Strategy defines what and why, Tactics defines how and when.
Tactical planning is short range planning emphasizing the current operations of various parts of the organization. Short Range is generally defined as one year or less in the future. Managers use tactical planning to outline what the various parts of the organization must do for the organization to be successful at some point one year or less into the future. Tactical plans are usually developed in the areas of lending, deposits, production, marketing, personnel, finance, and technology. Because of the time horizon and the nature of the questions dealt, mishaps potentially occurring during the execution of a tactical plan should be covered by moderate uncertainties and may lie closer to the control of management than strategic ones. Those mishaps, in conjunction to their potential consequences are called “tactical risks”.
With tactical is operational planning, the process of linking strategic goals and objectives to tactical goals and objectives. It describes milestones, conditions for success, and explains how, or what portion of, a strategic plan will be put into operation during a given operational period.
An operational plan addresses four questions:
- Where are we now?
- Where do we want to be?
- How do we get there?
- How do we measure our progress?