Reference document

Plan Operations
Planning is deciding in advance what actions and resources are required to reach a goal. Whilst formal planning is a systematic process that involves the creation and maintenance of a plan, it is also important to recognize the people dimension as planning involves psychological aspects that require conceptual skills.Planning of military operations is the deliberate process of determining how (the ways) to use military capabilities (the means) in time and space to achieve objectives (the ends) while considering the associated risks. The typical Military Operations Planning Process consists of a series of sub-processes to understand the situation and mission, develop a course of action, and produce an operation plan or order. The outputs of each step lead to an increased understanding of the situation facilitating the next step of the planning process. The Military Operations Planning Process combines the conceptual and detailed aspects of planning and integrates the activities of the commander, staff, subordinate headquarters, and other partners throughout the planning process. The output of the Military Operations Planning Process is an improved understanding of the situation and a plan or order that guides the force through preparation and execution. Commanders and staffs generally perform these steps sequentially; however, they may revisit several steps in an iterative fashion, as they learn more about the situation before producing the plan. Depending on the echelon, all activities of the operations process can occur simultaneously if a headquarters is sufficiently staffed with planners. These headquarters can plan, prepare, execute, and assess operations simultaneously, cycling through multiple iterations of the operations process. However, commanders who are lacking planning staff, tend to move sequentially through the activities of the operations process.