Page 4: Tactical decisions
Tactical decisions are medium term decisions. Whereas a misguided strategy could take a business in entirely the wrong direction and lead to failure, a misguided tactic would have a more limited impact. Strategies are usually in place for a long period of time; tactics tend to be more changeable.
The leaders of the Spares project created a strategy for managing spares, based on categorising parts into 'critical' and 'non critical'. Within the strategy, various tactics were designed to implement it. The key tactic for this project was for Jay to consult with and involve staff at a number of levels. By getting first hand data, outcomes become more predictable.
If a tactic fails to achieve outcomes it can be adjusted or changed. Jay was trusted, given responsibility, but he was also accountable. He needed to present a convincing case that a new system was good business sense. Jay's tactical decisions included choosing:
- which employees to consult with the managers of each area, the people carrying out the job
- what channels of communication to use group discussions, one-to-one meetings
- how much time to spend on each aspect
- what levels of improved reliability and therefore availability or reduced downtime for equipment will show that the investment was worthwhile.
Jay's findings will eventually be reported to directors. They have the final decision on whether high levels of investment in the project are worth the cost. This decision will seek to balance the risks with the costs of a significant investment in the strategy.