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How To Write the Operations Plan Section of the Business Plan

Susan Ward wrote about small businesses for The Balance for 18 years. She has run an IT consulting firm and designed and presented courses on how to promote small businesses.

operational plan business plan

Stage of Development Section

Production process section, the bottom line, frequently asked questions (faqs).

The operations plan is the section of your business plan that gives an overview of your workflow, supply chains, and similar aspects of your business. Any key details of how your business physically produces goods or services will be included in this section.

You need an operations plan to help others understand how you'll deliver on your promise to turn a profit. Keep reading to learn what to include in your operations plan.

Key Takeaways

In your business plan , the operations plan section describes the physical necessities of your business's operation, such as your physical location, facilities, and equipment. Depending on what kind of business you'll be operating, it may also include information about inventory requirements, suppliers, and a description of the manufacturing process.

Keeping focused on the bottom line will help you organize this part of the business plan.

Think of the operating plan as an outline of the capital and expense requirements your business will need to operate from day to day.

You need to do two things for the reader of your business plan in the operations section: show what you've done so far to get your business off the ground and demonstrate that you understand the manufacturing or delivery process of producing your product or service.

When you're writing this section of the operations plan, start by explaining what you've done to date to get the business operational, then follow up with an explanation of what still needs to be done. The following should be included:

Production Workflow

A high-level, step-by-step description of how your product or service will be made, identifying the problems that may occur in the production process. Follow this with a subsection titled "Risks," which outlines the potential problems that may interfere with the production process and what you're going to do to negate these risks. If any part of the production process can expose employees to hazards, describe how employees will be trained in dealing with safety issues. If hazardous materials will be used, describe how these will be safely stored, handled, and disposed.

Industry Association Memberships

Show your awareness of your industry's local, regional, or national standards and regulations by telling which industry organizations you are already a member of and which ones you plan to join. This is also an opportunity to outline what steps you've taken to comply with the laws and regulations that apply to your industry. 

Supply Chains

An explanation of who your suppliers are and their prices, terms, and conditions. Describe what alternative arrangements you have made or will make if these suppliers let you down.

Quality Control

An explanation of the quality control measures that you've set up or are going to establish. For example, if you intend to pursue some form of quality control certification such as ISO 9000, describe how you will accomplish this.

While you can think of the stage of the development part of the operations plan as an overview, the production process section lays out the details of your business's day-to-day operations. Remember, your goal for writing this business plan section is to demonstrate your understanding of your product or service's manufacturing or delivery process.

When writing this section, you can use the headings below as subheadings and then provide the details in paragraph format. Leave out any topic that does not apply to your particular business.

Do an outline of your business's day-to-day operations, including your hours of operation and the days the business will be open. If the business is seasonal, be sure to say so.

The Physical Plant

Describe the type, site, and location of premises for your business. If applicable, include drawings of the building, copies of lease agreements, and recent real estate appraisals. You need to show how much the land or buildings required for your business operations are worth and tell why they're important to your proposed business.

The same goes for equipment. Besides describing the equipment necessary and how much of it you need, you also need to include its worth and cost and explain any financing arrangements.

Make a list of your assets , such as land, buildings, inventory, furniture, equipment, and vehicles. Include legal descriptions and the worth of each asset.

Special Requirements

If your business has any special requirements, such as water or power needs, ventilation, drainage, etc., provide the details in your operating plan, as well as what you've done to secure the necessary permissions.

State where you're going to get the materials you need to produce your product or service and explain what terms you've negotiated with suppliers.

Explain how long it takes to produce a unit and when you'll be able to start producing your product or service. Include factors that may affect the time frame of production and describe how you'll deal with potential challenges such as rush orders.

Explain how you'll keep  track of inventory .


Describe any product testing, price testing, or prototype testing that you've done on your product or service.

Give details of product cost estimates.

Once you've worked through this business plan section, you'll not only have a detailed operations plan to show your readers, but you'll also have a convenient list of what needs to be done next to make your business a reality. Writing this document gives you a chance to crystalize your business ideas into a clear checklist that you can reference. As you check items off the list, use it to explain your vision to investors, partners, and others within your organization.

What is an operations plan?

An operations plan is one section of a company's business plan. This section conveys the physical requirements for your business's operations, including supply chains, workflow , and quality control processes.

What is the main difference between the operations plan and the financial plan?

The operations plan and financial plan tackle similar issues, in that they seek to explain how the business will turn a profit. The operations plan approaches this issue from a physical perspective, such as property, routes, and locations. The financial plan explains how revenue and expenses will ultimately lead to the business's success.

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Home » Business Plans

How to Write a Business Plan Operations Plan [Sample Template]

Operational Plan

This section explains how you plan to run the company day-in day-out. In other words, you will describe how you will go about creating and delivering your product or service. Are you currently writing a business plan? If YES, here’s an in-depth guide and sample template on how to write a workable business plan operations plan section.

Table of Content

What is a Business Operations Plan?

Why write a business operations plan, writing a business operations plan for service firms and retail stores, writing a business operations plan for manufacturing companies, the supply chain.

The business plan operations plan presents the company’s action plan for executing its vision. The operational plan details the processes that must be performed in order to serve customers every day. In other words, the short term processes. It also details the overall business milestones that the company must attain in order to be successful. This can also be referred to as the long term processes.

When writing the operations section of a business plan, you should endeavor to cover major areas such as labor, materials, facilities, equipment and processes. You should also provide details on things you feel that are critical to your operation and will give you . If you can do this effectively, you will be able to answer investor’s questions about operations without having to be overwhelmed.

Every company has certain delineated processes to provide its customers with the best products and services. For instance, Walmart has a unique distribution system that will enable it to effectively move products from its warehouses to its shelves and then ultimately to the homes of its customers.

Technology product manufactures have processes to convert raw materials to finished products and service oriented businesses have processes to identify new areas of customer interest and to continually update service features.

The processes that a company makes use of to serve its customers are what transforms a business’s plan from concept to reality. Anyone can have a concept, but investors do not invest in concepts. They invest in reality. Reality is proving that the management team you have can execute the concept you have better than anyone else and your operations plan is what proves this.

Writing a Business Plan Operations Plan Section – Sample Template

While the marketing plan lays out the plan for attracting customers, the operations plan should lay out the key operational processes for serving them. Charts supplemented with texts are usually the best way to explain the key relationships between the parties involved in serving the customer. These parties could include departments within an organization, partners, suppliers, distributors or resellers.

The second part of the operations plan is proving that the team will execute the long term company vision. This is best presented as a chart. On the left side, list the key milestones that the company must reach and on the right, list the target dates for achieving each of the milestones.

These new millstones should include expected dates when new products and services will be introduced into the market place, when revenue milestones will be attained (for instance, when sales will exceed the million dollar mark), key partnerships will be executed, key customer contracts will be secured, key financial events will occur (for instance, future funding and IPO’s) and when key employees will be hired. Additionally, text should be used where necessary to support the projects that are laid out in the chart.

The milestone projections that are projected in the operational plan must be consistent with the projections in the financial plan. In both areas, it is important to be aggressive but credible. Presenting a plan that presents the company as growing too quickly will show how naïve the management team is, while presenting a too conservative growth plan will often fail to excite the potential investor who will require a higher rate of return over a relatively short period of time.

Operation is a broad field and it is covers sourcing of raw materials, hiring employees and staff, acquiring facilities and equipment and shipping the finished goods. These can vary depending on if you are a manufacturer, a retailer or a service firm.

The operation requirement of retail and service is remarkably different from those of their manufacturing counterparts. For instance, companies that maintain or repair things, sell consulting or provide health care or other services generally have higher labor content and lower investments in plants and equipment.

This however does not imply that retailers and service firms find operations any less important to them. A lot of people already understand the concept of buying and reselling merchandise or preparing tax returns. Therefore, you will not need to do a lot of explaining as opposed to someone who is into manufacturing microprocessors for computers.

The main engine of production for service and retail firms are the people. The cost of providing any service under this niche will inadvertently be driven by the labor it requires and as such, a service firm plan has to devote a lot of attention to staffing.

You will also need to include other information such as background information and if possible also describe employment contracts for key employees such as designers, marketing experts, buyers et al. You will need to show whoever that is reading the important tasks of these employees at all levels so they can understand how your business works and what the customer experience is like.

The operational plan for retailers also devotes considerable attention to sourcing desirable products. They may describe the background and accomplishment of key buyers. They may also detail long term supply agreements with manufacturers of in demand branded merchandise.

The main actor in manufacturing is the process of production, and the better your production process is, the better a manufacturer you will be. People who read your business plan will want to make sure that you have a strong system in place to make sure that personnel and materials are appropriately abundant.

Here, when you are writing your operational section, you should not go into too much details- stick to the important processes that give you a special competitive advantage and be sure that you show that you have adequate, reliable supply sources for the materials you need to build your product.

You will also need to include information on how you will ensure a reliable supply of adequately trained people to run your processes. You will first need to estimate the number and type of people you will need to run your plan, then show that you will be able to hire what you need. Look at local labor pool, unemployment rates and wage levels using information from chambers of commerce or similar entities.

The Production Process

Let’s start with the workflow that you will have to deal with to make your ideas a reality. Some of the things you will want to touch on are as follows:

In essence, this section should signal to the reader that you have a good handle of running your business. It also passes the message that you have a contingency plan in place to account for uncertainty in the marketplace. By taking this advice into account you will create a more convincing operational plan.

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What Is the Operational Plan Section of the Business Plan?

Learning what an operation plan is and learning how to make it is something critical to any business. 3 min read

An operation plan section of the business plan is an essential part of any business. Learning what an operation plan is and learning how to make it is something critical to any business. Here are the main things you need to know about an operation plan.

