Free Operational Plan Templates

By Andy Marker | July 11, 2022

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We’ve rounded up the most useful collection of free organizational plan templates to record and track the goals and resource needs of your business or organization. 

Included on this page, you’ll find a basic operational plan template , a nonprofit operational plan template , a three-year operational plan template , and a five-year operational plan template .

Basic Operational Plan Template

Basic Operational Plan Template

Download Basic Operational Plan Template Microsoft Excel | Microsoft Word  

Use this basic, customizable operational plan template to create a detailed roadmap for your organization. With this template, the path to reaching your goals will be clear to all stakeholders, and team members will know exactly what tasks need to be completed and when. 

Having efficient and clear processes in place is critical for reaching your organizational goals. Learn more in this guide to operational excellence principles .

Nonprofit Operational Plan Template

Nonprofit Operational Plan Template

Download Nonprofit Operational Plan Template Microsoft Excel | Microsoft Word

Nonprofit organizations often have complex, long-term strategic goals. This operational plan template for nonprofits will help you develop a clear set of tasks and accountability measures to keep everyone apprised of next steps. Use this template to identify your goals, establish a clear plan, set and track your budgets, assign stakeholders, and implement reporting protocols. 

This guide to operations strategies will give you an overview of the steps necessary to develop a comprehensive plan for your organization.

Three-Year Operational Plan Template

3-Year Operational Plan Template

Download Three-Year Operational Plan Template — Microsoft Excel  

Your operational plan might include long-term tasks and deliverables. Use this operational plan template to chart your organization’s needs over a three-year period. Enter specific goals, delivery dates, responsibilities, and necessary resources on this customizable template to track progress and ensure that you are on your way to reaching your strategic goals. 

Your business or organization might also benefit from an operational audit, which is a chance to conduct a deep dive into strategic planning and to increase accountability. See this comprehensive guide to operational audits to learn more and gain access to additional resources and templates.

Five-Year Operational Plan Template

5-Year Operational Plan Template

Download Five-Year Operational Plan Template — Microsoft Excel  

Long-term planning is a key element of any organization. This five-year operational plan template gives you a detailed look at the steps and resources needed to reach your goals. Track deliverables, responsible parties, and resources in this customizable template. This template also helps team members visualize long-term needs and stay on top of their responsibilities and timelines. 

See this guide to operations management for more information, tips, tricks, and future trends in managing your organizational resources.

What Is an Operational Plan Template?

An operational plan template is a form that captures key details about a work plan. An operational plan includes specific actions and resources needed to reach certain milestones. It is more detailed and specific than a strategic or business plan.

Operational plans help project managers identify resource needs, maintain accountability, implement a reporting process, and maintain a budget.

Operational plan templates templates vary by type but typically include the following:

  • Delivery Date: Enter target completion dates for each task in your plan.
  • Evidence of Success: Write a short statement explaining how you will know when the goal has been achieved. 
  • Executive Summary: Describe the plan in a short paragraph that specifies how it differs from or relates to other plans in your organization.
  • Goals: Enter specific goals or milestones of your larger strategy or business plan.
  • Responsible Parties: Include the names of the stakeholders who are responsible for each task.
  • Resources Needed: Enter all resources necessary to complete each task, including on-hand resources and those you will need to procure.
  • Risks: Note any risks you may encounter.
  • Title: Enter the plan name or title.

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10 Simple Operational Plan Templates in Word & ClickUp

ClickUp Contributor

April 24, 2023

Every business starts with an idea, but it takes disciplined execution to bring it to life. That’s why operational plans are indispensable—they require you to think about the steps and resources you need to make your vision come true. By writing down these processes, you create a roadmap for your organization and empower your teams to work together towards the same goal. 

There are lots of components that make up an operational plan—from your business objectives and market analysis to your operational strategy and budget. You need to add clear details, tasks, and assignments for your plan to be useful.

The good news is you don’t need to start from scratch. Use an operational plan template to outline and manage the day-to-day activities and processes of your business, ensuring that you have the capacity to complete tasks efficiently and on time. With the right tools in hand, like Word or ClickUp templates, businesses of any size can create effective operational plans tailored to their individual needs. 

In this article, we’ll explore 10 customizable and simple operational plan templates.

What is an Operational Plan Template?

