How To Create an Organizational Plan

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published March 1, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An organizational plan can help a company set and achieve important goals over a set period in order to grow their business. Organizational plans have five steps and can involve workforce development, financial planning, planning regarding products and services and goals for expansion. An organization can address most aspects of their business through an organizational plan and find ways to grow in a targeted direction. In this article, we define what an organizational plan is, what the types of organizational planning goals are and how to create an organizational plan.

What is an organizational plan?

An organizational plan is a method for planning the future goals of an organization to be sure everyone on the team understands what management expects. Having an organizational plan allows the company to move towards success and profitability. An organizational plan can improve a business's workforce, finances or products as well as grow the business overall.

An organizational plan usually involves five steps, including strategic planning, operational planning and reviewing and revising throughout. Each step breaks down the step before, ensuring the organization can achieve the larger goals. Often, an organizational plan starts with a look at the overall company and larger and more long-term goals before breaking that down into smaller, more manageable goals. Organizational plans also include a step for the company to assess progress and create new goals. While high-level managers might start the organizational planning process, every employee is part of the cycle.

Related: 7 Steps of the Strategic Planning Process

Types of organizational planning goals

There are four types of organizational planning goals, although an organizational plan might include one or more of these types:

Workforce development planning

Workforce development planning is a type of goal that focuses on the employees of a company. This goal might include growing diversity and inclusion, offering additional training opportunities for employees or increasing internal promotions. Every organization's workforce influences the work that the company produces, so investing in growing the possibilities of the workforce can increase productivity and profits.

Related: Learn About Workforce Management

Financial planning

Financial planning involves a company's finances and how they should be used. As part of an organizational plan, this might include choosing new investments, allocating funds differently or working with a professional to determine how to use profits. Most organizations want to protect their financial health and grow their profits as much as possible, while also growing their company. This can be a large part of that.

Products and services planning

Products and services planning is anything to do with what a company actually sells. Perhaps an organization decides to offer new products or change how they approach their current market strategy. There are many ways a company can create goals and opportunities for what they sell, and those goals can improve every other area of the company.

Expansion planning

Expansion planning is a type of goal related to organization growth. This could mean opening a new location, growing operations to a larger size or arranging a merger. Expansion planning can be challenging but also very rewarding, as it has the potential to increase profits and allow for a larger workforce that produces more products or services.

How to create an organizational plan

There are five steps to creating an organizational plan which work in a cycle usually:

1. Develop strategic plan

A strategic plan is the highest level look at a company, and any goals set at this stage will be large, overarching goals. This is the point where mostly higher-level managers review the status of the organization currently and decide on goals for a set period, such as a year or five years. Some organizations ask other employees to be involved in strategic planning, as including more than management can give a different view of what a company should aspire to.

These goals should align with the organization's mission and values and should be important to the success of the company. Because of the scale of the strategic plan goals, they will often get divided into smaller, more manageable goals at other steps of the organizational planning process.

Ways to develop a strategic plan include:

  • Gathering company data like performance metrics

  • Reviewing company mission and values

  • Performing a SWOT analysis

  • Setting goals based on the above information

Related: SWOT Analysis Guide (With Examples)

2. Create tactical plan

The tactical plan stage of organizational planning takes the strategic plan and turns it into goals that are more accessible and measurable. If strategic planning involved only high-level managers, tactical planning will include other managers as well. For instance, if you have a ten-year strategic plan with multiple goals, it's likely you'll want to break those goals into pieces ranging from every few years to once a quarter.

It's also important that a tactical plan includes ways to measure the progress towards these goals. Perhaps the strategic plan includes diversifying the company's workforce over the next five years. At the tactical planning stage, you might decide that each quarter you will interview and hire a certain percentage of diverse candidates. Having a specific percentage allows you to measure if those goals are being met.

3. Draft operational plans

The operational plans put the goals from the strategic and tactical plans into daily operations. Operational plans are the work you do regularly to achieve the strategic and tactical plans' goals. You may need to create new company policies, change workflows or work with consultants to make suggestions for ways to meet your goals. Employees of all levels may be involved in this step of organizational planning.

If your goals are related to diversity, for instance, your strategic planning goal is diversifying your workforce over the next five years and your tactical planning goals are to interview and hire a set percentage of diverse candidates. The operational plans related to these goals might be how you plan to recruit diverse new candidates to interview, ways to minimize unconscious bias in the workplace and new directions for human resources personnel.

4. Execute the plans

Executing the plans is a key step in the organizational planning process, as this is when organizations take all the planning from the previous steps and use it in day-to-day operations. This is how an organization can achieve the goals that have been set, as each new process and procedure established as an operational plan and used during the plan execution should achieve tactical and strategic planning goals.

Thus, if the organization has created operational plans for how to recruit diverse candidates, teach employees to minimize unconscious bias and increased training for human resources staff in particular, at the plan execution stage all of those plans should go into effect. HR has done specialized training and also guided training on unconscious bias for all employees, as well as practicing new recruitment methods to find candidates that might have been missed otherwise.

5. Review and revise

The review and revise stage is important and should be done regularly to ensure the organization is achieving necessary goals. The timing for reviewing and revision will vary depending on the goals of the organization, but this should be planned for from the beginning of the organizational planning process. Individual departments and teams might review their performance and provide data to management, while management will look at overall performance and any relevant data across the whole organization.

If goals and metrics are not being met and it seems the strategic plan goals are not being achieved by the other steps, reviewing and revising can allow an organization to see how to change plans to meet those goals. This way, rather than waiting to see if things work out, an organization and any involved employees will be able to change plans quickly to meet goals.

For instance, perhaps an organization finds that their strategic plan goal of having a more diverse workforce over the next five years isn't being met because even with an increase in hiring diverse employees, those employees aren't being retained. In order to not just hire, but keep, diverse employees, through the review and revise process, the organization adds another operational plan goal of internal training on more diversity and inclusion topics. This doesn't mean the other operational goals weren't important, but that the organization has realized they need to add additional processes to achieve the strategic plan goals.

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