Definition of an Operation Plan

An operation plan is a guiding path for the business to follow in order to achieve all of its goals and objectives described in the general business plan.

The operation plan mainly includes details about the people responsible for completing the required actions, and all the costs and KPIs (key performance indicators) for these actions to be accomplished.

In order for any business to be stable in the long run, the operation plan must be updated regularly in order to ensure the stability of the business.

What Is the Operations Plan Section and How to Properly Make It

The section of the operations plan which is included in the business plan mainly specifies all the physical requirements for the operation of the business. These physical requirements mainly include equipment, facilities, and location.

In order to make a complete business plan , three things need to be clarified to the reader:

Operating Section of the Business Plan: Stage of Development Section

While you're developing the stage of development section, you should begin with the previous procedures that have been taken so far, along with mentioning what is best to be done in the future, it should be as follows:

What Are the Key Components to Include in an Operational Plan Regarding the Business Organization?

Here are the main components to be included in the operational plan:

In the end, one could conclude that the success or a failure of a business depends heavily on the quality of the business and operation plan put forward.

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How do you write operational plan in business plan

How to write an operational plan in business plan?

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What is an Operational Plan in Business Plan?

An operational plan in a business plan is explaining how you will achieve your business goals. An operational plan discusses everything from management, employees, products or services , project management, and supply chain to HR. 

The details of an operational plan business plan will be different for every business, depending on its type, size, and product. 

A business operational plan should also show that you understand the manufacturing or sourcing of the product you are going to sell and you have already progressed in your business.

operational business plan

What Goes Into Operational Plan In Business Plan

An operational business plan is needed for the business as a whole and for each department separately too. For a small business, these three criteria can help develop an operational plan.

Set Goals and Build Operational Plan Around Goals 

You have already set goals for your business; it is time to set goals for different departments or divisions. 

The department goals will align with business goals and help the company achieve them. 

After setting goals in an  operational plan in business plan , you will break down the process of achieving them into small, measurable, tasks. You have heard about SMART goals ; the SMART goals principle is applicable everywhere in the operations plan business plan. 

The small and measurable tasks we mentioned before are also called key performance indicators (KPIs). A KPI shows a measurable value contributed towards achieving business goals.

Assign Responsibilities and Tasks 

So far in your  operational plan in a business plan, y ou have set your business goals and department goals. You have broken it down into SMART tasks and KPIs. It is time to assign these tasks and responsibilities to the right people. 

A goal without a deadline is just a dream; set a timeline for each goal. Also, explain to your team if this is an ongoing or a single-use plan. 

You can understand single-use plans in terms of a project and an ongoing project in terms of the tasks you do when you don’t have a project.

Outline Resources 

Define the resources you need for each goal. These resources may include spending on software, tools & equipment required to work, training, etc. 

Determining resources requirement when writing an  operational plan in business plan  helps you plan well and increase the efficiency of the team.

operational plan for business plan

How Do You Write Operational Plan For Business Plan?

You will have a top-notch operation plan in business plan when you write about these aspects.

Risk Management: In the operational plan in a business plan,  Identify the risks you are facing and prepare a contingency plan when needed.

Set Quality Control Processes: Quality control is used to maintain and improve product quality. Assign quality control systems building and management to an employee or create a department for better management. 

Develop Management Plans: Management plans are an overreaching framework for the company management, department management, project management, etc. See how many management plans you need to make for your business.

Set Timelines and Milestones: Milestones are the big achievements. Setting milestones and timelines will help your team understand what they need to achieve and how much time they can take for it.

how to write operational plan in business plan

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Operational Plan For Businesses With A Physical Product

When you are going to sell a physical product like shoes, clothing, tool, etc, you will need to plan the manufacturing or sourcing process. 

Many businesses opt for manufacturing at their facilities while others may prefer OEM manufacturing. In both cases, you need to outline the process and establish policies. 

Here are the parts of an  operational plan in business plan  for a business selling physical products. 

Discuss how you will manufacture products for your business. If you have a manufacturing facility, explain the manufacturing capacity of your business. 

If you are sourcing your product from a manufacturer, discusses who is the manufacturer or how you will select a manufacturer.

Industry Association Membership

Approach industry associations like chambers of commerce or organizations of the manufacturers for the same/similar products as you. 

Getting into industry association memberships help you with networking, exploring new opportunities, understanding the market better, and preparing you for the long term.

Supply Chain

A supply chain is important for every business selling a product. 

A supply chain is a network between a manufacturer and a seller. It includes manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, shipping, and fulfillment to the seller location. 

Even when you are manufacturing products for your business, you will need to establish a different supply chain. You will need to build materials sourcing supply chain. You will also need to plan how the products will be shipped to the retail locations from your warehouse.

Quality Control 

Explain your quality control process in detail when writing an  operational plan in business plan . 

A quality control process is aimed at maintaining or improving product quality. Quality control is set up with safety measures to make sure faulty products don’t end up with the customers. 

Quality control processes are different for every business and largely depend on the product type.

Still, need help? Get our Professional Business Plan Writing Services and get your business plan done by professionals. 

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Is there a rampant lack of unity, evident confusion among employees, and complacency of stakeholders within your organization?

The lack of an operational plan negatively impacts the attitude of your team who may feel aimless with no sense of a greater purpose. They get lost trying to accomplish your company goals. So they come to work just for the paycheck.

The lack of a roadmap wears down the morale of your team because the future seems bleak, unpredictable, and out of control. These depressing conclusions pose a threat to employment—and affect the productivity of an organization.

Everyone is more productive when they have proper guidance on what they should be doing in an organization. A strong operational plan provides direction to your team and they know what’s expected of them.

Drafting an operational plan isn’t attractive, but it’s a must for any business. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a business guru to create one. This in-depth guide will help you get it right.

Operational Plan Full Guide – Content Index

Chapter 1: what is an operational plan, chapter 2: the importance of an effective operational plan, chapter 3: steps to creating a successful operational plan, chapter 4: key items to include in your operational plan.

Chapter 5: Questions That a Good Operational Plan Answers

Chapter 6: Software to Help Implement Operational Plans

Chapter 7: operational plan examples, chapter 8: using sweetprocess for operational planning and other business processes.

Conclusion: Create a Strong Operational Plan That Supercharges Your Business

What is an Operational Plan?

You may have mapped out your long-term strategies covering at least the next five years. But your organization still needs additional planning to help it get into the future successfully. Some of the planning will take a year to develop.

To make sure your company executes against the set long-term goals and stays on track throughout, you’ll need a strong and effective operational plan.

What is an operational plan?

An operational plan is a strategic plan turned into a detailed map clearly defining what actions your company’s team members need to take on a weekly or daily basis.

It includes action milestones and items that each department or team member in your organization needs to complete before you can execute your strategic plan.

When drafting an operational plan, summarize each team member’s responsibilities for the next financial year. How long it takes to create your operational plan will significantly depend on how quickly your organization moves.

For example, if teams want to focus on the long term, then draft a detailed operational plan with an extended timeline (at least more than a year).

That said, if you’re a fast-paced team with a hastened roadmap, draft an operational plan covering at least the next half year.

What are the different types of operational plans?

An operational plan is more department-focused. Only two types of this plan exist in the business world: standing and single-use.

Single-use operational plan . As the name suggests, this is an operational plan that is only used once before being discarded when a project is complete.

Using this operational plan is favorable only when your project doesn’t match another project in your organization (or isn’t likely to be used again). The best way to get the most of the single-use is to customize it to fit your project.

Standing operational plan . Unlike the single-use, a standing operational plan is used frequently and repeatedly. The organization will use this plan for different tasks and new projects cropping up frequently.

When you have a standing plan, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. But you will sacrifice time to make it more flexible for your project.

Operational Plan vs. Strategic Plan

Compared to a strategic plan—a long-term strategic plan covers three to five years—an operational plan is smaller in terms of timeline and scope.

The goal of the latter plan is to summarize the daily individual tasks you need to take to attain your strategic goals (in your organization).

During the operational planning process, ensure to capture specific details in the document such as:

In essence—and unlike a strategic plan—when creating an operational plan, make sure to focus on the implementation of specific (daily or weekly) actions.

What are the levels of creating an operational plan?

To effectively capture the specifics of what each team member is doing, create a detailed operational plan. For that reason, ensure to draft an operational plan at a smaller scale.

In other words, instead of creating an operational plan for your entire organization, draft one for each team member or department.

If you have a larger organization, draft a detailed operational plan for each specific initiative—more like a detail-oriented work plan.

For instance, let’s focus on your IT department and draft an operational plan explaining how the department’s daily tasks can support your organization.

In the operational plan for the IT department, make sure to capture how frequently team members meet, how they hire and equip new employees, budgeting details, and how frequently IT teams check their projects inbox.

Here are the three levels of creating an operational plan:

Timeline : Depending on how fast your organization works, your operational planning process should span six months to a year.

Stakeholders : Ensure the people involved in the operational planning process are closely related to the work so they can forecast what is to be included in the plan.

Scope : When drafting an operational plan, ensure to include the details of who, what, and when of each business activity. Zero in on a specific team member or initiative.

Operational Plan vs. Tactical Plan

An operational plan is about how things need to happen in an organization, while a tactical plan is about what is going to happen in an organization.

The tactical planning process supports strategic planning and includes tactics a company intends to use to achieve what’s outlined in the strategic plan.

An operational plan describes ongoing plans (or the daily running) in a company. The scope of a tactical plan is less than one fiscal year and can be subdivided into a strategic plan with actionable objectives.

Unlike an operational plan, a tactical plan asks specific questions about what needs to happen to accomplish certain company goals and objectives.