What makes a good operational plan template, 1. clickup operational plan template, 2. clickup business plan template, 3. clickup business requirements template, 4. clickup business continuity plan template, 5. clickup business development plan template, 6. clickup business roadmap template, 7. clickup compliance project plan template, 8. clickup contingency plan template, 9. clickup action plan template, 10. microsoft word operational plan template.

An operational plan template is a document designed to help you turn your business strategy into action. It includes pre-designed pages, lists, and tables that you can fill in with details like:

  • The day-to-day operations that need to be implemented to reach your business objectives
  • What you need in terms of space, human resources, and equipment
  • Roles, responsibilities, and scope of work
  • Operational budget and financial limitations
  • Project timelines
  • Metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) for success

Depending on the size and scope of your organization, operational plans can vary in complexity and length. That’s why you need to find a template that gives you flexibility in making it your own—and we’re here to help you do just that.

A good operational plan template is customizable to fit your specific needs. It offers you several ways to view, sort, and organize your data, and makes it easy for you to track responsibilities and progress. It provides visual cues and clear and concise instructions on how to fill out each section and page. 

The best operational plan templates offer an intuitive, user-friendly experience so that anyone using them for the first time can easily navigate them. Think of how people in your organization will use the plan: Will they want to see your progress at a glance? Do they need to see workload distribution among your team? Choose a template with features that support those needs. 

You also want your operational plan template to be able to scale with your organization as you grow. Choose a template that lets you adjust and update your plans without needing to start from scratch every time.

10 Operational Plan Templates

Whether you’re looking for an annual operational plan template or a simple project tracker , there are plenty of options available. Here we’ve rounded up 10 of the best templates in Word and ClickUp that you can use to create effective operational plans.

ClickUp Operational Plan Template

This simple operation plan template by ClickUp helps you strategically plan your business by outlining processes , clearly defining individual responsibilities, and tracking your progress toward your goals. It’s designed to help you monitor all the moving parts of setting up a business.

With this ClickUp operation plan template, you get a range of view options. Use the List view for maximum flexibility in grouping and sorting tasks, and arranging tasks by priority.

Switch to Board View to examine Plan Phases: planning, implementation, monitoring, and management. Use other views like Gantt, Timeline, and Workload to visualize dependencies, keep track of schedules, and spread out work across your team. 

Do more with this template using custom fields. These fields let you assign responsibilities to a team, add information and resources to a task, and update a project’s progress.

The ClickUp Business Plan Template is an excellent tool to help entrepreneurs move from ideation to launch. Start documenting your business strategy by going through the topics provided in the Topics List View. Add notes, files, and tasks to sections on your company background, market analysis, sales and marketing strategy, operational strategy, and milestones.

Each section has pre-filled tasks with short descriptions to help you flesh out the details of your business plan. For example, under the Company Background section, you have four “tasks” to fill out—The Team, Overview, Mission, and Vision.

Launching a business gets hectic pretty quickly, so use the Board and Timeline views to keep track of tasks and deadlines. And when you’re ready to zoom out and see what you’ve written, head over to the Business Plan Doc view, which presents the outputs of each section and task in one clean, professional document.

3. ClickUp Business Requirements Template

The ClickUp Business Requirements Template outlines the necessary steps and resources for an end solution to fulfill your business needs. For example, if you’re looking for an agency to help you build an app, you’d use a Business Requirements Document (BRD) to explain what you need, why you need it, and how the agency can help you. This helps you get buy-in from your company’s decision-makers, determine the project’s scope, and get all parties aligned on timelines, budgets, goals, and expectations.

This useful business requirements template starts with a list of subpages, and each one comes with brief instructions for filling it out. For example, the Project Objectives subpage comes with a note asking you to include the project’s purpose, current processes, challenges, and reasons for the undertaking.

It recommends using the SMART goals format (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound). Other subpages also come with tables that you can easily fill out.

ClickUp Business Continuity Plan Template

When the unexpected happens, don’t be caught without a plan. The ClickUp Business Continuity Plan Template helps you plan how to manage risks in the event of a disruption to your business operations. This includes mapping out the steps you need to take in the event of a natural disaster, power outage, cyber attack, or other unforeseen (and unfortunate) events.

