Organizational plans cover many important aspects of any business’s operations. In a formal sense, an organizational plan is a blueprint of sorts for a business that exists in the here and now. It is a document that details every phase of the business’s operation, as well as its future. The term “organizational plan” has two different connotations, depending on the source.
In a broad sense, organizational planning is the creative process of identifying a business s unique purpose for existing, laying down goals geared at achieving full operational capability, developing more detailed, tactical plans to achieve those goals, and finalizing the strategic objectives for each objective. In a narrower sense, strategic planning deals with day-to-day operations. It also often refers to long-term plans (sometimes referred to as strategic plans) for a business. Strategic planning usually involves examining the present circumstances, determining future contingencies, preparing various courses of action, and finally integrating all of these actions into a meaningful strategic plan. Strategic planning often involves examining the organization’s interactions with customers, suppliers, government agencies, external resources, competitors, other firms, etc. It also involves examining how to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness.
One major thrust of organizational plan development involves the creation of accurate, usable, and timely budgets. All staff levels must be included, with appropriate budgets for individual departments. Often, the budgeting process is referred to as a “process of planning.” All employees should have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities, and, in particular, the individual budgets that support those responsibilities. Individual budgets should be reviewed periodically to ensure that they are still adequate to accomplish the organization’s current and future needs.
Another thrust of organizational planning is the development of comprehensive action plans, or SPPs, for the different stages of an organization’s operations. The planning process includes defining the types of activities, departments, or teams to which the organization will distribute its resources during specific periods of time. In addition, various types of relationships between these activities (what I call organizational linkages) must be identified. These relationships are not only important for determining the types of activities to be undertaken, but also for determining the allocation of resources to accomplish those activities.
Finally, a major thrust of organizational plans is the creation of a comprehensive description of the roles and responsibilities of each individual or team in the organization. This description should identify the general objectives of the organization, identifying the organization’s specific objectives, describing the relationship among various aspects of the organization, identifying the sources of internal and external funding, and providing a listing of the various staff levels (from top management down to the front line). This broad description should be supplemented, by a more detailed description of the functions and specific responsibilities of individual teams. This description should be inclusive of the financial summary of the operations of the organization, drawing on the information provided above to determine whether funding is available to support all necessary activities.
An organizational plan cannot be written without the input of people at all levels of the organization. This is why I encourage all members of the organization to participate in its development. I want to encourage you to see it as a life-long learning process. It is an opportunity to share ideas, to contribute your experience, knowledge, and thoughts, to get some feedback, to learn some new skills, and most importantly, to contribute to the overall success of the organization. I believe that true organizational planning is the greatest opportunity for growth and development within an organization.
One of the primary purposes of organizational planning is to set goals and objectives. The creation of short-term and long-term objectives is an integral part of this process. While every member of the organization will have his or her own individual objectives, a “big picture” view of the organization and the larger goals it is trying to accomplish is indispensable to the planning process. A key part of the organizational plan will be a short-term and long-term strategic vision statement, which identifies the organization’s short-term and long-term goals and how each one impacts the organization, as well as the strategies that are required to achieve those goals. Read this.
When working on an organizational plan, it is important to ensure that all staff is engaged. There should be an awareness of their role in the overall success of the organization, but they must understand the boundaries of their work and the relative responsibilities. The organizational plan will serve as a framework in which all staff communicates with each other and with management, drawing on information learned in the course of performing their duties. With the right processes and tools, staff can develop an understanding of how they fit into the bigger picture. The creation of a business organizational plan will lay the groundwork for a sound structure for the organization. As we move forward, the organizational plan will continue to guide us, but we cannot rely solely on it to keep the organization on course.