Strategic Steering vs. Operational Steering: What’s the Difference?

In the world of business management, two concepts play a pivotal role: strategic steering and operational steering. A look at these related yet distinctly different notions.

In the realm of business management, two crucial concepts stand out: strategic steering and operational steering. While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they bear significant differences. This article aims to delve into these differences and demonstrate how proPilot can effectively support you in these two essential areas of business management.

Strategic Steering vs. Operational Steering: What's the Difference?

What is Strategic Steering?

Strategic steering pertains to high-level decisions that shape the overall direction of the company, enabling it to achieve its long-term goals. After establishing the company’s vision and defining its long-term objectives, the task is to develop plans to meet these goals and, of course, to implement them. Strategic steering, requiring a holistic view, an understanding of market trends, and an ability to foresee future challenges and opportunities, involves dynamically monitoring the plans in place and taking corrective actions to meet or even exceed the organization’s long-term targets.

What is Operational Steering?

Operational steering, on the other hand, deals with day-to-day activities—typically within the current year—that allow the company to operate efficiently. This entails managing resources, overseeing operations, enhancing processes, and ensuring the company is on track to meet its short-term objectives. Operational steering demands attention to detail, problem-solving as issues arise, and deep insight into the company’s internal operations.

What’s the Difference?

The distinction between strategic and operational steering primarily lies in the time scale and the level of insight required. Strategic steering focuses on the long term with a broad outlook, whereas operational steering is short-term oriented, demanding meticulous attention.

In simple terms, strategic steering is the “what”—what are our long-term objectives, and how do we plan to achieve them? Operational steering is the “how”—how do we manage our daily resources to reach these goals?

How can proPilot Help?

proPilot is a strategy execution management solution offering tools for both strategic and operational steering.

In the context of strategic steering, proPilot enables quick digitalization and tracking of plans for transformation initiatives, performance monitoring, or compliance endeavors. Its straightforward setup allows those overseeing plan components to update with ease, using simple workflows to report the progress status of each component and communicate crucial details.

Regarding operational steering, proPilot excels in continuous plan management and frequent, yet workload-friendly, collection of quantitative and qualitative progress data. With integrated data quality checks, proPilot ensures consistent management of both financial and non-financial indicators.

In conclusion, strategic and operational steering are two vital facets of business management. With proPilot, you can excel in both, ensuring your company does what’s necessary to achieve its objectives both in the short and long run.

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