This template covers the core parts of a business continuity system—priorities, continuity coverage, and guiding principles. Dive into the details of your plan with a Priorities List view, a consolidated List view, and a Board view. Quickly spot tasks across different categories and progress stages with the use of distinct color coding.

With this template’s intuitive and minimalist design, you can focus on the crucial steps and resources to keep your business sailing through a storm (literal or figurative!).

ClickUp Business Development Plan Template

Track your short-term and long-term business goals with this ClickUp Business Development Plan Template for beginners. The template dedicates one subpage each for operations, marketing, finance, and people, as well as an executive summary.

Each subpage gives you a structure to guide you in writing down your plans. For example, the Operations subpage comes with tables for facilities and equipment costs and also shares an example of a process map. The Financial Plan subpage gives you a template for projecting cash flow, forecasting your balance sheet, and running a break-even analysis.

Make this template your own, whether you’re planning for a short-term or long-term business development goal.

Business Roadmap in ClickUp Timeline view

Avoid falling prey to fuzzy strategy syndrome by documenting your business roadmap . Use this ClickUp Business Roadmap Template to record your strategy, focus on your North Star, and say “no” to tactics that don’t align with your vision .

The ClickUp Business Roadmap Template helps you create a high-level strategic document that communicates your goal and how you plan to get there. It sets expectations for every team in your business and maps out project initiatives to strategic goals. Your team can collaborate on projects in List, Gantt, and Timeline views, helping to streamline communication and collaboration. 

When you’re ready to dive into the details of your roadmap, use this template’s custom fields to add long text descriptions and upload files. And whenever you complete a subtask, checklist, or comment, the template automatically updates a progress bar, showing you how close you’re getting to reaching your goal.

ClickUp Compliance Project Plan Template

Complying with legal and industry rules and standards involves keeping track of a lot of documents and tasks. This ClickUp Compliance Project Plan Template ensures nothing slips through the cracks as you work on your compliance project.

The template is organized into sections for regulatory, HR, and data compliance. Start by using forms for collecting information on various compliance requirements. You can use the form’s preset questions and add or delete items as you need. The answers will show up in the List view, where you can group, sort, explain, and assign each requirement. Track priorities, task statuses, point persons, and due dates in Board view as your compliance project progresses.

To provide more context to each requirement, use custom fields to fill in details like performance metrics and consequences of non-compliance. The template also has dropdown fields with pre-filled options—for example, fields for compliance threat category and degree of compliance.

ClickUp Contingency Plan Template

No project goes off exactly as you imagine—even when you follow your plan to the letter. An employee goes on emergency leave, your website crashes and the WiFi stops working. For times like these, you need a plan B. And you can create it using the ClickUp Contingency Plan Template .

The ClickUp Contingency Plan Template offers three views that let you list down events, prioritize them based on risk level, and track progress across planning stages. When you add a task, the template automatically creates custom fields, such as the event’s risk level, likelihood, and potential impact on your organization. There are also fields for you to describe the preparations you’ve made to mitigate risk internally and provide details about your response plan.

Bonus: Contingency planning templates !

ClickUp Action Plan Template

The ClickUp Action Plan Template is a colorful whiteboard template for reviewing an action plan daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly. You can add files from within ClickUp or from your device, or import them from G Suite or Figma. You can also embed YouTube videos and ClickUp tasks, making this template interactive, collaborative, and anything but boring!

This media-rich template gives you the space and flexibility you need for creating action plans that come with lots of contextual information. Zoom out for a bird’s eye view of your progress or zoom in to break down action plans into small steps. You can also use this Action Plan Template to assign tasks, track progress, set deadlines, and add notes. 

Microsoft Business Plan Template Example

Create a professional document with a Microsoft Word Operational Plan Template, such as this business plan template that gives you step-by-step instructions for creating a comprehensive plan. It comes with formatted text and simple layouts so you can focus on the content more than the presentation. 

If you want more creative control, though, this template is completely customizable. Plus, it lets you add animations and transitions, as well as photos, videos, and graphics. Once you’re done, you can share and publish the doc with a few quick clicks.

Streamline Your Operational Planning Process

Boost your chances of reaching your business goals by creating an effective operational plan. With the right tools and templates, you can easily create a tailored document that helps you track your operational planning process and projects. 

We hope our list of 10 simple operational plan templates has helped you find the perfect template for your needs!