An operational plan asks an organization how it will carry out action tasks to accomplish its mission.

Key Components of a Tactical Plan

Creating a tactical plan greatly varies with each organization and its unique set of goals. That said, creating a successful tactical plan requires several key elements, including:

Here are a few essential things to consider when developing a tactical plan for your organization’s team members. (For the record, your tactical plan should answer these questions to help meet the objectives of your operational plan).

The Importance of an Effective Operational Plan

An effective operational plan serves as a practical manual that ensures quality management and accountability in a company’s department are attained.

Each year, companies revisit their operational plans to identify weak revenue areas, revamp workflows, and define new growth opportunities.

Other top benefits of operational planning include:

1. Supercharges accountability in your business

Each business activity within an organization requires accountability. An operational plan establishes great accountability for each operation.

It also clarifies the expectations of each employee and department, making it easier for everyone to identify the activities they’re responsible for and why.

Identifying inefficiencies in a department becomes easier when you have an operational plan in place. You just need to revisit the plan and identify where the inefficiency occurred and then fix the problem.

2. Optimizes resource management

The mismanagement of a company’s resources often leads to low productivity levels and loss of revenue. But when you allocate resources to an operational plan, resource management processes in your organization are optimized.

By improving resource management in each department, everyone can get the necessary materials to perform daily tasks as required, leading to success.

An operational plan dictates which resources are needed, what the budget should be, who should be in charge of activities, and what activities are essential in the company.

When implemented properly, an operational plan can eliminate guesswork and minimize the misappropriation of resources that leads to losses.

3. Enhances workplace productivity

To maintain workplace morale and accountability, certain key performance indicators are needed to track employee performance.

And without setting specific goals for each role in your organization, you decrease the effectiveness of both operational and workplace productivity.

An operational plan optimizes the performance of an organization and ensures each department understands how their productivity levels and work quality has a direct impact on the entire organization.

4. Clarifies what each team member is doing daily

An operational plan clarifies the activities, responsibilities, and daily tasks of department heads and managers in detail. It also illustrates how team members in an organization play a key role in achieving a department’s goals.

Without a well-defined operational plan, team members will have a difficult time measuring tasks against pre-defined outcomes.

5. Improves competitive advantages

To enhance workflow in an organization and ensure it runs smoothly, coordinating different parts of an operational plan is necessary. This coordination eventually allows team members to deliver high-quality deliverables without delay, keep their heads in the competition, and create outstanding customer experiences.

6. Boosts organization’s profits

Having an effective operational plan keeps teams and projects on track. And when operations in an organization are managed properly, team members can boost a company’s profits and bolster innovations—faster and better.

7. Increases operational efficiency

An operational plan is similar to a roadmap that aligns an organization’s activities to achieve specific goals.

It acts as a guide to decision-making and management discussions that determine resource and budget requirements. In the process, it accomplishes set objectives and increases operational efficiency.

8. Gets everyone aligned with the company’s goals and objectives

An operational plan sets up a sense of direction in which an organization must travel. It aligns everyone with the company’s goals and objectives.

Operational planning offers much more foundation to an organization and ensures it establishes boundaries for efficient decision-making, compensates team members, evaluates success, and eventually scales new heights.

9. Allows organizations to be proactive rather than reactive

Organizations wish to foresee the future and prepare for any eventualities. Through operational planning, organizations can anticipate unfavorable scenarios months earlier and safeguard against them in the future.

With a strong operational plan in place, companies can end up being more proactive rather than reacting to situations as soon as they happen.

And because of being proactive, you can keep up with the latest trends and stay ahead of competitors.

10. Helps you hit your strategic goals

A detailed operational plan defines the short-term goals you need to achieve as an organization and then guides you toward attaining long-term objectives.

In other words, a strong operational plan can help you think through the actions you need to take to help hit your strategic goals. About 26 percent of workers understand how daily individual tasks directly relate to an organization’s goals.

11. It makes success more likely

Every organization should set ambitious goals as it always gives you something to drive toward. But realizing these goals is practically impossible without a realistic operational plan in place. Creating an operational plan makes it more likely that your organization will succeed over time.

12. Improves teamwork and collaboration

When you create an operational plan, everyone, including department heads and managers, has a role to play.

Therefore, they won’t need to step into each other’s toes when handling day-to-day tasks. That’s the beauty of the operational plan as it clearly pinpoints who is responsible for what task, and sets expectations on how and when these tasks are achieved.

Steps to Creating a Successful Operational Plan

To create a successful operational plan, evaluate tasks your team is working on and everything you’re doing on a day-to-day basis to achieve your company goals. Here are key steps to successful operational planning.

Step 1: Set up your strategic plan

The first step is to create a strategic plan if you haven’t already. You need to have a vision and goals in place before you can break them down into daily tasks.

So, how do you create a strategic plan?

Step 2: Narrow down your scope

To create a successful and detail-oriented operational plan for your organization, narrow down your scope to a smaller department or team. However, this will significantly depend on the size of your organization.

If your company has several departments, you need to break down your strategic plans into action plans to fit all these departments.

For example, your marketing team is responsible for web promotion, content creation, social media, product marketing, and design.

To capture daily tasks within each marketing team, create an operational plan for each smaller marketing team.

Step 3: Identify your main goals

Identify and prioritize your main goals to create a simple operations plan. A simple operations plan is more likely to succeed than a complex one. Why? Because your company’s marketing team can easily follow it to the letter.

When identifying your main goals, focus on three to five initiatives likely to contribute to your long-term goals and objectives. Then develop metrics to measure your key performance indicators (KPIs).

Step 4: Select the right KPIs

Predictive measurements or leading indicators are great key performance indicators that can help you predict the future. Compared to measurements of the past or lagging indicators, they’re more helpful in guiding you to make early adjustments as you go.

Think of operational planning as a car where the windshield is the leading indicator and the rear-view mirror is the lagging indicator. Leading indicators look into the future while lagging indicators look back.

Step 5: Involve major stakeholders

When drafting an operational plan, think of the people you want to include in the operational planning process.

The members drafting the plan for your organization should be those close to the actions that the plan seeks to describe and execute.

For example, the head of the design team should be involved in the creation of the design team’s operational plan. Once the plan is successfully created, the head of marketing should make the final approval.

Step 6: Write the operational plan

Your company’s operational plan details all the actions your team members will undertake to achieve your set goals within a given timeframe. To create a successful operational plan, make sure to include:

If you’re struggling to come up with details to outline in your operational plan, ask yourself these four questions:

Step 7: Update your plan

Once you have an operational plan in place, share it with your team members to lend them visibility of the goals and specific tasks needed to get your company to success. Then systemize the operational plan’s updates through a real-time progress tool.

Just like any other project planning tool, things will someday take a different turn and change.

So, to make sure key stakeholders and team members are updated regularly, make sure to actively monitor your operational plan and report on its progress.

Key Items to Include in Your Operational Plan

Every company’s functional operational plan has key elements accentuating its purpose and direction.

Some of these essential elements include:

Mission Statement

An operational plan is more of a tactical tool that implements an organization’s strategic plan.

A strategic plan complements the mission of an operational plan, answering the “why” for any activity, process, task, and project.

Without the mission statement, an organization will simply draft an operational plan but with no clear direction or purpose. Think of it as planning a journey without a real destination in mind. The efforts are futile.

Goals and Objectives

If an operational plan is complicated to grasp, team members in your organization won’t follow it to the letter—and for a good reason.

The best way to avoid creating a complex operational plan is to set specific goals then break them down into small objectives.

Imagine creating an operational plan covering the next one year, and a goal to scale your sales by about 25 percent yearly. It’s difficult to achieve such a goal.

But if you subdivide this goal into monthly objectives such as improving conversion rates in January, generating leads in February, increasing website traffic in March, and so on, your company’s marketing team will quickly achieve this goal with ease.

Value Proposition

Why should someone become your company’s partner, client, or customer? A value proposition is a brief description that answers this question.

Your company’s value proposition explains to potential customers why your products offer more value for money than your competitors’ offerings.

However, in the context of operational planning, a value proposition emphasizes your company’s mission and strength, helping your team members to focus on why the organization is doing business in the first place.

Drafting an operational plan is just half the journey. You should create an operational plan that can measure the effectiveness and success of your organization—or, better yet, a plan that clearly defines a list of metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs).

Predictive indicators are the best metrics and KPIs to measure because they show what a team expects in the future.

By predicting future outcomes, predictive indicators allow a company’s marketing team to make early adjustments before it is too late.

Constant Communication

Your operational plan is only as good as the people willing to execute it. Before you begin operational planning, take time to discuss the selected KPIs with your company’s team and relevant departments.

Being in constant communication with these people will ensure they fully understand why particular KPIs were selected, their importance to your organization, and how they’ll help your organization achieve its goals and objectives.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis—strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis—helps you to identify crucial aspects, happenings, and threats within your organization.

Running a SWOT analysis will provide you with clear insights into the daily operations of your organization.

Your organization’s weakness might be the inability to attract local customers, while its strength could be its ability to enhance smooth business operations. Knowing this can help you improve certain areas of the organization.

Chapter 5: Questions Answered By a Good Operational Plan

red By a Good Operational Plan

If you’re a first-time business owner or have never created an operational plan, you may not know where to start. If that’s your current dilemma, here are four top questions every good operational plan should answer:

#1: What yearly goals do we need to accomplish? 

This question compels you to be clear about the specific goals you want to achieve as an organization.

Your goals should be reachable and challenging but not overwhelming that you have to tirelessly work yourself and your team to the bones to achieve them. More information about your goals should come from your strategic plan.

#2: What daily tasks do we need to complete to hit those goals? 

