About the Operational Plan Template
An operational plan template will help you build a plan—a clear roadmap that helps operations leaders close the gap between business goals and day-to-day operations.
Our Cascade Operational Plan template will give you a tested and proven process so you can connect employees with the business strategy and give them a clear guide for execution. Using this template, you’ll be able to set clear strategic goals, milestones, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor if you’re heading in the right direction.
What You’ll Get In This Operational Plan Template
This template is pre-filled with examples, which you can use as inspiration for your own operational plan.
Within seconds of setting up your template, you’ll get immediate access to:
- 4x Operational Focus Areas
- 12x Operational Objectives
- 20x Operational Projects
- 25x Operational key performance indicators (KPIs)
Once you have set your template, you can also create up to two dashboards for real-time performance monitoring.
And yes - you get free access with no credit card required. ✅
Who Is This Operational Plan Template For?
This template is perfect for CEOs, operational leaders, and operations teams who need to build their own operational plan. You can use this template regardless of the size of your organization, whether you are an enterprise, a mid-sized business, a small business, a startup, or a nonprofit.
Note for Cascade users: If you already have a business plan in Cascade, you can easily link your operational plan to the company’s overall strategic plan and show how your activities contribute to the company’s success.
How Do You Use an Operational Plan Template?
Cascade’s strategic planning tool is perfect to create and share your operational plan. Get started by selecting this operational plan template. This simple template will help you build your strategic plan in real-time and takes only minutes to set up. You can adjust pre-filled fields or enter your own data. A completed plan can be exported, or you can bring in your team to collaborate on shared goals.
To give you an idea of how you can build your own operational plan using our template, here’s a simple step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Identify the gap between your current and desired performance
Before you set your strategic goals, you need to have a clear understanding of where your business operations stand today and where they need to be in the future. This will help you formulate a better strategy for operations and communicate strategic priorities to your teams. To help you with this step, here’s a guide on how to conduct a gap analysis.
Step 2: Choose your focus areas
After formulating your operations strategy, you should have a clear picture of your strategic priorities. In this template, you can organize them from a departmental perspective or focus on narrower interdepartmental perspectives.
Examples of focus areas for an operational plan could be:
- Human Resources
Step 3: Write down your strategic objectives
The next step is to identify strategic objectives within each focus area. These are the outcomes you need to achieve to support your business’s strategy. You can follow the SMART method or check out this detailed guide on how to write strategic objectives.
Examples of strategic objectives for the IT and logistics focus area could be:
- Improve overall organizational efficiency
- Speed up development time through optimal project management
- Automate the order management
Step 4: Set KPIs to measure progress
Objectives aren’t the only component of your strategic plan that can be measured and tracked; you also need to set quantitative KPIs to measure whether you have actually achieved your objectives.
For example, some potential operations KPIs are:
- Absenteeism rate
- Sales per region
- Urgent transportation costs
- Production downtime
Step 5: Lay out an action plan that will help you achieve your objectives
The action plan includes activities that you and your team members will be doing to achieve strategic objectives. These can include specific tasks or projects. You can also use this template to give actions owners, collaborators, key milestones, and due dates.
Step 6: Add all the information in your template and start executing
You’ve done the heavy lifting; now it’s time to execute your plan. Put all your information into the template and start delivering results. You can use Cascade’s governance features, which will help you manage risks, monitor progress, and drive execution across your organization:
- Dashboards with chart widgets and graphs that have real-time data, allowing you to look back and understand what has happened in selected time frames.
- Reports to create in-depth progress reports with an executive summary, financial summary, or commentary so you can ensure everyone understands the context.
- Integrations with your favorite business tools and project management apps so you import data from almost anywhere and visualize them all in one place.
Getting started with your Operational Plan Template only takes 20 seconds.
What Are The Benefits Of An Operational Plan Template?
✅ It gives structure to your planning process: A template can’t save you from bad strategy and lack of insight into what problem you are trying to solve. However, once you get there, you need to give your plan structure so you can easily communicate it with your board and team members. This will help you ensure that everyone is on the same page with regard to priorities and what needs to be done to achieve goals.
✅It saves your time: Bring in your team members and get regular progress updates on your operational plan without wasting time in another meeting. You won't have to switch between different spreadsheets and data sources to make powerful reports. You’ll have all the important information in one place, at any given time - to make fast and informed decisions.
✅It supports strategic alignment: With this template, you will be able to support cross-collaboration and demonstrate how different company functions come together to achieve the company’s goals. You’ll also have better visibility into how you need to allocate your resources and make financial projections.
✅It helps you keep team members accountable for progress: You can easily assign owners to each objective or crucial initiative. This will help you boost engagement and transparency and motivate your team to focus on work that moves the needle. And that’s not all. When it’s super clear who does what and why, duplication of work is diminished. This frees your teams to focus on innovation and continuous improvement.
✅It helps you build resilient operations and quickly adapt plans if needed: As an operations leader, you need to have full visibility into your company’s performance. Cascade’s Operational Plan Template will help you quickly identify underperforming areas, move resources, and take corrective action before it’s too late.
Build And Execute Your Operational Plan With Cascade 🚀
Operational excellence depends on many factors. That’s why it’s critical to have the right tools and a bulletproof operational plan to help guide your team, ensure all stakeholders are on the same page, find potential risks and issues early on, and adapt as fast as possible when disruptions occur. This is where outdated and static tools like Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint docs simply don’t cut it anymore.
Put your operational plan into action with Cascade’s strategy execution platform, and you’ll be able to:
- Provide fast and accurate data for decision-making.
- Improve business performance as a result of increased operational efficiency.
- Align your key stakeholders and create an organization that is able to adapt and meet customers’ changing needs.
- Build a standardized process for strategy execution across divisional units and functional areas.
- Create a single source of truth so you’ll have full visibility in performance and a better ability to grow and scale quickly.
Whether you need a tool to track KPIs, assign owners to key initiatives, or make faster reports to support management decision-making, Cascade is the answer for you.
And the best part - it’s free.
Other Types Of Operational Plan Examples In Our Template Library
Didn’t find what you were looking for? Here’s a selection of other popular templates in our template library that you can choose from:
A Business Plan Template
This business plan or business strategy template will help you outline long-term company goals and a roadmap to achieve them. Unlike the operational plan, it focuses on long-term and high-level business goals to achieve the company’s mission and vision.
Human Resources Strategy Template
If you are an HR manager, this template will help you prioritize your HR initiatives to support business goals. You’ll be able to outline your hiring plan or other key projects, assign owners, and track progress.
Financial Strategy Template
Are you a chief financial officer looking to create a plan for your department to support business strategy? This planning template will help you define capital allocation and investment strategies and keep track of your progress.
Is Cascade operational plan template free?
Yes - you get free access forever! You can bring in your team members and collaborate on a free plan that is suitable for teams with up to four members.
What is an operational plan template?
An operational plan template is a preset document that gives you a standardized planning approach and helps you align daily operations with business strategy and long-term objectives.
How do you write an operational plan?
Your planning process should involve collaboration with key stakeholders, alignment with the company’s strategic goals, and identifying opportunities for improvement.
What is included in an operational plan?
The key elements of an operation plan include focus areas, objectives, key projects and initiatives, metrics and KPIs, and owners.
What is the difference between an operational plan and a business plan?
A business plan focuses on high-level business strategy and long-term strategic planning. On the other hand, an operational plan focuses on short-term goals and activities happening on a daily basis and helps companies bridge the gap between business strategy and on-the-ground execution.