What is a tactical plan?
A tactical plan outlines the necessary steps required to fulfill strategic business plans. These are short-term steps and actions designed to help companies achieve long-term goals. Tactical plans may change according to events that occur in the workplace and a company’s specific needs.
Key elements of a tactical plan
The key elements of a tactical plan include the following:
- Company mission
- Action items
- Key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Responsible party
These components determine the success of a tactical plan in many ways. When businesses pay attention to all aspects of the tactical plan, they increase the likelihood for accomplishing their strategic plan.
How to create a tactical plan
Follow these steps to create a tactical plan that helps your company achieve its goals:
1. Pay attention to the vision
Because tactical plans are based on strategic business plans, it is important for employees to understand your company’s overall vision or goal. Once they acknowledge the larger goal and how their role contributes to accomplishing this goal, they’re more likely to work harder. They may even contribute new ideas to the plan that save the company time and money.
2. Create objectives and goals
Strategic plans are founded on measurable, viable objectives. Objectives that are more complex may require more time, money and resources. Consider your team’s current workload and level of productivity, then prioritize your objectives based on what your company needs most. Here are some examples:
- Produce 10 original video ads per week.
- Get 25 people to leave honest reviews on our website.
- Increase new car sales by 20%.
These goals may change depending on the results of the team’s initial efforts and other factors.
3. Assign actions to objectives
To assist employees in achieving specific objectives, it is wise to assign certain actions to each objective. Action items that are easy to follow eliminate the risk of confusion. For example, if your objective is to get 25 people to leave honest feedback on your website, you’ll need to take steps to make it happen. You may begin by creating a paid survey opportunity that motivates people to take action or send out an email to customers who purchased items, asking them to leave feedback.
4. Determine KPIs
Key performance indicators help employees know if they’re making progress with their objectives. You may evaluate them weekly or quarterly to determine the success of your team’s efforts. The KPIs you set depend on your industry and business model. Only choose KPIs that directly support your objectives, otherwise, the information is irrelevant to your goals. Examples of KPIs include the following:
- Cost of good sold
- Sales by region
- Customer satisfaction score
- Quality assurance
5. Use tools and resources
For your team to achieve the set goals, they must have access to the right tools and resources. As you are creating your plan, make note of what you need and deliver these items as soon as possible. Your team may need access to specific software and online platforms. They may also need training to help them understand the concept of your plan better.
6. Delegate work to specific people
Teams follow through with objectives better when they know exactly who is responsible for specific tasks. As you are creating your tactical plan, delegate work to the people who are the most qualified. There may be many people involved with an objective. No matter the number, what’s important is being clear about the responsibilities each person has.
7. Allow for flexibility
Despite your best efforts to create a tactical plan, there are always variables that have the potential to slow down your team’s progress. That’s why it’s helpful to build flexibility into your plan. Think of this as a backup plan that allows for more time or changes to your methods.
When creating tactical plans, remember to do what works best for your individual business needs. Every company has a unique story with different goals, employees and resources. What works for one business may not work as well for another.
Examples of a tactical plan
Here are some examples of tactical plans businesses use to accomplish strategic plans:
The marketing team at Visual Studio has created a strategic plan to gain 10,000 new followers on every social media platform by the end of the year.
- Michael will create a ‘social media growth’ campaign and spend $100 on ads every week that encourage people to ‘like’ and ‘follow’ our company on social media.
- Suzette will publish five new social media posts per week to increase overall engagement and growth.
- Bernie will do one live video a week that highlights our new products.
- Emily will monitor platform analytics to ensure that social media activity continues to increase.
- Jen will write two original blog posts a week to share on social media.
The management team at Black Rock Auto has created a strategic plan that requires its sales representatives to increase sales throughout the month of May by 15%.
- James, Richard, Melissa and Beatrice will start arriving to work before peak sales hours.
- Jonathan will conduct employee reviews daily to reinforce effective sales methods.
- Marie will monitor goal progress and report outcomes weekly to sales representatives.
- David will teach new sales techniques to the team during slow times.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding tactical plans:
What is the difference between a tactical plan and a strategic plan?
Tactical plans are part of a strategic plan. They include the actionable steps required to achieve the overarching goal of the strategic plan.
Why is tactical planning important?
Tactical planning is important because it provides detailed information that helps everyone on a team understand what is expected and required to achieve a goal.
What makes something tactical?
Something is defined as tactical when it is planned ahead of time or carefully considered.