Daily tasks could be anything you’re currently doing in your organization or new work that needs to be kicked off right away. Daily individual tasks could be divided such that each includes one clearly defined action.

Completing a specific task every day brings you closer to hitting your goals because you’ll end up making progress while having small accomplishments every day.

#3: Who is responsible for those daily tasks?

This question addresses a crucial aspect of any project in an organization: Who will take responsibility if any of those tasks fail?

Make sure someone in your team is responsible for each daily task. That way, there’ll be no confusion about who to go to for questions or updates. When operational planning, be clear on who your teammates are, how they work, and the role they play.

#4: What are our success metrics?

This question is of utmost importance, and something many organizations forget to consider. If you cannot measure progress, you can’t rally your teammates toward achieving specific goals for your organization.

To find out the right metrics for your organization’s success, make sure your goals follow the SMART framework , which dictates that your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.

Software to Help Implement Operational Plans

To improve efficiency and implement an operational plan in your organization, you need a comprehensive tool (or software) to help you share files with team members, maintain project budget, manage resources, create workflows, and track projects.

Here’s a list of software to use to help develop your operational plan:

Monday has a rich list of features with a simple user interface.

If you’re new to the software, you’ll have little trouble learning how it works. The best part? It has a unique presentation that puts it ahead of the competition.

This top-rated software boasts a unique proprietary task management and dashboard system, which is designed to help you manage every step of a project, including budgeting, resource management, time tracking, and task management.

Despite being valuable, Monday fails in the pricing department. The most basic paid option (for three seats) starts at $24 (per month). The good news is that there’s a free trial and even a free option for two seats.

Asana is designed with team members in mind.

It’s accessible to everyone in an organization and provides useful team collaboration features and task management options.

In an organization, Asana empowers all team members in a project to work closely, communicate, and collaborate with their managers.

The most notable Asana feature is the workload management feature. It uses notifications and graphs to notify managers when members in an organization are assigned more work than they can realistically handle.

Asana lacks project reporting and budgeting features.

Trello boasts a healthy list of features with a simple learning curve.

This software is ideal for all kinds of teams and projects in an organization, including HR tracking, sales pipelines, customer support tracking, software development, marketing projects, and content teams.

If you’re just developing an operational plan for your company, managing projects in Trello is fun. The software is ideal for mapping out and tracking your process.

4. SweetProcess

SweetProcess gives you the systemization to scale and grow your business.

Whether you’re managing a team or you’re hiring your first employee, SweetProcess helps you focus on the work that matters—including document processes, procedures, and tasks—and puts them in one place so you can focus on growing your business.

This software documents how team members need to do their job by harnessing the culture of defining and improving business operations.

If you have SweetProcess and you combine it with the right team members, there’s nothing that may limit how far and wide your organization may go.

Wrike is scalable and flexible. It helps you track and manage tasks.

This simple software is designed for fast-paced projects with continuously changing demands and needs. And when it comes to functionality, Wrike delivers in spades despite having a plain user interface.

Compared to its competitors, Wrike boasts project reporting and budget management features which can be useful when creating an operational plan.

Having a business plan is not enough. A business plan should have (or complement) an operational plan.

To put it another way, if you don’t set action plans and strategies (for your business operations), your business functions will not be complete. Here are examples of business operational plans:

Business Operational Plan Template

Business Operational Plan Template

Source: template.net

File format: Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and Pages

Operational Plan Template

Operational Plan Template

Startup Operational Plan Template

Startup Operational Plan Template

Basic Operational Plan Template

Basic Operational Plan Template

The usage of these documents can (positively or negatively) influence the operations of your business. An operational plan simply peeks into the quality standards and metrics you need to consider to attain operational success, goals, and objectives.

Using SweetProcess for Operational Planning and Other Business Processes

SweetProcess can help you manage operations in a super-easy way. It’s a standardized, online operational manual that processes documents, procedures, and tasks in one place so you can focus on growing your business.

So, whether you manage a team or you’re hiring your first employee, SweetProcess will systemize operations and help you scale your business.

Here are real-life examples of how the SweetProcess platform streamlined operations for different companies.

A Dental Clinic Streamlined Its Operations Post-COVID Shutdown through SweetProcess

The Dentist Off Main, a dental clinic based in Oregon, wanted to improve its patients’ dental experience by systemizing its business operations.

Dr. Olesya Salathe and Alex Jacks (who both run the dental clinic) started to document their business processes on Word documents only to realize it’s a tedious process. They now needed a better system to help enhance the efficiency of their employees.

And that’s how they came to learn about SweetProcess.

SweetProcess platform came in handy and they were fascinated that it could streamline their operations . But they had not done much until the emergence of the COVID-19.

“… We didn’t dive deep [into SweetProcess] until the pandemic hit, and then we were shut down. The idea of coming back without clear processes when the scary virus is out there solidified that we literally cannot work without systems and processes”.

SweetProcess helped them achieve success (and change a lot of things post COVID-19 pandemic) and ensure the safety of their patients and employees.

SweetProcess Improved an Australian Brewing Company’s Performance and Operations

Stone & Wood, an Australian brewing company, was in dire need of maintaining quality assurance and enhancing smooth operations.

The company was working with binders and Microsoft Word documents to resolve the problem to no avail.

The absence of an effective system made it impossible to achieve their desired success. After trying several outdated systems, they finally found a solution in SweetProcess .

Thomas Parker, the company’s quality assurance and sensory coordinator, said SweetProcess was the right fit for Stone & Wood. It enhanced the efficiency of his team members with hands-on information to systemize tasks successfully.

“I did look at several different options online. I can’t recall the specifics, but ultimately, it did boil down to a couple, and I liked SweetProcess from its ease of use and how flexible the sign-up was.”

SweetProcess simply repositioned the organization’s operations for the better, enhancing its performance tremendously by simplifying employee training, creating a centralized knowledge base, and customizing operations.

A Canada-Based Law Firm Used SweetProcess to Structure Its Business Operations

Resolute Legal, a law firm based in Canada, had a poor business structure and it became a serious concern for David Brannen, the founder and managing lawyer of the law firm.

Initially, David juggled all the tasks in the early days of his business. Disorganization soon caught up with him and he now desperately needed help.

Afraid that his business would not scale to new levels unless he created proper business structures, David started looking for an effective system that could systemize his business operations . And that’s how he discovered SweetProcess.

“I had someone tell me probably in the six months to a year before I got SweetProcess that I would never be able to be successful or grow this business if I didn’t get out of my way. Basically what he told me is: you got to systemize things.”

SweetProcess helped David become successful in his business. He scaled up from being a lone ranger to “having a real business with a bunch of employees.”

Create a Strong Operational Plan That Supercharges Your Business

Anyone can create a good operational plan, but drafting a strong operational plan that supercharges a business to broader levels? That’s a whole new ballgame.

Strong operational planning helps your organization achieve its broader vision. It’s a roadmap guiding you to accomplish a set goal.

To create a strong operational plan that supercharges your business, you should:

Operational planning isn’t something you can whip up in half an hour on your lunch break. You need to set aside hours (or days) to do the legwork, meet with stakeholders and department leaders, and create a strategy with detailed action steps.

If that sounds challenging, don’t worry. SweetProcess will help you get it right, saving you precious time and money.

Adopting SweetProcess will streamline all your business operations and soar your business to newer levels.

Sign up for a  14-day free trial  today (no credit card required), and download the “Epic Operational Plan Checklist That Ensures You Don’t Miss a Thing”, that covers actionable steps to help you draft a smooth and effective operation plan.

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Operational Planning: How to Make an Operations Plan


The operations of your business can be defined as the sum of all the daily activities that you and your team execute to create products or services and engage with your customers, among other critical business functions. While organizing these moving parts might sound difficult, it can be easily done by writing a business operational plan. But before we learn how to make one, let’s first understand what’s the relationship between strategic and operational planning.

Operational Planning vs. Strategic Planning

Operational planning and strategic planning are complementary to each other. This is because strategic plans define the business strategy and the long-term goals for your organization, while operational plans define the steps required to achieve them.

What Is a Strategic Plan?

A strategic plan is a business document that describes the business goals of a company as well as the high-level actions that’ll be taken to achieve them over a time period of 1-3 years.

What Is an Operational Plan?

Operational plans map the daily, weekly or monthly business operations that’ll be executed by the department to complete the goals you’ve previously defined in your strategic plan. Operational plans go deeper into explaining your business operations as they explain roles and responsibilities, timelines and the scope of work.

Operational plans work best when an entire department buys in, assigning due dates for tasks, measuring goals for success, reporting on issues and collaborating effectively. They work even better when there’s a platform like ProjectManager , which facilitates communication across departments to ensure that the machine is running smoothly as each team reaches its benchmark. Get started with ProjectManager for free today.

Gantt chart with operational plan

What Is Operational Planning?

Operational planning is the process of turning strategic plans into operational plans, which simply means breaking down high-level strategic goals and activities into smaller, actionable steps. The main goal of operational planning is to coordinate different departments and layers of management to ensure the whole organization works towards the same objective, which is achieving the goals set forth in the strategic plan .

How to Make an Operational Plan

There’s no single approach to follow when making an operation plan for your business. However, there’s one golden rule: your strategic and operational plans must be aligned. Based on that principle, here are seven steps to make an operational plan.

Let’s take a look at each of these elements in more depth.

What Should be Included in an Operational Plan?

Your operational plan should describe your business operations as accurately as possible so that internal teams know how the company works and how they can help achieve the larger strategic objectives. Here’s a list of some of the key elements that you’ll need to consider when writing an operational plan.

Executive Summary

An executive summary is a brief document that summarizes the content of larger documents like business plans, strategic plans or operation plans. Their main purpose is to provide a quick overview for busy stakeholders.

