How to Develop a Departmental Business Plan

Departmental business plans are essential for all department managers, as they help to guide the growth of the company. However, many managers, even established ones, have trouble nailing down the specifics of a departmental business plan. From reviewing the plan with your team to running it by company higher-ups to proper formatting, there is a lot that can be murky when it comes to creating this sort of document.

Departmental Business Plan Basics

A departmental business plan is a planning document focused on a specific department within a company. It should discuss your past metrics and discover any pain points that your team experienced. After you've focused on these problems, the document should focus on how you will address those problems going forward. If you feel like you need more staff, for example, you should work on how to justify that need to upper management.

Your departmental business plan should finish on a high note; specifically, you should focus on goals and what your team will do to meet them. Ideally, this plan would deal with how you will develop and groom your direct reports. In short, your departmental business plan is both a reflection and a game plan.

Departmental Business Plan Template

The following is a departmental business plan example, or business growth plan template, that could be applied to a variety of businesses.

[Department Name] Departmental Business Plan - [Date]

Outline:

  1. Review of Annual Metrics.
  2. Annual Goals vs. Metric Comparison.
  3. Adjusted Annual Goals.
  4. Departmental Needs to Meet Goals.
  5. Individual Staff Metrics.
  6. Staff Development Plans.
  7. Raw Data for Reference.

Above you can see a generic template for a departmental business plan. This plan should be adjusted based upon your specific needs. Some departments won't need to discuss individual metrics because of their size, but they should focus on extremely high and extremely low performers. The focus on the outliers will allow your star staff to get recognition for their work while also providing you a dedicated PIP (performance improvement plan) to assist your lower-achieving employees.

Strategic Plan Templates

Strategic plan templates are adjustable by department, company and industry to be as useful as possible. Depending on your company’s needs, there may be other metrics that you should focus on, which would require adding to a traditional strategic plan template.

If you are new to your department, reviewing past strategy plans can give you a good sense for how a template should be updated. Some companies have pre-approved templates for strategic planning, so make sure that you ask your reporting manager before taking the time to make your template.

What Is a Business Growth Plan

Business growth plans focus on both your performance and the performance of competitors. The goal for a business growth plan is to find room for your business to grow while maintaining its current foothold in your industry. The significant difference between a business growth plan and a strategic plan is that the strategic plan focuses more on strategy and goal meeting. A growth plan should focus on growth goals, increasing visibility and offering you knowledge of competitor markets.

Benefits to Nonprofits and Startups

Organizations, particularly nonprofits and startups, may have a different workflow, structure, budget or even employees that work entirely remotely. Large corporations with branches throughout the country or even internationally might have very different needs from smaller companies or nonprofits. Having a departmental business plan saved in a central location allows all staff to access it and focus on the specific goals that are set out before them. Workflows should be easier for the entire team if it is specific to your company’s needs and all players are on the same page.

References

About the Author

Danielle Smyth, MS, is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She has been writing on business-related topics for nearly 10 years. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing (www.wordsmythcontent.com), and she works with a number of small businesses to develop B2B content for their websites, social media accounts, and marketing materials. In addition to this content, she has written business-related articles for sites like Sweet Frivolity, Alliance Worldwide Investigative Group, Bloom Co, and Spent.