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Operations Plan identifies specific results to be accomplished within a given time period.

It describes short-term ways of achieving milestones and explains how, or what portion of, a strategic plan will be put into operation during a given operational period, in the case of commercial application, a fiscal year or another given budgetary term. An operational plan is the basis for, and justification of an annual operating budget request.

It is a schedule of events, programs, and responsibilities that details the actions necessary to accomplish the goals and objectives of the organization. But a results oriented plan does not start with activities. It starts with a well-thought out plan that forms the foundation for managing your operations. With a plan you can ask and get answers to the question, How do you measure processes and which ones are the most important to your success?

Today there is a great deal of focus on efficiency and effectiveness of processes. Therefore, operations management and planning should include measurement and analysis of internal processes. The OP is both the first and the last step in preparing an operating budget request. As the first step, the OP provides a plan for resource allocation; as the last step, the OP may be modified to reflect policy decisions or financial changes made during the budget development process.

Creating a plan forces you to consider your companys needs and strategic priorities. Marketplace success provides positive feedback for your operations plan is aligned with your customer and business needs. This feedback reinforces the message that meaningful outcomes are more likely achieved if they are linked to business priorities. The plan forces you to look at the Bigger Picture.

An operations plan communicates your priorities to everyone. It communicates to all your employees, supervisors, sales representatives, drivers and ultimately to your customers through improved service. An operations plan gives your program continuity through the inevitable day-to-day crises as well as personnel changes in your organization. Without written documents, a lot of hard work can be lost and progress stalled.

Operations plans serve as a means to measure - and prove effectiveness and ultimately to continue to improve the operations process. A plan that details both your present position and where you want to be in the future, serves as an important tool for measuring change. The plan articulates your specific goals and objectives things you need to get done. It holds everyone accountable for their actions. The accountability created by developing the goals and objectives serve as a source of energy for everyone.

The purpose of the Operational Plan is to provide organisation personnel with a clear picture of their tasks and responsibilities in line with the goals and objectives contained within the Strategic Plan. Basically, the Operational Plan is a plan for the implementation of strategies contained within the Strategic Plan. It is a management tool that facilitates the co-ordination of the organisation's resources (human, financial and physical) so that goals and objectives in the strategic plan can be achieved.

what - the strategies and tasks that must be undertaken who - the persons who have responsibility of each of the strategies/tasks when - the timelines in which strategies/tasks must be completed how much - the amount of financial resources provided to complete each strategy/task