Planning is a term you hear thrown around often in the business world. Basically, there are two timetables for business planning. The cheat sheet is:
Long-range (1-5 years) = strategic (objectives and goals)
Short-range (less than 1 year) = tactical (priorities and specific tasks)
Long-range extends beyond one year and is normally less than five or ten years. Often called the strategic plan, this process establishes the objectives and goals from which short-range plans are made. Long-range plans support the organizational purpose by providing clear statements of where the organization is going. These plans affect every part of the organization.
The second planning horizon is short-range, covering a period of up to one year. Short-range plans are derived from an in-depth evaluation of the long-range plan. The annual budget is a quantified expression of the enterprise’s plans for the fiscal year. It generally is divided into quarters, and is used to guide and control day-to-day activities. It is often called the tactical plan because it sets priorities, in the near term, for the long-range plans through the allocation of resources to specific activities.
All functional business plans evolve from the strategic plan and define themselves through tactical operations.