Tactics

Tactics are the workhorse of any strategic planning methodology. These are the things that have to get done to successfully implement the strategies. Thus, once you complete this phase, you will have goals that fulfill your mission and achieve your vision, objective that measure and quantify your goals, strategies that, if executed well, will achieve the objective, and tactics that support the strategies.

Tactics are what make up the strategies. They are those action items and work plans that require certain things to happen by certain dates. Once all of the tactics are implemented, the strategy is also fully implemented, and, if we chose our strategies and tactics well, we’ll begin to see progress in meeting our objective and, eventually, our goal.

For instance, if you have an objective to grow volume, and you have a strategy to implement a new marketing program, that new program doesn't happen by itself. Different people in your organization have to get specific things done. You need advertising creative, an ad buy, promotional activities, community outreach events, employee training, and a lot more.

These are the tactics. And they get assigned to specific individuals who must complete the tactics by certain dates. This is where strategic plan accountability comes in.

Whereas objective should start with the words “increase” or “decrease,” strong tactics should start with verbs. Tactics require action, and verbs are best suited for identifying what that action is. But action isn't enough. Tactics, like the strategies and objective in their family trees, must also have due dates and people assigned to carry them out. Tactics assigned to individuals are always preferred over assignments to teams, as it adds a layer of accountability to your strategic plan.

Examples

Healthcare

  • Strategy
    • Reevaluate environmental setup and design
  • Tactics
    • Design a high fall-risk room with more than one bed so that patients can watch each other
    • Designate rooms right next to the nursing station as high fall-risk rooms
    • Install a window in the high fall-risk room to allow patients to be watched without disturbing them, especially at night
    • Install grab-bars in showers
    • Install handrails in hallways, patient rooms and common areas
    • Install rugs or other flooring to reduce the risk of falls and injuries from falls
    • Install transfer bars next to toilets
    • Link bed and tab alarms to the nursing call system, so that alarms can be heard even when a nurse is not at the nursing station
    • Remove thresholds at doors to ensure that the floor is level everywhere

Commercial

  • Strategy
    • Open new location in high-traffic location
  • Tactics
    • Conduct traffic pattern analysis to identify primary and secondary locations
    • Identify available locations in primary and second locations
    • Negotiate for land/space and select final location
    • Establish preliminary project budget
    • Select architect
    • Design facility
    • Apply for permits
    • Select construction firm
    • Complete construction

Education

  • Strategy
    • Provide job search training to juniors and seniors
  • Tactics
    • Survey student for job training needs
    • Develop training curriculum
    • Develop marketing campaign
    • Market job search training program to students
    • Evaluate student satisfaction with program
    • Evaluate impact of program on successful job searches
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