Operational Budget

An operational budget is an estimation of the expected operating costs and revenues for a given time period. As with other types of budget, the operational budget defines the amount of money that’s available to acquire raw materials, equipment or anything else that’s needed for business operations. It’s important to limit your spending to stay below your operational budget, otherwise, your company would run out of resources to execute its normal activities.

Operational Objectives

It’s essential to align your operational objectives with your strategic objectives. For example, if one of your strategic objectives is to increase sales by 25 percent over the next three years, one possible operational objective would be to hire new sales employees. You should always grab your strategic plan objectives and turn them into one or multiple action items .

Processes & Workflows

Explain the various business processes, workflows and tasks that need to be executed to achieve your operational objectives. Make sure to explain what resources are needed, such as raw materials, equipment or human resources.

Operational Timeline

It’s important to establish a timeline for your operational plan. In most cases, your operational plan will have the same length as your strategic plan, but in some scenarios, you might create multiple operational plans for specific purposes. Not all operational plans are equal, so the length of your operational timeline will depend on the duration of your projects, workflows and processes.

Hiring Plan

Find any skills gap there might be in your team. You might need to hire a couple of individuals or even create new departments in order to execute your business workflows.

Quality Assurance and Control

Most companies implement quality assurance and control procedures for a variety of reasons such as customer safety and regulatory compliance. In addition, quality assurance issues can cost your business millions, so establishing quality management protocols is a key step in operational planning.

Key Performance Indicators

It’s important to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the productivity of your business operations. You can define as many KPIs as needed for all your business processes. For example, you can define KPIs for marketing, sales, product development and other key departments in your company. This can include product launch deadlines, number of manufactured goods, number of customer service cases closed, number of 5-star reviews received, number of customers acquired, revenue increased by a certain percentage and so on.

Risks, Assumptions and Constraints

Note any potential risks, assumptions and time or resource constraints that might affect your business operations.

What Are the Benefits of Operational Planning?

Every plan has a massive effect on all team members involved, and those can be to your company’s benefit or to their detriment. If it’s to their detriment, it’s best to find out as soon as possible so you can modify your operational plan and pivot with ease.

But that’s the whole point of operational planning: you get to see the effect of your operations on the business’s bottom line in real time, or at every benchmark, so you know exactly when to pivot. And with a plan that’s as custom to each department as an operational plan, you know exactly where things go wrong and why.

How ProjectManager Can Help with Operational Planning

Creating and implementing a high-quality operational plan is the best way to ensure that your organization starts out a project on the right foot. ProjectManager has award-winning project management tools to help you craft and execute such a plan.

Gantt charts are essential to create and monitor operational plans effectively. ProjectManager helps you access your Gantt chart online so you can add benchmarks for operational performance reviews. You can also create tasks along with dependencies to make the operation a surefire success.

A screenshot of a gantt chart in ProjectManager

Whether you’re a team of IT system administrators, marketing experts, or engineers, ProjectManager includes robust planning and reporting tools. Plan in sprints, assign due dates, collaborate with team members and track everything with just the click of a button. Plus, we have numerous ready-made project reports that can be generated instantly, including status reports, variance reports, timesheet reports and more.

project status report builder

Related Operations Management Content

Operational planning isn’t done in a silo, and it doesn’t work without the full weight of the team backing it up. Ensure that your department is successful at each benchmark. ProjectManager is an award-winning pm software dedicated to helping businesses smooth out their operational plans for a better year ahead. Sign up for our free 30-day trial today.

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Operations Plan

The operations section of your business plan is where you explain – in detail – you company's objectives, goals, procedures, and timeline. An operations plan is helpful for investors, but it's also helpful for you and employees because it pushes you to think about tactics and deadlines.

In the previous course, you outlined your company's strategic plan, which answers questions about your business mission. An operational plan outlines the steps you'll take to complete your business mission.

Your operations plan should be able to answer the following:

In this session, we explain each item to include in your operations plan.

Goals and Objectives

The key to an operations plan is having a clear objective and goal everyone is focused on completing. In this section of your plan, you'll clearly state what your company's operational objective is.

Your operational objective is different than your company's overall objective. In Course One , you fleshed out what your strategic objective was. Your operational objective explains how you intend to complete your strategic objective.

In order to create an efficient operational objective, think SMART:

Operations plan goals and objectives

Different departments will have different operational objectives. However, each department objective should help the company reach the main objective. In addition, operational objectives change; the objectives aren't intended to be permanents or long term. The timeline should be scheduled with your company's long-term goals in mind.

Let's look at the following example for a local pizza business objective:

Sales department operational objective: To increase delivery sales by 30%, by targeting 3 of Massachusetts's largest counties.

Production Process

After you create your objectives, you have to think strategically on how you're going to meet them. In order to do this, each department (or team) needs to have all the necessary resources for the production process.

Resources you should think about include the following:

In addition to the production process, you'll also need to describe in detail your operating process. This will demonstrate to investors that you know exactly how you want your business to run on a day-to-day basis.

Items to address include:

Operations plan timeline

Creating a timeline with milestones is important for your new business. It keeps everyone focused and is a good tracking method for efficiency. For instance, if milestones aren’t being met, you'll know that it's time to re-evaluate your production process or consider new hires.

Below are common milestones new businesses should plan for.

When you completed your Management Plan Worksheet in the previous course, you jotted down which key hires you needed right away and which could wait. Make sure you have a good idea on when you would like those key hires to happen; whether it’s after your company hits a certain revenue amount or once a certain project takes off.

Production Milestones

Production milestones keep business on track. These milestones act as "checkpoints" for your overall department objectives. For instance, if you want to create a new app by the end of the year, product milestones you outline might include a beta roll out, testing, and various version releases.

Other product milestones to keep in mind:

Market Milestones

Market milestones are important for tracking efficiency and understanding whether your operations plan is working. For instance, a possible market milestone could be reaching a certain amount of clients or customers after a new product or service is released.

A few other market milestones to consider:

Financial Milestones

Financial milestones are important for tracking business performance. It's likely that a board of directors or investors will work with you on creating financial milestones. In addition, in startups, it's common that financial milestones are calculated for 12 months.

Typical financial milestones include:

In summary, your operations plan gives you the chance to show investors you know how you want your business to run. You know who you want to hire, where you want to work, and when you expect projects to be completed.

Download the attached worksheet and start putting your timelines and milestones together on paper.


Talk about this lesson

Operational Plan: Meaning, Example, Steps, Types And Importance

Ayesha is the operations project manager at a radiology informatics organization that intends to open three more imaging centers in…

Operational Plan Meaning

Ayesha is the operations project manager at a radiology informatics organization that intends to open three more imaging centers in different cities. The strategic plan goals for the company involve diversifying the practice, but Ayesha is aware that the details of how such goals will be accomplished won’t be in the strategic plan; they’ll have to be in the operational plan .

Ayesha and her team set about creating a tactical, detail-oriented operational plan to meet the goals outlined in the strategic plan. They chalk out targets for outreach, IT, development, research and staffing.

Every team member’s progress and goal-fulfillment are recorded for each quarter of the fiscal year.

With Ayesha’s leadership and her team’s focused approach, the operational plan put together helps the firm reach important goals in the strategic plan, with the practice even being able to bring on board a new consultant to aid in identifying fresh business opportunities. Theirs is a successful operational plan example .

What Is An Operational Plan?

Types of operational plans, operational planning steps.

Before going into the types of operational plans and their importance, it’s imperative to form a clear understanding of the meaning of an operational plan . Simply put, an operational plan lays out the tasks a business must carry out to reach the desired outcome. More accurately, it’s a blueprint created by a department or a team within an organization that clearly defines the actions that must be taken to fulfill strategic objectives and meet the expectations of senior management. It also adheres to daily or weekly timelines for goal fulfillment.

Let’s consider an operational plan example where an organization is strategically trying to increase its production volume by 50% by the end of the fiscal year. Important considerations in such a strategic plan will be marketing, sales and operations. The manufacturing, financial and logistic components of an operational plan in this scenario will be crucial for boosting production.

It must be remembered that an operational plan and a business plan aren’t the same. This distinction is important to further understand the meaning of an operational plan . Business plans have operations segments, so an operational plan in a business plan is but one component of the entire structure. In other words, having an operational plan in a business plan is likely, not the other way round. Within a business plan, the operational plan section focuses on every step necessary to achieve the business’s objectives.

Having covered the meaning of an operational plan and highlighted its differences from a business plan or a strategic plan, it’s a good idea to consider the different types of operational plans and the steps of operational planning .

There are two types of operational plans : single-use plans and ongoing plans. How are they different? Let’s take a look.

Single-Use Plans

These operational plans are only devised when a particular problem or a time-specific challenge needs to be tackled. For instance, cost-saving measures for a new fiscal year would need a single-use plan.

Ongoing Plans

Such plans are designed with the long-term in mind. They can be applied to future timelines and adapted whenever required. An ongoing plan would be used for strategizing on how to retain a workforce rather than resort to workforce rationalization measures.

Regardless of the type, it’s important to be clear on the steps that lead to an effective operational plan . Let’s examine what these components of an operational plan are.

Put The Strategic Plan In Place

Operational goals are dependent on strategic goals. The importance of the operational plan is indisputable, but the strategic plan must come first, as the operating plan is ultimately a tool for reaching strategic goals.

Pick The Goals That Matter Most

An operating plan example that works will invariably prioritize the most important goals. It’s tough to follow through on complicated plans with too many vague objectives.

Use Performance Metrics

Predictive indicators are crucial in gauging how a project or a team is faring. To this end, it’s always wiser to opt for leading indicators (like excellent customer feedback) rather than lagging indicators (such as the attendee headcount at an event), as leading indicators help identify potential problem areas from beforehand.

