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Understanding different types of “Organizational Planning”

Organizational planning can be intimidating if you don’t know the differences between Strategic, Tactical, Operational, and Contingency planning.

In this post, we will cover these four types of organization planning and how they relate to each other. 

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning covers long-term goals with all the necessary resources to achieve these goals. It typically includes a timeframe from 1 to 5 years. 

Also, a well thought out strategic plan considers controllable and non-controllable variables, and how to adjust to them.

Tactical Planning

Tactical planning includes activity and implementation details on how your organization will reach strategic goals (a separate document). Also, tactical planning timeframes are typically short (less than one year). 

Operational Planning

Operational planning entails specific methods, procedures, and standards for different areas of an organization. For example, you would typically have an operational plan for the Marketing department, HR department, IT department, and so on. An operational plan also includes specific objectives and targets, which are then assigned to employees to carry out. 

Contingency Planning

Contingency planning covers alternative courses of action – typically outlining unusual and crisis situations. Rightly so, contingency planning is often associated with risk management, because a good contingency plan will address known and unknown risks.


It is no secret that most high-performance organizations have strong plans in place – from strategic to contingency. And at a minimum, having these plans will ensure that everyone in your organization is rowing in the same direction.

Also, organizational planning often has a positive impact on employees. A company that takes planning seriously has higher job satisfaction because organizational planning provides clear goals and objectives (short and long-term).

Related: Why is strategic planning important?

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