How to Develop an Operational Plan

An operational plan is important to create when running any type of business or organization. The plan outlines the operational management structure of the organization, along with any official processes and protocols that must be adhered to within the organization. Developing an operational plan is fairly straightforward. Once complete, you should revisit the plan with your organization's key stakeholders to ensure that all of its information is up to date and conforms to the way the organization is operating at that time.

Engage key project or organization team members in a meeting to announce the creation of the operational plan. Explain what you will be doing over the coming days and what information you expect to derive from each team member for the plan.

Meet with each stakeholder individually and ask questions that will allow you to find out what level of responsibility they hold, whom they are responsible for, and what objectives and goals their department plans to meet in the short- and long-term future. Use this information to determine if additional staffing needs to be done for the organizational plan to be successfully executed.

Write your operational plan by beginning with an executive summary that provides a high-level description of the plan. Write additional sections on production capacity, productivity and labor requirements to continue production, how quality assurance is performed, the current inventory tracking requirements, and concluding with a section on improvements and recommendations to make the operative procedures more efficient.

Complete the operational plan and run it by the key stakeholders for peer-review, then edit the plan as necessary to accommodate the notes and requirements of other departments.

Revisit the operational plan every six months to ensure that it is kept up-to-date and that the procedures set forth in the plan are being adhered to.