Tactical goals are targets that are established quickly in response to real world conditions as they occur. Where strategy is based on predictions about the future, tactics are based on current realities. As such, tactical goals aren't planned as far in advance as strategic goals. The following are illustrative examples of a tactical goal.
A information security incident causes reputational damage to a financial firm. Sales drop and customers begin to cancel accounts. The sales manager instantly departs from the team's strategy of selling new accounts to focus on retaining existing accounts. They allocate their top sales people to manage relationships with major accounts to prevent more cancellations. Reallocated sales people are given new targets and incentives based on customer retention rate.
A firm is a month away from launching a new mobile device at a $79 price. They hope this price will be competitive against a strong competitor that has a $99 price. Days before launch, the competitor suddenly drops their price to $67. The firm makes the last minute tactical decision to drop the price to $59 for launch. They hope this will achieve a high market penetration rate to get their product into the hands of customers at the cost of selling at a price that is unprofitable. They also hope that by demonstrating resolve to have the cheapest price that the competitor will back off and raise prices again.
OperationsA bakery normally produces 1000 loaves of bread and 2200 chocolate chip muffins in the morning shift. A supplier is late with a delivery and they have no chocolate chips. The morning shift changes their target to produce 2000 loaves of bread. They reschedule production of muffins to the afternoon shift and send someone out to find 50 pounds of chocolate chips at local supermarkets.
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