Try them out by setting up a free ClickUp Workspace !

Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.

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11+ Annual Operational Plan Template Examples – PDF, Word, Docs

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How To Create an Annual Operating Plan for Your SaaS Business

Annual planning season can be rough for executives, finance leaders, and department leaders alike. But the companies that effectively generate a solid annual operating plan set themselves up to hit their goals. Learn how to build an AOP that checks all the boxes.

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Carly Miller

Content Marketing Writer

A Guide to the Strategic Budgeting Process in SaaS

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Business planning can be a painful process for all involved. But getting rid of it isn’t an option. A rigorous annual operating plan is what will help you maximize efficiency across the business and allocate resources to hit company goals.

Don’t spend year after year dreading each step of the process of building your business plans. Here, we’ll cover the key concepts and steps you need to know to optimize your processes and create an annual operating plan that drives value for your organization.

Table of Contents

What Is an Annual Operating Plan?

An annual operating plan ( AOP ) is a set of KPIs , operating budgets , and plans that a company can use to achieve its goals. AOPs enable businesses to develop day-to-day frameworks and allocate the financial and physical resources required to reach both specific long- and short-term goals.

Benefits of Annual Operating Plans

As a part of strategic planning, an annual operating plan ensures that all employees understand their responsibilities and can coordinate their efforts to complete your business objectives.

It enables managers to track progress and determine whether they’ll hit company milestones on time. As a result, managers can request any needed funding from the CFO ahead of time.

Here are more benefits of annual operating plans:

Make Department Plans and Strategies More Data-Driven

A data-driven approach keeps the plans and strategies of various departments more outcome-oriented by drilling down to the impact of costs per head, per month, or per vendor.

Such an approach improves the accuracy and flexibility of your SaaS revenue forecasting  by aligning revenue and expense forecasts with the primary levers for your SaaS business.

Align Cross-Functional Departments With Business Goals

Business leaders can curate job roles and department goals based on what’s outlined in the annual operating plan to ensure their team members align with key company objectives.

Help Highlight Potential Need for Fundraising or Spending Re-Evaluation

An annual operating plan can help you have more granular conversations with stakeholders or business owners about how changes in spending could improve performance as market and business conditions shift throughout the year.

Give Departments a Guidepost for Tracking Performance and Goals

An excellent AOP will help various departments track their progress and ensure they take the necessary initiatives to achieve company objectives throughout the fiscal year.

How To Create an Annual Operating Plan

The complexity and maturity of your company will determine the details of your annual planning process. But in general, aim to start the planning process about a third of the way through your Q4 and finish it within six weeks.

Here are the recommended steps:

1. Organize Department-Level Data in the Main Financial Model

Creating an annual operating plan starts with categorizing data from your company to understand the previous year’s performance trends. These insights are the foundation for the rest of your planning process and will help you create a detailed plan.

Your goal in this phase is to clearly understand what teams are spending money on and find consistent and inconsistent spending across general ledger accounts.

For example, if your marketers used LinkedIn  ads  as a primary channel throughout the previous year, you might anticipate they’ll increase LinkedIn ad spending in the new year.

You can also find significant one-time expenses across departments and look for opportunities to limit these expenses to improve cash flow.

You can then use these insights to develop questions for departmental meetings.

2. Get a Read on Department-Level Plans

This is the most collaborative — and perhaps most important — part of the annual planning process. The ability to connect with department leaders, understand their needs, and contribute to their plans will enhance the effectiveness of your AOP.

The needs of the marketing, human resources, sales, and product departments differ from those of the finance department. So, communicate with their leaders to learn what they care about most rather than handing over dense spreadsheets outlining the financial plan.

Focus your conversations on past performance compared to your plans. Alternatively, you can create high-level budgets and establish goals to achieve them if you don’t have historical data.

3. Translate Department Budgets to the Main Model and Scenarios

In the previous step, you worked with department leaders to understand their needs and strategies. As a result, you should have worked through various department-level scenarios by this point.

One scenario could be: What if we hire another 30 people in the production department? Is the ROI  of new product releases worth the cash impact?

Another scenario you could consider: What if we doubled our marketing acquisition budget? What effect would this have on pipeline generation?

When you translate the department-level discussions to the primary model, you must also run what-if scenarios for the whole organization.

