How do strategic, operational, and tactical planning differ?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Basically, these kinds of plans get less theoretical and more specific as you move from strategic to tactical planning.

Strategic planning goes on at the highest levels of a firm.  Strategic plans are long-range plans.  They lay out the general direction for a firm over periods that are generally measured in years.  These strategic plans then have to be changed into concrete actions.  Tactical plans are the next level of this process.  They take the strategic plans and make them more concrete and short-range.  The tactical plans are then taken by the lowest levels of management and made into operational plans.  These are the day-to-day plans that dictate exactly how the firm will operate.  These plans set out the procedures for how the firm will reach the goals set out in the tactical plans.

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