Planning at Different Levels in the Organization

Different levels in the organization are all engaged in planning; however, all the resulting plans must be related to one another and directed toward the same goals. Planning at the different levels of management includes strategic planning, tactical planning, and operational planning.

Five Broad Questions

Bateman and Snell (2008) stated that an effective strategy provides a basis for answering fie broad questions about how organizations will meet its goals/objectives: (1) Where will be active? (2) How will we get there? (3) How will we win in the marketplace? (4) How fast will we move and in what sequence will we make change? (5) How will we obtain financial returns?

Top-level Management Planning (Strategic Planning)

As earlier mentioned, top-level managers are responsible for the organization’s strategic planning which involves making decisions about the organization’s long-term goals and strategies. CEOs, company presidents, or the organization’s senior executives develop and execute the said strategic plan. They, however, do not formulate or execute the plan on their own; a management team supports and helps top-level managers in carrying out these tasks. 

Strategic planning starts with defining the organization’s goals/objectives, the major targets related to the maintenance of the organization’s stability, and its organizational culture, values, and growth improving its productivity, profitability, effectiveness, and efficiency, among others.

Middle-level Management Planning (Tactical Planning)

Tactical planning refers to a set of procedures for changing or transform-ing broad strategic goals and plans into specific goals and plans that are applicable and needed in one unit/portion of the organization. It is focused on major actions that must be done by a unit in order to contribute its share for the achievement of the strategic plan.

Frontline/Lower-level Management Planning (Operational Planning)

Operational planning involves identifying the specific procedures and processes required at the lower levels of the organization. This also involves routine tasks or tasks repeatedly done by the organization’s lower-level units.

Integrating Strategic, Tactical, and Operational Planning

The present organizational planning is not as rigid as the hierarchical planning earlier discussed in this chapter. Managers in different hierarchical levels of the organization may contribute their ideas or suggestions in developing the strategic plan, a task originally assigned to the senior executives. Also, frontline managers may make decisions that could influence strategy formulation in the higher levels. All plans, however, must be directed toward the achievement of the organization’s strategic goals. 

Finally, CEOs or company presidents must see to it that all communication lines in their organization are open, that there is excellent dissemination of information to all levels, and that they are aware of everything that is happening in their firm.