What to Include in an Operations Plan

An operations plan at the minimum should include the who, what, where and when of key activities and targets within the organization. The document usually forecasts for a period of one to five years.

The operations plan should include and follow the headings: Objectives of the Management Plan, Activities to Be Done, Target for Activities, Monitoring Progress & KPIs, Staffing Requirements, Management Hierarchy, Quality Standards Program, Initial Hiring Budget, Financial Forecast of Costs, Contingency Plan.

Objectives of the Management Plan

What are you trying to accomplish? Be clear and concise with your objectives, this will help the team understand what targets to set and what key activities you will measure.

Key Activities

What key activities need to get done for your organization to accomplish the objectives. List them all out without regard to order and then you can organize them by importance, time and priority. Focus on the key activities that needs to get done, but acknowledge that there maybe correlated activities that need to get done before, during or after the key activities. Focus on the key activities but factor in the time and costs of ALL activities in the Operations Plan.

Targets & Timeline

In this section, you want to set a target for the key activities and a timeline. For example, if your activities include to make phone calls to potential clients, you will put a target number of calls in this section along with when those calls should be completed. If you sdon’t have to get fancy, but when you do, include a graphic or chart to organize …

Monitoring Progress & KPIs

What is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI)? Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the critical (key) indicators of progress toward an intended result. KPIs provides a focus for strategic and operational improvement, create an analytical basis for decision making and help focus attention on what matters most. As Peter Drucker famously said, “What gets measured gets done.” Managing with the use of KPIs includes setting targets (the desired level of performance) and tracking progress against that target. Managing with KPIs often means working to improve leading indicators that will later drive lagging benefits. Leading indicators are precursors of future success; lagging indicators show how successful the organization was at achieving results in the past.

Staffing Requirements

In this section, you develop the list of employees that need to be hired, their job titles and job duties. Look at jobs posted online for inspiration on job titles and job descriptions. Keep in mind that some staff may be required to do more or less work than other staff members; or maybe temporary in the business process. How you will hire these people and who will do the interviews should also be included in this section.

Management Hierarchy

The management hierarchy is usually a photographic description of how employees report to one another. The Board of Directors and CEO are at the top with the chain of command clearly depicted. This is also known as an organization chart.

Quality Standards Program

This includes a series of KPIs that focus on quality standards for employees. They usually include safety and quality standards for each individual employee’s job functions.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, the operations plan should be a general overview of how the business will operate in a specific area of the business and within a certain timeframe. Each operations plan will be different since each business or business division has different objectives.

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