Operations plan: what it is and how to do it

  • 20/06/2024
  • 15 minutes

Companies that want to stand out in the market need to be aware of the operations plan, since through it is possible to outline the goals and objectives they want to achieve during activities in the market. Without good strategies, it is impossible to improve the general and logistical processes of a business.

Many managers neglect operational planning. This action can jeopardize the company’s development, and the annual schedule may be compromised, considering that employees won’t be able to perform their tasks with excellence. 

Next, you will know what an operational plan is, what types of plans are, and what information should be included in your company’s operational plan. With this information you will understand the importance of planning and how it can help your business. Check it out! 

What is an operations plan?

At first, it is necessary to know about strategic planning. It presents the mission, vision and long-term goals that the company wants to achieve in the coming years. For this reason, it can be prepared every 3 or 5 years, depending on the need that your project has. 

The operational plan is known as the work plan and consists of the part in the strategic planning responsible for the daily activities – that is, it transforms the goals and objectives established in the strategic planning into smaller tasks. Thus, this reduces bureaucracy and makes it easier for employees to perform tasks. 

Thus, it is worth mentioning that operational planning works mainly with reverse processes and with resources, such as financial ones. To ensure the creation of an efficient plan, it must be done by several professionals and must be approved by the department administrator. If you are from the logistics sector, the person responsible for the area must verify all the information so that it is validated and can be used. 

What is the difference between strategic and operational planning?

Many people have doubts about the strategic and operational plan. For each one to be done correctly, the distinctions between them must be clear. Therefore, know that the biggest difference is related to time, considering that the operational needs to be done annually and the strategic can be done after three years. 

The budget established in the plans also consists of an important difference – the money for the operational plan appears from each sector of the company and the strategic one comes from the budget in question. 

Each sector needs to create its own work plan and it is up to them to allocate the financial resources to make their individual plan. This is very important for decision making and for the operational plan to be aligned with the strategic plan. Even though they present significant differences, it is necessary for the ideas to be in accordance and to contribute both to the development of the employee and the company. 

What are the operational plans?

Probably, your business has a work plan already established, since many sectors have a similar document to be able to carry out their activities. Therefore, it can serve as a basis.

It should be noted that an operational plan is divided into single-use and ongoing – the former is designed for a shorter time and to solve a particular problem, such as waste.  Ongoing is ideal for situations that require more time and can be changed according to the progress.

Know that the second is also used to avoid layoffs and retain talent. It is still necessary to emphasize that the operational plan must go hand in hand with the strategic plan to achieve the goals and have efficient management. 

How to do operational planning?

Once you know what an operational plan is and what the types are, you need to know how to create it efficiently. In this way, you will be able to enter the correct information and help your organization grow. Intrigued? Check it out! 

Organize internal processes 

To be able to develop a good operational plan, it is necessary to map and organize internal processes. This helps to better understand the functioning of the organization and to find faults that are affecting the activities.

In the logistics sector, for example, this step cannot be left aside, since it involves several others to continue making deliveries to customers satisfactorily. 

Set your goals and targets 

It is essential to establish achievable goals and objectives. In doing so, know if they are achievable and if they are in line with the project. If the goals are not realistic, the effort of the employees will not be valid and they may be unmotivated.

In this way, before defining the goals, it is advisable to conduct a study to determine which ones will be feasible for the logistics sector and which ones will help in the development of the employees. Do not forget that they need to be clear, as this information will contribute to carrying out the operations. The whole team needs to understand the objectives to know what must be done to achieve success.

Establish a budget 

All company operations have expenses. Therefore, it is essential to record the investment necessary to carry out the operations. Value is essential for activities to continue in progress.

In addition, this step needs to be done carefully, as the lack or excess of money is not interesting. 

Determine deadlines 

Operational planning is done to guide activities for one year. However, the manager can set goals to be met in shorter deadlines, such as one month.

Therefore, it is necessary to prepare a schedule with the activities and also consider their complexity. It needs to be objective and clear, so that everyone involved can understand.

Set the tasks

The manager needs to establish the tasks that must be performed by each employee. In this way, it is possible to achieve the proposed goals more precisely.

During this stage, it is essential to know the main characteristics of the employees so that the functions are established according to such profiles. 

Establish the indicators 

To certify the results, it is necessary to establish the indicators that will be monitored. With them, it will be possible to monitor the development of the activities.

The main indicators of a company are the conversion rate, the average ticket, the number of new customers and the completed contracts.

Share the information 

All employees involved in the operational plan need to be aware of all the information entered. For this, it is recommended to hold a meeting to present and share the document.

It is essential that It is crucial for the team to clearly understand the information and know the purpose of the planning to prevent possible unforeseen events, such as rework and failures.

What should the operational plan contain?

After knowing how to carry out efficient operational planning, it is necessary to stay on top of the information that must be entered. If it does not present all the necessary points to carry out the activities, the employees will not be able to act satisfactorily and productively.

Here’s what you can’t miss!

Financial resources 

The financial resources involve the capital necessary for the execution of the activities. Thus, it is necessary to make clear in the operational plan the value and where the money will come from.

Human Resources 

It is necessary to make clear in the plan who will be responsible for the activities and which employee will carry out each project. In addition, it is necessary to mention the necessary skills to be able to complete the tasks.

Time Resources 

The time resource consists of estimating the period required for tasks to be done. Thus, it is necessary to make clear the start and end dates and the importance of achieving the goals in the proposed time. 


As mentioned, it is necessary to monitor the results. In this sense, it is interesting to define the indicators that should be monitored, what should be achieved and how to measure the results.

Why make an operational plan?

The operational plan functions as a guide, meaning it shows the path that must be followed for the company to achieve development and growth in the market. Thus, planning is fundamental in the elaboration of goals and in the accomplishment of tasks. 

The document must be prepared in advance and the manager must participate actively, as the objectives must be well established and in accordance with the needs of the enterprise. 

With an efficient operational plan, processes are measured and monitored more accurately. If each employee adopts a different method, managers won’t be able to identify bottlenecks and errors during the process, and thus, it won’t be possible to make the necessary changes. 

Therefore, the plan needs to be part of a company that wants to stand out in the market and enhance results. It is essential to ensure more optimized processes and help employee performance. 

Therefore, we hope it has become clear to you what an operational plan is, how it’s done, the information it should contain, what operational plans are, the differences with the strategic plan, and the information that should be included. This will certainly help your company to leverage the results. Did you like the content we prepared for you? Then take advantage of being here to learn more about Information Technology (IT) in maritime operations.