Strategic and Tactical Planning

Strategic and Tactical Planning

The word strategy refers to your big-picture goal—what you are trying to accomplish. The word tactics refers to specific actions you will take to achieve your goal. When you solve a problem or tackle a project, you need to plan both strategically and tactically.

Planning

Using a Planning Sheet

A planning sheet like the one below can help you define your strategic and tactical plans.

Start by naming the issue you are addressing. Then write an overall goal, which identifies the problem and your solution. You'll also create objectives by answering the 5 W’s and H about your solution. That's your strategic plan.

Afterward, you shift to tactical planning by considering the 4 T’s: tasks, time, team, and tools. When you finish your planning sheet, you'll have a much clearer sense of how to achieve your goal.

Planning Sheet (Google Doc)

Project

Update Quarterly Product Catalog

Goal

We will revise our catalog to create a magazine-like feel, with feature stories that will engage our customers and a voice and design that better represent our brand.

Who? The marketing, sales, editorial, and design staffs
What? Will rework our existing catalog to add magazine elements
Where? In two-page spreads in each of the four major sections of the catalog
When? Starting in January with the new catalog printed and shipped by March
Why? To better engage our audience and to better present our brand
How? Feature topics will be assigned, features written, and spreads designed.

Time

Tasks

Jan 5 Meet to decide on four features and assign to writers.
Jan 15 Review first drafts of features and return for revisions.
Jan 20 Turn over final features to design.
Jan 27 Send full catalog to proofreading.
Feb 3 Enter proofreading changes and send to printer.
Feb 23 Receive printed catalogs in warehouse.

Team

This plan involves marketing, sales, editorial, and the president as well as our broad customer base.

Tools

Equipment Computers, Google docs, InDesign
Materials Existing catalog files
Information Market trends, customer surveys, customer questions/complaints
Resources Research into feature topics

Applying Your Plan

Simply completing a planning sheet helps you clarify your thinking, but your plan can also guide you throughout the process of creating your solution.

  1. Road Map: Your planning keeps your eyes on your destination and the way you plan to get there.

  2. Team Builder: A clear plan helps you get your team focused on the same goal and helps you delegate tasks.

  3. Schedule: The tactical half of your plan helps you coordinate teams to complete tasks at the right time.

  4. Benchmark: Your goal and objectives let you evaluate progress at all stages of the process.

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