Difference Between Strategic Planning and Operational Planning (With Table)

Any firm can decide the events it has to take to achieve success by planning. Firms use 2 types of preparation to reach their goals. Planning is a vital action made by a Firm’s administration. Usually, strategic planning and operational planning are utilized. The two techniques’ goals appear to be opposed.

Strategic Planning vs Operational Planning

The main difference between Strategic Planning and Operational Planning is that  Strategic planning is a preparation procedure carried out at a firm’s superior administration level with the dream of defining where the business proposes to be in the future. Whereas operational planning is the procedure of defining the firms’ daily activities at the strategic level.

A strategic plan defines the purpose, high-level goal, and vision for your firm for the next 3 to 5 years. The aim of the 2 procedures is suggestively unlike. the first one focuses on achieving the firm’s vision, purpose, and objectives. the second one emphasizes completing the firm’s usual duties in order to attain its strategic goals.

An operational plan is also termed a work plan. It is a thorough summary of what the section will be given the emphasis on in the future. Usually, the planning is done for the next year. The operational plan would talk about what, who, when, and how many queries concerning weekly activities or daily.

Comparison Table Between Strategic Planning and Operational Planning

Parameters of Comparison

Strategic Planning

Operational Planning

Kind of plan

The approach in strategic planning is Extroverted.

The approach in operational planning is Introverted.


this type of planning lasts longer.

The strategy usually changes every year based on need.


It is the planning for fulfilling the Firm’s dream.

It is the procedure of selecting what might be done ahead of time. The planning tries to meet the tactical goals of the firm.

Presented by

Strategic planning is carried out by the Top tier administration.  

Management in the middle level.

Time Frame

It is Long term planning

It is Short term planning

What is Strategic Planning?

It is basically a technique carried by top-tier management. It suggests what all steps should be taken to get the firm’s determination, vision, and goals.` Management uses the planning to guess where the firm wants to go in the upcoming generation. The procedure is used to establish the firm’s aspirations, vision, and urgencies to chart a way that will take the firm to its final goal. It is an analytical technique that evaluates the firm’s macro and micro backgrounds.

Strategic planning is not done for a precise area or section, but rather for the whole firm. It is carried out to classify the external and inner situation elements which usually have a straight influence on the firm. The strategy focuses on the organization’s long-term development. The following tools are utilized in this process:

  • Analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) 
  • PEST Analysis is a form of risk evaluation (Political, Economic, Social, Technological Environment) 

These tools support the administration in emerging with a plan that takes into interpretation a diversity of features. It will guide the business toward its goal.

The goal of the strategic planning process is to classify the significant choices that a firm must make in order to flourish in the following years.

What is Operational Planning?

Operational Planning mentions the procedure of defining the everyday actions of a firm. The operational planning is approved to assist the tactical planning in order to achieve the commercial aims. the firm’s short time dreams are flourished, as well as a plan for attaining those dreams.

The targets and enterprises that the company will persevere in order to deliver the necessary aspirations and intentions. An operational plan covers a year’s value of production. It works as the justification for a firm’s daily procedures. They are outlined in an operational plan.

The budget for the organization should be tightly linked to the operating strategy. There’s no use in having a big operational strategy if you don’t have the means to carry it out.

It is carried out by middle-level administration. It entails the short time preparation of routine firm operations and actions. the group is divided into several divisions, departments, units, and centers. individual planning is directed, which is related to tactical planning to attain the firm’s goal. The following are some of the characteristics of operational planning:

  • The accomplishment of the intended consequence.
  • The targets of the firm must be specified.
  • Quality standards must be upheld.
  • The actions must be carried out as planned.
  • Performance evaluation.

Main Differences Between Strategic Planning and Operational Planning

  1. Strategic planning is the long term process of planning to achieve the organization’s goal. whereas Operational planning is the short term procedure of planning to meet the firm’s goal.
  2. Strategic planning is for longer duration processes whereas operational planning is for short duration processes.
  3. Strategic planning contemplates both the external and internal business environments. Operational Planning on the other side is in relation to just the inner commercial atmosphere.
  4. Strategic planning is conducted by Top tier management, while operational planning is carried out by middle tier administration.
  5. Strategic planning comprises the firm as a whole, whereas operational planning is always conducted within any definite department or unit.


The goal of both forms of planning is to define priorities and arrange resources in such a manner that the organization’s objectives, goals, mission, and vision are met, and its performance is enhanced. Despite their obvious contrasts, it is crucial to highlight that the two processes are intertwined and should be developed in such a way that they complement one another.

By planning, each company may determine the steps it has to follow to succeed. Firms employ two forms of planning to achieve their objectives. Planning is a crucial step taken by a company’s management. Typically, strategic and operational planning is employed.

The objectives of the two approaches appear to be opposed. This is essential for ensuring that strategies are managed effectively. The key components of strategic planning should act as a guide for how an organization’s personnel carry out company operations.


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/104225878501000301
  2. https://search.proquest.com/openview/e5be810a31997824396e59d48df8c099/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=49244