Pick KPIs Wisely And Communicate

This should be a team exercise. Outlining the most suitable KPIs for a business is imperative, and so is discussing them with the entire team.

Keeping all of these factors in mind, it’s clear that the importance of operational plans can’t be emphasized enough. There are several reasons why they’re a prominent part of goal-oriented organizations – they enhance productivity, profit margins and give businesses a competitive edge.

The ability to create and execute solid operational plans is a skill of high value. Harappa’s Rise In An Organization program is designed to help ambitious professionals master such skills. With the help of a stellar faculty and 17 dynamic lessons, you’ll learn to lead with influence, inspire trust and get things done. Frameworks and techniques such as The Performance Equation and The Flywheel Effect are designed to help senior professionals manage projects expertly, adapt to situations instinctively and become reliable team players.

The Rise In An Organization pathway is the ticket to facing challenges head-on and influencing decisions masterfully!

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How To Create an Operational Plan You’ll Actually Use

operational plan

Whether you’re just starting a business or actively running an existing one, you probably have a business plan to articulate your organization’s mission, value proposition, target audience, company goals, and financial projections—essentially, the “who,” “what,” and “why” of your business. To truly succeed, however, you need to understand the details of how you’ll implement your company’s vision, and when.

While you may have a strategic plan that charts out your company’s direction over the course of years or even decades, true success depends on focusing all of the day-to-day operations of your business toward that end result. To do that, you’ll need an operational plan.

What is an operational plan?

An operational plan (also known as an operation plan or operations plan) is a document that describes the daily, weekly, and monthly processes teams and individual team members should follow in order to achieve their business goals. Essentially, an operational plan is an instruction manual that spells out how you will accomplish your strategic plan.

An operational plan typically includes:

Operational plans vs. strategic plans

While it’s easy to confuse strategic planning and operational planning, they work hand in hand and offer different benefits.

The benefits of an operational plan

To the action-oriented entrepreneur, an operational plan may sound like fruitless musing about the future—creating one more document that gets lost in Dropbox or Google Drive. But that’s a sign of a bad plan more than a critique of the overall planning process.

Startups may think they’re too small to need an operational plan, and some justify limited or no planning as being “nimble.” Yet a lack of operational planning is among the top reasons startups fail, according to University Lab Partners , an independent research project formed in partnership with the University of California, Irvine.

The benefits of operational planning include:

To create an operational plan, you first need a strategic plan to identify your organization’s goals and timelines. Every project and task in the operational plan ties back to the “why” of your strategic plan.

For instance, if the strategic goal is to increase annual revenue by 40% in two years, there are many projects—elements of the operational plan—that could get you there. How do you decide which projects to pursue?

You may identify a diverse set of potential projects for achieving company goals, such as:

Prioritize projects based on their likely impact on your strategic goal, then assign responsibilities to team members, breaking down project planning into actionable daily tasks.

At this stage, identify the resources required and ask employees what they need to get the job done. For example, will the person executing the social campaign need an automation platform to schedule posts in advance or view roll-up statistics on post engagement?

Divide desired outcomes into individual tasks and assign deadlines. For instance, to create a social media campaign, the breakdown may look like this:

If you’re a small-business owner, you may handle all these roles and responsibilities. Or, if you have just a few employees, one person may tackle multiple functions. The important work is to break down and assign the tasks.

When it comes to setting realistic deadlines, it helps to get employee input, especially if one person is working on multiple projects or multiple parts of the same project. But be careful about giving employees too much time. People tend to procrastinate when they have long deadlines, and Parkinson’s law suggests that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

Deadlines will be missed. But having a deadline means you’ll know as soon as a task fails to wrap up on time—so you can solve the issue and get the larger project back on track. A project broken down into tasks with deadlines is a good sign that you’ve got a solid operational plan.

How do you know if your operational plan is working?

Once your operational plan is in place, you need to chart the impact of your efforts at a more granular level. Two methods for doing this are:

Key performance indicators (KPIs)

Also known as key performance metrics, KPIs are measurable values that demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving the short- and long-term goals identified in the strategic and operational planning process.

For example, if your strategic goal is to grow your customer base, and your operational plan includes executing a weekly email marketing campaign, a few leading indicators that can help measure success include:

Objectives and key results (OKRs)

The objectives and key results model takes a slightly broader view of measuring the performance of your operational plans. That is, instead of merely identifying the measurements that you’ll use to evaluate your operational planning, the OKR framework includes both a concrete objective and a milestone that will determine whether that objective has been met.

For instance, a sales department may set an OKR of reducing customer churn to 10%. In this example, reducing customer churn is the objective, while 10% is the key result. Note that OKRs actually include KPIs—in this case, customer churn, a measurable percentage of the share of customers who cancel their subscriptions over a given period.

You can have company-wide, departmental, and individual OKRs—all nested within one another—which help connect employees’ work to the big-picture goals.

Refining your operational plan

Finally, once you complete a project or reach the end of the month, schedule a postmortem meeting to review your operational plan. During the meeting, recap the project, review the results, and determine what did and didn’t work.

Document this exercise so you can identify best practices for achieving your company’s goals, as well as areas for improvement. Did you take on too much? Were daily tasks not articulated well enough? Was there an acute need for a missing resource? Were quality standards too high or too low?

This information can help you build a better operational plan the next time around. It may simply make the operational planning process more efficient. What may have taken days may take only hours once people are familiar with the process.

Ultimately, a detail-oriented operational plan will lead to a process no one dreads, a plan that keeps everyone in sync, and the best possible chance to achieve company goals.

Illustration by Sjoerd van Leeuwen

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Business Operations Plan Sample

What is an operational plan.

An operational plan describes how the company or organization will achieve the goals, objectives and strategies described in the larger strategic or business plan. The operational plan includes all actions that are needed to meet the strategic plan objectives, personnel responsible for carrying out the described actions, and the timing, costs and KPIs (key performance indicators) that align with these actions. The operational plan must be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that the company is meeting outlined objectives.

operational plan business plan

Sample Business Operation Plans

As with our other examples, for our first sample we are going to use our fictional company, Terra Engineering for this operations plan example. To view full business plan samples, please see our  samples page here .

operational plan business plan

Key Components of an Operational Plan Are Th General Operating Procedures, Human Resources, Insurance, and Working Capital Requirements of the Business.

Operation Sample  Plan #1

The following section will identify the proposed operational plan for Terra Engineering. Included are the general operating procedures, human resources, insurance, and working capital requirements of the business. Also included is a table outlining the office space requirements, asset acquisition and an outline of Terra Engineering’s operational workflow.

Terra Engineering Operational Plan

General operating hours.

Terra Engineering intends to operate Monday thru Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Terra Engineering will be operational year round.

Human Resources

Mr. Johnson and Mr. Smith will be the sole employees of Terra Engineering for the first two years of operation. When additional human resources are needed, Terra Engineering has identified the persons qualified and able to assist on a contract basis for the same rate as the owner. They include:

Mr. Wes Aaron, and environmental engineering technician will be sub-contracted to complete work as needed. It is estimated that Mr. Aaron will eventually be hired full time by Terra Engineering once demand warrants growth.

Mrs. Leanne White holds a Masters in Environmental Engineering and will also be sub-contracted to perform work for the company. Eventually, Terra Engineering intends to hire Mrs. White full time.

Mr. Charles Pearson holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering and has a vast technical experience base in the environmental assessment area and will be retained when needed.

Once the business reaches 60% of its operational capacity this will represent 1300 hours, Terra Engineering will offer the above environmental professionals full time positions. Also at this time, an administrative assistant will be sought.

A professional user of Auto Cad will be sought to perform various jobs for the company. It is unknown at this time who will fill this position, however, job advertisements will be put in the local papers and organizations to attract a good pool of respondents.

Once hired, all employees will be covered by the Workers Safety and Insurance Board and covered for Employee Benefits.

Insurance Requirements

Terra Engineering will have to incur costs for business liability insurance. The estimated cost for this requirement is $4,000 per year.

Operating Capital Requirements

Due to the demands imposed at start up, Terra Engineering will require that the business have sufficient working capital to meet all operational responsibilities of the business for the first three months.  It is estimated that the business will need approximately $20,000 in working capital to sustain and ensure the business meets all opening and on-going financial obligations.

Also, throughout the year there tends to be periods of low activities. Consequently, the company will experience financial pressures during these months. While much of this time will be spent developing proposals and marketing strategies, there will be a need to maintain sufficient working capital to cover these periods.

A long term strategy to maintain a positive cash flow during these periods will be to diversify the company and develop environmental training programs for certain communities. These training programs will be given during these months.

Office Requirements and Asset Acquisitions

Terra Engineering will lease office space on located at:

459 Duncan Avenue, Suite 1003  Detroit, Michigan

The office space is leased and will accommodate the necessary office equipment such as computers, fax machine, photo copier, and other engineering equipment. This facility will require an estimated $5,000 to renovate in a style that is aesthetically pleasing to the clients as well as the owners.

These facilities will be leased at $500 per month. In addition, Terra Engineering will require specialized environmental equipment. These are the estimated costs associated with those investments:

The above noted capital purchases will increase work effectiveness, enhance professionalism and will prepare the business for the forecasted demand for services. Further, the equipment may be leased out to partner associates during times of low activity.

Operational Workflow

As with any consulting firm, the operational workflow for the business is quite uniform and simple to follow. The following is a step by step outline of how contracts are completed on a regular basis:

The above operational workflow is very standard, easy to understand and within industry’s norm.

