Tactical management involves the medium- and short-term technical, organisational, workforce and financial aspects of the company's operations. Decisions are made, especially, at the middle management level and concern how strategic objectives relate to the implementation of methods and techniques (e.g. better use of machinery and equipment, raw materials, workforce, implementation of various types of standards etc.).Tactical management is concerned with the objectives to be achieved over a period of 1-3 years, and provides an answer to the question of how to implement a strategic plan (Marian Siminica, Alina Motoi, Aurelia Dumitru, 2017).
Example of Tactical management
Tactical management can be used to manage the marketing of a product. This includes the development of a marketing plan, setting a budget, allocating resources, monitoring performance and controlling costs. For example, a company may develop a tactical marketing plan that outlines the advertising, promotional activities, pricing and distribution of the product. The plan would also include a budget that allocates resources to each of these activities. The company would then monitor the performance of the marketing activities and adjust the plan as necessary to ensure that the objectives are being met. Finally, the company would keep track of the costs associated with the marketing activities and make adjustments to the budget as needed to remain financially viable.
Tactical management is focused on short-to-medium-term objectives. It involves the implementation of strategies to achieve the goals of the organization, such as:
- Allocating resources: This involves the use of financial, human and physical resources to create an efficient and effective system for achieving the strategic objectives.
- Developing plans: This involves the development of plans to achieve the objectives set out by the strategic plan.
- Monitoring performance: It involves the monitoring of performance to ensure that the objectives are met and to identify any issues or areas for improvement.
- Controlling costs: This involves controlling costs to ensure that the organization remains financially viable.
Strategic and operational management
In addition to tactical management, two other, complementary to each other, types of management can be distinguished: strategic and operational and can be defined as follows:
- Strategic management - defines basic objectives of the activity, creates the development of the company in the long term. Activities in the scope of strategic management are undertaken at higher management levels of the company's organizational structure, and especially concern the effective (rational) use of resources. The scope of these decisions includes, among others, determining the vision and mission, development prospects (new markets, new products, entering foreign markets, etc.), formulating strategic options, as well as projects leading to their implementation.
- Operational management - related to the short-term operation of a company, concerns the implementation of handling or service tasks, requiring the presence of technological operational, transport, control, storage and handling etc. Solutions (Marian Siminica, Alina Motoi, Aurelia Dumitru, 2017).
The basis of tactical management
In order to talk about tactical management, tactical objectives and plans have to be established first. Setting tactical objectives, i.e. objectives necessary to achieve a particular aim, and a tactical plan - the basis for the realization of the strategical plan, result in the occurrence of the tactical managing. The development of a tactical plan includes:
- identifying and understanding key strategic plans and tactical objectives,
- identifying the adequate resources and deadlines,
- identifying and specifying available human resources.
The realization of a tactical plan includes:
- the evaluation of each line of action from the objective point of view,
- the observation of horizontal and vertical interconnectivity and integration of activities,
- the observation of current activities undertaken to achieve the objective,
Effective tactical planning is depended on many factors that change depending on the situation. Tactical planning should relate to a number of tactical objectives stemming from a broader strategic objective (Marian Siminica, Alina Motoi, Aurelia Dumitru, 2017).
Management based on strategic, tactical, operational objectives
The first step in a goal-based management process is to set goals for the top management of the organization based on strategic goals. The result of this process is a so-called "core bundle of objectives" and strategic management at this stage. Later, the top management of the organisation divides the goals into specific objectives - tactical objectives and delegates them to subordinate directors/managers who deal with tactical management. Then each superior (e.g. head of department) designates his or her subordinates (e.g.managers) with operational objectives on the basis of those which he or she had previously received from their superior - operational objectives, the implementation of which is related to the operational management. The process described above is called cascading. The basic assumption of cascading is that the subordinate's objectives result from the superior's objectives, and setting of objectives and assigning them "from top to bottom" allows for the delegation of responsibility for the result (Henry L. Tosi, John R. Rizzo, Stephen J. Carroll, 1970).
Advantages of Tactical management
Tactical management offers several advantages to organizations, such as:
- Ensuring objectives are met: By setting short-term objectives, tactical management helps to ensure that the organization is on track to meeting the larger strategic objectives.
- Adapting to changes: Tactical management allows organizations to quickly adapt to changes in the external environment.
- Leveraging resources: Tactical management helps organizations to leverage their resources more effectively, leading to increased efficiency and productivity.
Limitations of Tactical management
Tactical management has some limitations, such as:
- Limited flexibility: Tactical management often involves a set of predetermined strategies and is not always flexible enough to adapt to changing market conditions.
- Time-consuming: Tactical management can be time-consuming as it often involves the implementation of detailed plans and the monitoring of performance.
- Difficulty in forecasting: Tactical management can be difficult to forecast as it is often difficult to predict the future course of action.
Other approaches related to Tactical management include:
- Risk Management: This involves the identification and assessment of risks associated with the organization and its operations, as well as the implementation of strategies to manage and mitigate those risks.
- Quality Management: This involves the implementation of quality control measures to ensure that the organization meets its quality standards.
- Project Management: This involves the management of projects to ensure that they are completed on time and within budget.
Tactical management is an important part of the overall management process and is vital for the success of an organization. It involves the allocation of resources, the development of plans, the monitoring of performance and the control of costs in order to achieve the objectives of the organization.
- Jordi Cl., (2010), Rethinking the firm’s mission and purpose, European Management Review
- Lambin JJ., Chumpitaz R., Schuiling I., (2007), Market-Driven Management: Strategic and Operational Marketing, Palgrave Macmillan, New York
- Siminica M., Motoi A., Dumitru A., (2017), Financial management as component of tactical management, Polish Journal of Management Studies, 15(1)
- Tosi HL., Rizzo JR., Carroll SJ., (1970), Setting Goals in Management by Objectives, California Management Review
Author: Sylwia Pasternak