Planning begins with a goal or targeted outcome that the organization wishes to achieve. Although the basic process of planning is the same foe every manager, planning can take many forms and styles in practice. The forms and styles of planning are likely to vary from organization to organization. Plans can be classified in a number of ways such as:
1. Strategic Planning
2. Tactical Planning
3. Operational Planning
(1) Strategic Planning
Strategic planning is the overall planning of the organization. Organizations develop strategic plans for the attainment of strategic goals. More precisely, strategic plans is general plan outlining decisions of resource allocation, priorities, and action steps necessary to attain strategic goals. Top management and Board of Directors develop strategic plans. Strategic planning covers the long term and specifies actions to be taken from five to ten years in to the future. Managers that engage in strategic planning tend to work in a high state of uncertainty. The are required to make many assumptions about the threats and opportunities of the future. Due to long term uncertainty strategic planner needs large amount of information especially with regard to the future of the external environment.
(2) Tactical Planning
Tactical planning is developed for achieving tactical goals of the organization and to implement specific parts of a strategic plan. Tactical plans define the actions of major departments that are required in the execution of a strategic plan. Typically, they involve upper and middle level management to develop the tactical actions that are necessary. Compared to strategic plans, tactical plan cover a shorter time frame within the overall scope and timing as set by the strategic plan. Tactical planner deals with less uncertainty than the strategic planner does.
(3) Operational Planning
Operational planning is developed for lower management. Operational plans focus on operational goals to achieve tactical plans. They include how the resources of the organization will be used to help the organization achieve its goals. They identify the major activities required to achieve strategic goals. They cover rather short time frames and serve as the department manager's guide for the day to day operation. Typically, operational plans are stated in specific, quantitative terms related to normal departmental activities.