Terra Engineering will accept cash, cheque and visa payments. These payments are well within industry standards. The business will provide credit to larger account holders.  It is estimated that the length and terms of payments are net 30 for all clients. This will allow the business to avoid cash flow problems. Late payment charges are 2% of the projects outstanding balance.

operational plan business plan

Operational Plan Sample for a Restaurant Includes Operational Roles and Responsibilities as They Relate to Restaurant Operations.

Operational Plan Sample for a Restaurant

Bob’s Restaurant will be open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner requiring multiple shifts. Susan will write the schedules. The schedules will be written in a manner that enable her to increase or decrease the hourly labor needed according to sales volume for optimal labor cost control.

Proper rotation and labeling techniques, plus a “right sized”  storage facility will ensure that high quality prepared products will be  available to support peak demand and business hours. During off-peak hours activities geared toward replenishment and ongoing preparation will take place. 

Susan Smith will do all of the receiving, inventory maintenance and ordering and ensure there is alignment with customer demand. The schedules for ordering will be set up to ensure maximum freshness, such as ordering several times each week. Standard supply and grocery foodservice orders will arrive with lower frequency, according to a schedule that takes into account storage capacity and the needs of the restaurant. 

Ms. Smith will use pre-determined operational checklists to ensure that the requirements for every shift align with business requirements. The checklist will also ensure that the operational standards of the restaurant are met after work, during business hours and before each shift.

The layout of the front of the house and back of the house has been designed for flexibility and efficiency. The layout takes into account peak customer demand and traffic.

When guests arrive, they will be greeted inside the front door by a server or assistant manager. They will immediately be asked for seating preference. Guests will be immediately offered a complimentary roll and asked for their drink and food preferences.

The ticket will print at the grill area and will be used to by the cook to track orders and then to confirm the cooked order matches the customer request. It will then be placed under a heat lamp until the full order is complete and ready to be served.

The kitchen is organized to be operated by a maximum of 4 cooks and 1 line cook. At each shift change, staff will engage in restocking, cleanup and reparation. Each shift will settle all financial transactions at the end of the shift. The last shift of the day will be responsible for implementing the closing requirements outlined on the closing checklist. The restaurant will not close until it is completely ready for the start of the next business day.

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Operational Plan: What is it & How to Create it? (Free Template Included)

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Want to create an operational plan to ensure smooth implementation of daily activities of your business? No worries, we have got you covered. Read on…

Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark. ~  Richard Cushing

Running a business is quite similar to sailing a ship! You have to make sure that every aspect is working in the correct motion for you to stay afloat. Can you sail if you have no clear vision of where you’re headed, your destination, or how you will get there?

To answer these questions, you might need to create an intuitive  operational plan  for your business which would work as a lighthouse to guide you through the way and highlight any upcoming risks that could arise in the near future.

An operational plan lucidly describes the business vision and mission! This document is coherently chalked out for the day-to-day running of any business and outlines the operations related to finance, recruitment, marketing, and other resources required for a successful company.

However, crafting such documents can be time-consuming! Therefore, we decided to create a free plug-and-play operational plan template for your team! But before we hop onto our awesome template, let us first understand what exactly is an operation plan and what to include in such documents.

Read on…

What is an Operational Plan? (Definition)

An operational plan is a strategic document that outlines all the planning related to daily operations and processes required for running a successful business. It entails all the activities that different teams or departments like recruitment, marketing, and finance, need to perform to achieve company goals and objectives.

The main objective of a well-defined operational plan ensures each manager and employee knows their specific responsibilities, as well as how they should execute them within a definite timeline.

An employee creating checklist for operational plan

Why is an Operational Plan Important?

The whole point of operational planning is to see the effect of your operations on the business’s working in real-time, so you know exactly when to execute your major strategies.

An operational plan helps you identify areas that are not generating enough revenue or are causing losses, and then assists you with formulating the necessary changes. This document also plays a crucial role in keeping all key stakeholders, management, and board members on the same page.

Everyone needs to be aligned with the company’s mission, goals, risks, hiring needs, financial projections, key performance indicators (KPIs), etc. An operational plan will help every department focus on their contribution to the larger vision by bringing all leading members together under one roof!

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Read more:  Operational Efficiency: Definition, Importance & Ways to Improve it!

How to Create an Operational Plan? Follow these Steps!

Step 1. create a title page.

While writing an operational plan, the first thing to do is to create a title page for it. This provides all the information about the topic at a single glance.

Here, you will include the title of your document, the registered name of your company, the designation, and the name of the person who creates the document.

Step 2. Write an Executive Summary

An executive summary refers to a section that deals with what a topic is all about in a brief manner. This is to ensure that your readers have a rough idea of the content and encourage them to read on.

In this section, you emphasize the gist of your overall plan and provide a concise explanation of all the important sections in a few sentences.

Step 3. Define Mission and Objectives

Define your organization’s mission and determine your company’s goals and objectives.

Ask yourself what the company is trying to accomplish over the next year and what the major goals and milestones are that support the need for this operational plan.

Describe the company mission, vision, and the reasons this plan is important. Have there been changes in the competitive landscape? Have you raised a round of capital?

Doing this will help you evaluate and measure your company’s performance against your missions and objectives and see how well you are doing in terms of achieving or meeting your goals.

Step 4. Provide Key Performance Indicators

In this section, you can break down each part of your business by evaluating all the major KPIs and metrics involved in measuring your results.

Provide proof of the importance of the operational plan by sharing key numbers that support the ideas in this document.

Step 5. Include a Financial Summary

The next section to be included in your operational plan is the financial summary. Here, you can give an overview of all the projects that will be included during the operational plan and include its financial breakdown. Make sure that there is enough capital to execute this plan.

Step 6. Create a Hiring Plan

Your company will have different hiring needs for each department, therefore, it is essential that you create a hiring plan to decide how many team members will be hired across different departments on a monthly/quarterly basis.

Step 7. Determine the Key Assumptions & Risks

No plan is ever free from risks and problems, so it’s important that you determine the risks to the business and address how the company could work towards mitigating those risks.

This will help your employees be prepared for any possible and potential risks and problems that may arise over the course of their projects.

Step 8. Include the Next Steps

Now that you have included all the major sections, it becomes crucial that you mention what’s going to happen next. Share the next steps, which could include the approval process, updates and reporting time frames, etc.

Step 9. Proofread

The last and final step is to proofread your document and ensure that all the major points are intact and the message is properly conveyed.

Check for spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, typos, or poorly constructed sentences. Make a colleague or another person go through your proposal to double-check everything.

Read more:   Standard Operating Procedures (SOP): What, Types, and How to Write?

Key Benefits of Creating Your Operational Plan Documentation on Bit.ai

To create an effective operational plan, you need a proficient tool that can help you create, share, and collaborate with stakeholders and work efficiently. This is where Bit comes in!

Bit.ai: Document collaboration platform

Bit serves as a central hub where collaborators, content, and communications can be accessed in one all-inclusive document. Managers can use Bit to create an operational plan document, collaborate with the team in real-time, and store all product assets in one place for easy and fast access.

Whether your team is creating the operational plan documents, project documentation, status report, release notes , roadmap, project charter , product requirements, API documentation, product launch marketing documents, pitch decks, business plan, SWOT analysis, competitive research, project management plan, etc, they can easily add spreadsheets, Slideshares, Google Slides, YouTube videos, PDFs, maps, charts, graphs, and more to your documents and make them visually stunning.

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Organization of information:   Organizational information is often scattered in cloud storage apps, emails, Slack channels, and more. Bit brings all your information in one place by allowing you to organize information in Workspaces and folders. Bring all your documents, media files, and other important company data in one place.

Brand consistency: Focus on the content and let Bit help you with the design and formatting. Bit documents are completely responsive and look great on all devices. With amazing templates and themes, Bit docs provide you with the type of brand and design consistency which is unheard of in the documentation industry

Smart search:  Bit has very robust search functionality that allows anyone to search and find any files, images, documents, etc quickly and easily across all of their workspaces. Users can search their digital assets using keywords, titles, descriptions, or tags. They can even search for files based on their source. (i.e., YouTube).

Media Integrations:  Companies use an average of 34 SaaS apps! No wonder why most of our time is spent hopping from one app to the next, looking for information. This is why Bit.ai integrates with over 100+ popular applications (YouTube, Typeform, LucidChart, Spotify, Google Drive, etc) to help teams weave information in their documents beyond just text and images.

Recommended power links and files you can add to your operational plan template:

Sharing : Bit documents can be shared in a live state meaning that all changes that you make to the document will update in real-time. If you are sharing your documents with clients, they will always get your most up-to-date changes. You can even embed Bit documents on any website or blog.

Tons of other features:  Bit has a plethora of amazing features like document tracking, cloud-upload, templates, and themes, document locking, document expiration, and much more, making it a well-rounded documentation tool.

Bit provides a common workplace for project members to collaborate, document, share their knowledge, brainstorm ideas, store digital assets, and innovate together. The best part is that this knowledge is safely secured in your workspaces and can be shared (or kept private) with anyone in your organization or the public!

Here are some of the man benefits of using Bit:

Read more:  Business Development Plan: What Is It And How To Create A Perfect One?

To make the process of creating your operational plan documentation easier, we have created a ready-made operational plan template for you! Check it out below:

How to Use the Operational Plan Template with Bit

The process of creating an operational plan on Bit is insanely easy! Just follow these four simple steps to create your document quickly:

Step 1: Create a Bit Account

Go the home page of  Bit.ai  and click on Get Started for Free or Sign Up to get started. Enter your  email address  to sign up. Once in, you can create your personal profile.

Step 2: Create a Workspace

Workspaces are where the work gets done. Click on the  ‘Create Workspace’  button on the right. A popup will show up prompting you to add a name for your new workspace.  

