019

Many a time tactical plans turn out to be just another irrelevant strategy document with loads of unnecessary information in them. The best these types of plans can do is confuse the managers who would otherwise do better without them. A bad tactical plan is writing on the wall. It can hinder even the brightest strategic plans.

Ideas without a roadmap are mere wishes. Greater goals are marked by small and big landmarks and these milestones are the only way we can ascertain that we are on the right track. It doesn’t hurt to check our bearings every now and then. While a strategic plan only marks the destination, a tactical plan lays the route. But as simple as the task may seem in words, arriving at a sound tactical plan is no simple feat. Especially when it is to be constricted within the boundaries of shrinking resources and cutting costs.

Use these three steps to arrive at a foolproof tactical plan:

Building A Tactical Plan:

Departments that have consistent and predictable activities seldom need a tactical plan. Tactical plans are especially beneficial for performance-oriented departments.

Once you are finished with your strategic plan, proceed with these steps:

  • Pass the baton to the ones who can execute it. Gather operation heads or managers who will see that the ideas reach their goals. Let them have a say in plans, budget and time allocation. CEOs have the vision but managers can lay the day to day operational plans for that vision. Give them time to perceive and don’t be deterred by their objections and difficulties. Understand, those who execute take time to buy-in to ideas.
  • Build the roadmap and identify the milestones. Detail these milestones. Mark the challenges in execution, cost, budget, time, and resource availability. Explore both wheat and chaff and keep what is important.
  • Let them create a tactical plan. This will include the details of deadlines, accountabilities and resource requirements. Ensure that the plan covers all necessary details. If not send it back for revisions. Work on it until it is flawless.

Implementing A Tactical Plan:

Time is the crux of any tactical plan. If the strategic plan extends to a five-year period, then the tactical plan will be for a year or two. Certain departments, like sales, need real-time decision making. A shorter tactical plan extending to a year, a few months or few weeks may be more feasible for them.

Here’s how Coca Cola is doing it:

  • Analyzes the market size to understand which market to enter.
  • Demarcates the number of existing and potential customers through surveys and census.
  • Ranks the countries on the basis of opportunity.
  • Chooses the market.
  • Identifies how it can get better market share from its competitors by taking inputs from its existing customers.
  • Implements solutions:
  • If taste is the most dominant criteria, then Coca-Cola advertises its superior taste.
  • availability is the criteria, then it increases its distribution.
  • If the market doesn’t have many soda-based drinks customers, then Cola-Cola increases the awareness on the benefits of drinking soda based products and then moves on to advertise Coca-Cola.

If you are struggling with your tactical plans, then The Strategy Institute’s programs can help. Success is a ladder and tactical plans are its rungs. If you pave them right and pave them strong, there will be no stopping you from reaching the top.

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