Strategic Planning vs. Tactical Planning

by PowerUp on October 22, 2007

Monday Distinction #12

Your ability to set S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant & time specific) goals and effective action plans that will accelerate your professional and personal success requires that you (i) appreciate the difference between strategic and tactical planning and (ii) understand how both types of planning are essential to your accelerated success.  

 So … let’s get started.

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is macro-oriented (for all of you econ buffs) with an emphasis on the big picture and your long term goals and objectives, usually in 3 to 5 year increments.  This type of planning guides the fundamental (i) decisions and (ii) actions that will shape the long term direction of a business and one’s personal development.   It is focuses on the core of Who (you are), What (you want to accomplish) and Why (do you want to accomplish the what) of organizations and people. 

Strategic planning includes areas like your (i) business’ market share; (ii) professional career path; (iii) life and/or business vision; (iv) investment goals; (v) personal and/or professional opportunity costs; (vi) mission; and (v) the allocation of resources. 

Tactical Planning

Tactical planning is micro-oriented and focused your short term S.M.A.R.T. goals, which usually have 1 to 18 month time frames.   This type of short term planning is all about the How (i.e., process) of getting things doing.  The focus is on operations, which includes creating and executing effective, efficient action plans.   Areas that are covered in tactical planning include (i) monthly or quarterly sales goals; (ii) improving customer service in specific areas, (iii) reducing the number of your outside commitments so that you can simplify your life and (iv) creating action plans for your strategic (big picture) objectives.

Achieving accelerated success is all about first having a clear vision and mission (requires strategic planning) and then creating effective and efficient action plans to put the vision and mission in motion (requires tactical planning).    

UpwardAction Tip

For your personal and professional life, we encourage you to take some time to really think about your vision of success and write out a mission statement (let us know if you need help with this and we will send you a couple of free resources to get you started).   You can use this information to develop your personal or professional strategic plan.  

Now,  take some time to think about the specific actions that must be taken within the next 30 to 6o days to create the Upward Action you need to begin to accomplish the vission and the mission that you identified in step one.    Once you have identified these necessary actions, give yourself due dates (that are realistic and achievable) for accomplishing each Upward Action item.    Once you have completed this step, congratulations … you have put in place the beginnings of your tactical plan.

The goal of today’s distinction is to explore the differences between strategic and tactical planning. Stay tuned this week for more information and resources to help you create effective plans that are designed to accelerate your ultimate career and/or business success.

Until next time … Take GREAT Care!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Business Consulting Services 06.29.09 at 7:34 pm

Knowing the difference between the two could shade some light to a confused mind. It will also help someone to identify which way he/she have taken and result to better implementation of the plan. Aside from the distinction, it is also important to enumerate pitfalls that could make the plan ineffective..

Related: Strategic Planning: What to avoid?

2 Oludayo Idowu 12.15.09 at 3:20 pm

This is quite incisive. I would love to receive more of this illuminating snippets.

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