Running these scenarios will let you have a more strategic conversation with your CEO about how to handle different aspects of the current economic environment.

The models will show how different fundraising scenarios, revenue forecasting , and headcount plans affect your cash flow, runway, and burn rate.

4. Align With the CEO for Company and Board Approval

At this stage, you’ll present fully fleshed-out scenarios and plans from the third step to finalize things for the CEO  and board.

However, due to market uncertainty, you may spend more time with your CEO working out scenarios and model assumptions to determine the best path forward.

As a result, you may want to give yourself plenty of time to adjust your plans based on your CEO’s recommendations and comments.

Then, the CEO can sign off on the plans and approve the various scenarios you’ll present to the board.

5. Reforecast Throughout the Year To Keep the Plan Fresh

The value of an annual operating plan is in the process itself. You must keep it fresh monthly and quarterly. So, update your models to reflect new context about the business and macroeconomic environment.

Also, compare rolling forecasts  to the original annual plan. This comparison lets you revisit the plan with the most recent actuals and adjust based on business performance and macroeconomic conditions.

Download this blueprint and complete guide to nailing your annual planning process.

Why saas startups need to go beyond annual operating plans.

As you create your AOP for 2023, market uncertainty is forcing you to be more adaptable and agile. So, prioritize automation and data integration  since you’ll need an overarching framework for centralizing, processing, and analyzing financial data.

You need a framework to pull all financial data  from your organization and map it into a common ontology, saving 80% of the time you typically spend cleaning data from individual record systems.

Financial tools like Mosaic provide this framework, eliminating the need to rely on engineers to develop a data architecture to support your agile planning.

How Mosaic Enables Business Growth

Mosaic provides a Strategic Finance Platform  that serves as the connective tissue for your small business. It automates financial data integration and empowers you to add more strategic value to the planning process.

Plus, the 125+ SaaS metrics make monitoring your business’s growth simple.

Want to learn more about how Mosaic makes the typical high-stress top-line planning process easier for SaaS startups? Reach out for a personalized demo  and find out how you can easily create your annual operations plan.

Annual Operating Plan FAQs

What should be included in an annual operating plan.

An annual operating plan should be a concise overview of the entire company’s strategic and tactical plans for the year ahead. This should include:

  • A narrative of strategic context to go along with the proposed annual budget
  • An explanation of the current and planning organizational structure to support strategic initiatives
  • A clear outline of quantitative company goals and OKRs
  • The breakdown of departmental metrics that you’ll use to track progress

What is the difference between annual operating plans and budgets?

An AOP and a budget both address your financial structure, but they have some differences.

The differentiator is that the annual operating plan is like a document or deck that outlines overarching goals and departmental focuses. In contrast, the budget is much more numbers-driven and includes revenue goals, financial assumptions , and expense forecasts.

What is the objective of an annual operating plan?

When creating an annual operating plan the objective is to tie together forecasts, budgets and plans (including their accompanying goals and KPIs) from different departments into a single cohesive overarching plan for the company. Annual operating plans help departments align around company goals and give each department benchmarks to work towards.

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  1. The Complete Guide to Writing an Annual Operating Plan

    FREE TEMPLATE What’s the Difference Between an Annual Operating Plan and a Budget? An annual operating plan and a budget address financial structure, but the two have distinct differences. An annual operating plan outlines the company goals and activities, while a budget is a plan for accomplishing those goals.

  2. Free Operational Plan Templates

    This five-year operational plan template gives you a detailed look at the steps and resources needed to reach your goals. Track deliverables, responsible parties, and resources in this customizable template. This template also helps team members visualize long-term needs and stay on top of their responsibilities and timelines.

  3. 11+ Annual Operational Plan Template Examples

    11+ Annual Operational Plan Template Examples – PDF, Word, Docs Every year, new objectives and goals arise in your business. They arise because there may be a new project, new industry trends, or new opportunities to bring your business to a higher level. Because of that, the flow of your operations should change yearly.

  4. Annual Operating Plans: Definition + How to Write Them

    Carly Miller Content Marketing Writer Published on December 10, 2022 6 min read Business planning can be a painful process for all involved. But getting rid of it isn’t an option. A rigorous annual operating plan is what will help you maximize efficiency across the business and allocate resources to hit company goals.