Single use plan

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Single use plan is developed to address a specific organizational situation. Such plan is typically used only once because the specific situation to which they apply does not recur. Consider, for example, the plan of SAP Americas, a leading provider of enterprise resource planing and e-commerce solutions, to build a new corporate headquarters. A sophisticated plan was necessary to finance, construct, and move into the new building. This was a single-use plan because SAP would not need to build such a building or relocate its employees again for a very long time.

This most common types of single-use plans are programs, projects, and budgets. Each offers a different degree of comprehensivenesss and detail. Programs are the most comprehensive plans, projects have a narrower scope and, in fact, are often undertaken as a part of a program and budgets are developed to support programs or projects.

The duration or length of single use plan depend upon the activity or goal for which it is made. It may last one day or it may last for weeks or months if the project for which it is made is long. These are designed to achieve a particular goal that once achieved will not reoccur in future[1].

Features of single use plans

There are so many features of single use plans we can only present a few and they are very common[2]:

  • Single use plans are used only once
  • Prepared to meet the demand of specific situation
  • These are discarded when the situation is over
  • Every time a new plan is prepared for new situation, e.g. programme, projects

Major types of single use plans

For the most common types of single use plans belongs[3]:

  1. Program
  2. Project

The first type of single use plans:

  • Plans for attaining a one time organizational goal
  • Major undertaking that may take several years to complete
  • Large in scope, may be associated with several projects

Examples: building a new headquarters, converting all paper files to digital, construction of shopping mall, opening of new department

The second type of single use plans:

  • Set of plans for attaining a one time goal
  • It contains a scheme to invest the resource
  • It irequires services of specialist
  • It needs certain preliminary investigations.
  • Smaller in scope and complexity than a program, shorter in horizon

Examples: renovating the office, setting up a company intranet, setting up a new benefits option to an existing salary package

Example of single use plan

A single use plan is developed to carry out a course of action that is not likely to be repeated in the future. As Disney plans the expansion of its theme park in Hong Kong, it will develop many single use plans for invidual rides, attractions, and hotels. Similarly, Disney is also expanding its Animal Kingdom theme park in Florida and has multiple single use plans for those new rides, shows, and attractions as well[4].

Advantages of Single use plan

A single use plan has several advantages:

  • It allows an organization to create a tailored plan that meets the specific needs of a particular project or situation. This makes it possible to maximize the efficiency of the process and minimize the costs.
  • It also helps to ensure that the plan is developed with the most up-to-date information and technology available. This makes it easier to create a plan that is effective and efficient.
  • Single use plans also make it easier to control the implementation of the plan, as the exact requirements are known from the start. This helps to ensure that the plan is implemented correctly and on time.
  • Finally, single use plans help to focus the organization’s attention on the project or situation at hand. This can help to reduce distractions and ensure that the project is completed in a timely manner.

Limitations of Single use plan

Single use plans have their limitations, including:

  • Difficulty in Forecasting: Single-use plans are typically designed to address a specific and unique situation, making it difficult to anticipate the future implications of the plan.
  • Time Consuming: Developing single-use plans often requires time and resources that can be better spent on other objectives.
  • Limited Flexibility: Single-use plans are often rigid and inflexible, making it difficult to adjust the plan as the situation changes.
  • Lack of Reusability: Since single-use plans are designed for a specific situation, they cannot be reused for other situations. This limits the ability to take advantage of lessons learned from the plan.
  • Limited Adaptability: Single-use plans are not always designed to be adaptive, so as the situation changes, the plan may become outdated and ineffective.

Other approaches related to Single use plan

To further explain the concept of a single-use plan, other approaches related to it include:

  • A Tactical Plan: This is a short-term plan that is used to address a specific problem or challenge in the present. It is developed to be implemented over a relatively short period of time, with a specific set of goals and objectives.
  • A Strategic Plan: This is a long-term plan that is used to address an organization's overall vision within a specified timeframe. It is developed to create an actionable roadmap to achieve a desired future state.
  • An Emergency Plan: This is a plan that is used to address an unforeseen event that requires immediate action. It is developed to quickly respond to a crisis situation and minimize its impact on the organization.

In summary, single use plans are used to address a specific organizational situation and are usually developed to be implemented only once. Other related approaches include tactical and strategic plans, as well as emergency plans.


  1. P.Lewis, S.Goodman, P.Fandt, J.Michlitsch 2006, p.130
  2. P.Gandhi 2018, p.128
  3. R.Daft, D.Marcic 2008, p.165
  4. R.W.Griffin 2016, p.187)

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Author: Natalia Talarek