You can create a workspace around a team, department, large project, client, partner, etc. Inside each workspace, you can create an unlimited amount of Bit documents and access your content library (storage area for all of your digital assets – web links, files, cloud files, rich embeds, etc.).

Step 3: Add Team Members

Bit allows your team members to collaborate in real-time and get work done. Collaboration starts at the workspace level.

You create private workspaces by default. However, you can invite others to join you inside of a workspace and collaborate together with the knowledge, projects, documents, and content inside of the workspace.

Step 4: Create Your Desired Document

Once you are in the workspace, click on the ‘ Create New’  button. Select  ‘From Template’  in the dropdown. A pop up will display allowing you to select a template from the gallery.

In the search box on the top left corner, you can search for an “operational plan template”. Once your desired template pops up, click on it and click on the  “Use Template ” button on the bottom right corner.

That’s it! Your document is ready for use!

Few more templates you might be interested in:

🎥Watch this video to learn more👇

Over to You!

Operational plans bring accountability into your everyday tasks. They help you analyze the performance of your business, goals, strategies and identify the resources required to achieve those targets. These documents are a great way of managing other performance measures too like team efficacy, staff optimization, or the number of employees achieving beyond their targets.

Bit is a great tool to manage all essential resources associated with creating an operations plan. It brings all stakeholders under one roof for the smooth execution of the plan. If you need any help with the operational plan template or want to know how Bit can help your business, let us know by tweeting us @bit_docs. Cheers!

Further reads: 

How to Write an Operations Manual?

How to Create a Killer Sales Plan Document?

How to Create a Product Plan the Right Way?

What is an Implementation Plan & How to Create One?

How to Create a Strategic Process Improvement Plan?

How to Create a Procurement Management Plan: Step by Step Guide

How To Make A Full Proof Business Plan?

How To Create a Partnership Marketing Plan?

How to Create a Clear Transition Plan for your Business?

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How to Write an Operations Plan Section of your Business Plan

Operations Plan Section

Your business plan is an elaborate set of instructions stating how to run your business to achieve objectives and goals. Each section describes a part of the process of reaching your desired goal. Similarly, the operations plan section of your business plan explains the production and supply of your product.

An operations plan is formed to turn plans into actions. It uses the information you gathered from the analysis of the market , customers, and competitors mentioned in the previous parts of your business plan and allows for the execution of relevant strategies to achieve desired results.

Operations Plan Template

Need help writing an operations plan? Get our proven plan template.

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In this article, you will learn how to create an operations plan, its key elements, and an example to help get started drafting one for your business plan .

What Is an Operations Plan?

An operations plan is an in-depth description of your daily business activities centered on achieving the goals and objectives described in the previous sections of your business plan. It outlines the processes, activities, responsibilities of various departments and the timeframe of the execution.

The operations section of your business plan explains in detail the role of a team or department in the collective accomplishment of your goals. In other words, it’s a strategic allocation of physical, financial, and human resources toward reaching milestones within a specific timeframe.

A well-defined operational plan section of your business plan should be able to answer the following questions:

An Operations Plan Answers

How to Write an Operations Plan Section?

Creating an operational plan has two major stages, both addressing different aspects of your company. The first stage includes the work that has been done so far, whereas the second stage describes it in detail.

1. Development Phase

Development Phase

In this stage, you mention what you’ve done to get your business operations up and running. Explain what you aim to change and improvise in the processes. These are the elements your development section will contain:

Production workflow

: Explain all the steps involved in creating your product. This should be a highly informative, elaborate description of the steps. Here, you also mention any inefficiencies that exist and talk about the actions that need to be taken to tackle them.

Supply chains

Quality control, 2. manufacturing phase.

Manufacturing Phase

The development stage acquaints the reader with the functioning of your business, while the manufacturing stage describes the day-to-day operation.

This includes the following elements:

Outline of daily activities:

Tools and equipment:, special requirements:, raw materials:, productions:, feasibility:, why do you need an operations plan.

An operations plan is essentially an instruction manual about the workings of your business. It offers insight into your business operations. It helps investors assess your credibility and understand the structure of your operations and predict your financial requirements.

An operations plan reflects the real-time application of a business plan.

Internally, an operations plan works as a guide, which helps your employees and managers to know their responsibilities. It also helps them understand how to execute their tasks in the desired manner—all whilst keeping account of deadlines.

The operations plan helps identify and cut the variances between planned and actual performance and makes necessary changes. It helps you visualize how your operations affect revenue and gives you an idea of how and when you need to implement new strategies to maximize profits.

Advantages of Preparing an Operations Plan:

Offers clarity:, contains a roadmap:, sets a benchmark:, operations plan essentials.

Now that you have understood the contents of an operations plan and how it should be written, you can continue drafting one for your business plan. But before doing so, take a look at these key components you need to remember while creating your operational plan.

Now you’re all set to write an operations plan section for your business plan . To give you a headstart, we have created an operations plan example.

Operations Plan Example

Operations plan by a book publishing house

Track and Accomplish Goals With an Operations Plan

Drafting the operations plan section of your business plan can be tricky due to the uncertainties of the business environment and the risks associated with it. Depending on variables like your market analysis, product development, supply chain, etc., the complexity of writing an operations plan will vary.

The core purpose here is to put all the pieces together to create a synergy effect and get the engine of your business running. Create an effective operations plan to convey competence to investors and clarity to employees.

operational plan business plan

Frequently Asked Questions

1 what role does the operations plan play in securing funding for a business.

The operations plan defines the clear goals of your business and what actions will be taken on a daily basis to reach them. So, investors need to know where your business stands, and it will prove the viability of the goals helping you in getting funded.

2 What are the factors affecting the operations plan?

3 Can an operations plan be created for both start-up and established businesses?

Yes, both a startup and a small business needs an operations plan to get a better idea of the roadmap they want for their business.

Ayush                                                         Jalan

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Volkswagen Will Invest $193 Billion in Electric Cars and Software

The German automaker announced a plan to accelerate its transition to battery-powered vehicles and bolster operations in China and North America.

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A white car and a black car are parked to the right of a factory door, as a man wearing a safety vest walks toward the door.

By Melissa Eddy

Reporting from Berlin

Volkswagen said on Tuesday that it would spend $193 billion on software, battery factories and other investments as it aimed to make every fifth vehicle it sold electric by 2025.

The automaker, the world’s second biggest after Toyota, will also focus on expanding its presence in North America, where it has struggled for years, and becoming more competitive in China, one of its most important markets, said Oliver Blume, Volkswagen’s chief executive.

Mr. Blume laid out a 10-point plan for helping Volkswagen pivot to electric vehicles, a path it began in earnest when it effectively abandoned diesel technology after an emissions cheating scandal in 2015. The plan’s centerpiece are investments totaling 180 billion euros, or about $193 billion. Two-thirds of that sum will be channeled into producing battery cells, developing software and shoring up supply chains of critical raw materials.

“For me, it is important that we have a clear orientation of where we are going,” Mr. Blume told reporters, adding that 2023 would be “a decisive year” for the company. It is his first as chief executive; he took over in September from Herbert Diess, who aggressively pushed Volkswagen to embrace electric cars but was forced out after just four years because of disagreements with the company’s board.

Mr. Blume hopes to use some of the proceeds of a 2022 initial public offering of Porsche, where he is also chief executive, to strengthen Volkswagen’s electrification strategy. The listing brought in €43 billion.

Volkswagen reported a net profit in 2022 of €15.8 billion, or $16.7 billion, an increase of 2.6 percent from the previous year, as supply chains disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic began to normalize.

The Rise of Electric Vehicles

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year caused energy prices to rise and contributed to high inflation, especially in Germany. Addressing those challenges, while balancing the demand for combustion-engine vehicles as the company pivots to electric-vehicle production, will be the main focus in Europe, Volkswagen said.

“We must transform ourselves into a technology and mobility services group,” Arno Antlitz, Volkswagen’s chief financial and operating officer, said at the Tuesday media event. “We need to focus on our platforms, such as our hardware for battery-powered electric vehicles, a unified software stack, batteries, mobility, autonomous driving.”

In the short term, Volkswagen will continue to produce combustion-engine cars, which generate profits that the company needs to pay for the transition to battery-powered vehicles. In 2022, Volkswagen sold 8.2 million cars and trucks.

Despite the German government’s call for companies to diversify their operations in Asia, pivoting away from China, Volkswagen is continuing to invest in the country in partnerships with local companies.

Volkswagen is the leading producer of combustion-engine vehicles in China, but has lost ground to domestic carmakers in the fast-growing market for electric cars. Last year, Volkswagen introduced an “in China for China” strategy that it plans to expand, including developing technology and software specifically for consumers there, including in-car karaoke.

The automaker’s problems in North America are somewhat different. After years of trying to become a bigger player in the United States specifically, it remains far behind U.S. automakers like General Motors and Ford Motor and Asian companies like Toyota and Hyundai.

Volkswagen retooled its plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., last year to begin producing electric vehicles, and it now produces the ID.4 sport utility vehicle there. On Monday, Volkswagen said it had chosen a site in Ontario for a new battery plant. And earlier in March, the company said it would put up a factory in South Carolina to build pickup trucks and S.U.V.s that would be sold under the moribund Scout brand.

In Europe, a key element of the company’s focus includes its first battery cell plant, a €2 billion factory that is rising out of a field in Salzgitter, Germany, near the company’s headquarters in Wolfsburg. The new plant sits behind a site where Volkswagen has been building engines for more than 50 years and is slated to become the main provider of battery cells for the automaker.


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  1. How To Write the Operations Plan Section of the Business Plan

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