Types of Plans / Components of Planning
In the process of planning, several plans are prepared which are known as components of planning. Plans can be broadly classified as
1 Strategic plans
A strategic plan is an outline of steps designed with the goals of the entire organization as awhole in mind, rather than with the goals of specific divisions or departments.
2 Tactical plans
A tactical plan is concerned with what the lower level units within each division must do, how they must do it, and who is in charge at each level. Tactics are the means needed to activate a strategy and make it work. Tactical plans are concerned with shorter time frames and narrower scopes than are strategic plans. These plans usually span one year or less because they are considered short-term goals. Long-term goals, on the other hand, can take several years or more to accomplish. Normally, it is the middle manager's responsibility to take the broad strategic plan and identify specific tactical actions.
3 Operational plans
The specific results expected from departments, work groups, and individuals are the operational goals. These goals are precise and measurable. “Process 150 sales applications each week” or “Publish 20 books this quarter” are examples of operational goals. An perational plan is one that a manager uses to accomplish his or her job responsibilities. Supervisors, team leaders, and facilitators develop operational plans to support tactical plans (see the next section). Operational plans can be a single-use plan or a standing plan.
4 Contingency plans
Intelligent and successful management depends upon a constant pursuit of adaptation, flexibility, and mastery of changing conditions. Strong management requires a “keeping all options open” approach at all times — that's where contingency planning comes in.
Contingency planning involves identifying alternative courses of action that can be implemented if and when the original plan proves inadequate because of changing circumstances. Keep in mind that events beyond a manager's control may cause even the most carefully prepared alternative future scenarios to go awry. Unexpected problems and events frequently occur. When they do, managers may need to change their plans. Anticipating change during the planning process is best in case things don't go as expected. Management can then develop alternatives to the existing plan and ready them for use when and if circumstances make these alternatives appropriate.