Monitoring Operational Plans

Business TraineeshipThroughout the implementation of your operational plans, you must ensure that they are going according to plan. There is no point spending all that time developing plans, setting targets and deciding how to measure your success if you don’t monitor the plans in action. Studying a business traineeship will demonstrate how monitoring your plans effectively will allow you to evaluate your success and identify areas that require improvements.

You should use the evaluation systems specified in your operational plan for the monitoring process. You must remember the SMART goals that have been set and the criteria of key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you measure progress.

There are several tools that help to monitor the implementation and success of an operational plan. Plans can be monitored for their progress and success as well as a budgetary sense. The phrase “on time and on budget” should be used as an overarching goal for the implementation of any plan.

When managing the operational plan, it is important to ensure that the plan is implemented within the specified timeframe. This requires managing staff, contractors, suppliers and others involved in the plan. In order to do this effectively, you will need to employ good time management, people management and project management skills.

For you to assess the progress of the project, you need to know what the time limits are and how close you are to meeting them. There are a number of methods of doing this including:

Actions Plan – the project can be broken down into separate components and setting a due date for each component. This will allow you to identify a particular task that is delayed. Such a method can be created by hand or using a computer program.

Milestone Charts – are used to indicate time frames around which activities should reach specific stages, or in the case of project management, conclusions

Gantt Charts – named after their originator, Henry Gantt, they offer a running schedule of planned activities and outputs. It is a means of tracking the progress of a project. They are essentially bar graphs with time represented on the horizontal axis and scheduled activities on the vertical axis. The bars are used to show outputs, both planned and actual, over a specific period of time. Gantt charts are a simple, yet effective planning tool, in that managers or supervisors designate (plan) specific times for task completion and are able to monitor progress using the chart. The actual progress can then be compared to the expected progress and added to the chart

PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) Diagrams – are comprehensive flow charts depicting a sequence of activities needed to complete a project or process. Time frames and costs are included in the diagram which is appropriate for projects with a number of interactive steps. The activities include independent and interdependent activities – those that must be completed in order for the next phase to progress and identify trouble or potential trouble spots. They can also be used to compare the effects of alternative actions on scheduling and costs. PERT diagrams may be formatted in different ways, according to organisational need and preference.

Undertake a traineeship in business studies and learn how to develop, implement and monitor an operational plan.