When creating an operations plan, you want to follow some key steps. First, focus on important goals that pertain to the specific department or division that will follow the plan. After identifying the goals, determine any key initiatives that will help achieve those goals. These initiatives will easily enable those following the plan to understand what they must do to work toward achieving the broader goals.
An effective operational plan should also include key performance indicators that permit progress monitoring. A key performance indicator (KPI) is a measurable value that shows how well a company is achieving the key business objectives it has outlined. The KPIs in an operational plan will lead the team members involved as long as the KPIs are communicated effectively.
The operations plan must also clearly define who, what, where, and when in great detail. It should outline who is responsible for which tasks, what tasks need to be completed to achieve a goal, where the individuals involved will work on their assigned tasks, and when they must be completed to maintain the timeline. You also want to discuss whether the plan is an ongoing or single-use plan. This information will help to better define the estimated timeline for completion.
The final step to create an operations plan is defining the resources needed to achieve the goals. These resources may include software programs to improve processes, tools to manage new tasks, or training to bring all team members up to speed on a certain task. Determining the necessary resources can help divisional leaders know how to proceed and provide their team members with what they need to succeed.
Many types of operations plan examples exist. Below we’ve provided a simplified version to study.
Manufacturing Plant Operations Plan
- Objective: Improve plant workflow
- Category: Single-use plan
- Required Resources: Training, efficiency study, and new equipment that operates quickly and more efficiently
- Tasks: Learning how to set up new equipment, identifying ways to reduce production waste, determining how to best reduce the level of inventory maintained in the plant, and identifying strategies to improve procedures associated with materials handling
By creating an operations plan, a business can outline its short-term, divisional, or departmental objectives and describe the initiatives required to achieve those objectives. Operations plans work together with other types of business plans to outline the overall goals of an organization as well as how the business plans to meet these goals.