Differences Between Strategic Planning And Operational Planning

The management team is in charge of planning, which must take into consideration the company’s vision, mission, goals, and objectives. It comprises making plans for the future and sketching up a rough draft in order to ensure that the company’s dreams are realized in advance.

In contrast to operational planning, which is done at the level of each functional unit. Strategic planning is done at the level of the whole company or group of units. Strategic planning is concerned with the achievement of long-term company objectives.

Although, operational planning is utilized to meet the company’s short-term objectives. Priorities are created, and resources are aligned in order to meet the company’s objectives through the effective utilization of these resources.

What exactly is strategic planning?

A company’s long-term goals, vision, and mission are outlined in a strategic plan. The goals of the two techniques appear to be opposed. Its primary goal is to guarantee that the company’s strategy, mission, and goals are all being accomplished. Whereas the second emphasizes the need of fulfilling the firm’s routine obligations in order to attain its strategic objectives.

It is a tactic that senior executives mostly employ. It explains the steps that must be taken for the company’s goals and vision to be accomplished. Managers utilize forecasting techniques to predict the business in the next few years.

A critical component of this process is the establishment of the company’s objectives, vision, and priorities. These elements are then used to map out the path that will take the company to its ultimate goal.

Essentially, it is a means of analyzing a business’s macro and micro surroundings. Strategic planning is carried out across the board, rather than simply for a specific sector or section. It is used to categorize the aspects of the external and internal environments that directly impact a company’s operations and profitability.

Strategic planning is concerned with the overall organization rather than a particular component. All that has to be addressed is the following trio of questions:

  • What are our alternatives?
  • Who is it that we are doing this for?
  • What are the steps that must be taken in order to put this strategy into action?

What is operational planning exactly?

A work plan is a plan for the functioning of a business, and it provides a thorough outline of the topics on which the section will concentrate in the future. This is the time of year when the bulk of the work on the upcoming year’s plans is completed. The operational plan for weekly or daily duties would answer the issues of what, who, when, and how many people will be involved.

Organizations frequently make the mistake of conflating strategic planning with operational planning, which is a widespread misunderstanding. However, it is critical to understand the distinctions between the two and the various ways in which your firm can use both types of plans to achieve its objectives.

After that is completed and in place, operational planning can be performed on a regular basis. This is to ensure that the company’s strategic goals and priorities are met at all times, as well as the organization’s priorities and objectives and any other requirements.

In specifically, operational planning provides solutions to the following questions:

  • How do we feel about where we are now?
  • So, what precisely are we attempting to accomplish with this endeavor?
  • What is the best course of action?
  • What performance indicators do we use to track our progress?

Differences Between Strategic and Operational Planning:

It is explained in greater depth in the following sections how the distinctions between strategic and operational planning might be distinguished:


In another way, strategic planning is the process of determining the direction and goals of an organization and the methods used to achieve those goals. When it comes to achieving a company’s objectives, strategic planning serves as a broad guideline for the organization’s top management team.

While operational planning, on the other hand, is employed to give employees a detailed guide to everyday tasks. So that they must complete on a regular basis. Employees are required to complete short-term jobs that will eventually contribute to the achievement of the organization’s long-term objectives.


Many departments must work together to achieve long-term goals like goals, mission statements, and visions. This is what strategic planning is all about. The purpose of operational planning is to make sure that the planned operations of a business unit or department are taken into account when things are done in the real world.

Time frame:

Operational planning is done for the short term, and strategic planning is done for a long time, and both are done to prepare for the firm’s daily operations.


Strategic planning is carried out by the highest management level, whereas the middle level of administration carries out operational planning. This is the reason why.


Strategic planning has a broader reach because it is concerned with the entire organization. While operational planning is done for a whole company or department, strategic planning is done for a specific business or department. And it only has a restricted application.


After developing strategic plans, they are common to remain unchanged for an extended period. On the other hand, operational plans are subject to frequent revision (usually every year).

Operational or strategic planning:

Given that strategic and operational plans complement one another, it is usually advisable to develop both for your company.

Make a comprehensive plan to get things started. Then, based on the strategic plan you created, develop operational strategies for each of the departments. Your functional approach enables you to put your strategic plan into action.

Operational plans should be drawn up after using the strategic plan to determine your organization’s direction.

The final shot:

The objective of planning can be anything, which is true in the business sector as well. As we’ve stated throughout this piece and elsewhere. The names, procedures, and planning processes that are employed for each purpose, on the other hand, are distinct.

When making decisions regarding a firm’s future, managers and executives employ strategic and operational planning processes to guide them through the process. Strategic plans cover a wide range of topics, including a company’s vision, mission, objectives, and goals. However, operational programs focus on daily operations to fulfill the company’s strategic goals.

Having everyone on the team understand the strategic and operational goals of the organization and working for the same destination. This will enable them to make more outstanding contributions to the organization’s overall success. They will also be able to make judgments and act in ways consistent with the company’s mission, vision, and values.

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