Tactical planning is driven at the Squad (sub-team) level and is conducted on a specific cadence, with each planning cycle focused on the upcoming n number of months. I would recommend that a product planning cycle is no less than 3 months and no more than 6 months. Guidance is provided by company-level OKRs. As such, Tactical planning follows Strategic planning.
Tactical planning is comprised of the following:
Workstreams - The Squad (or team) first needs to determine if there are multiple Objectives it needs to pursue; this is turn determines if multiple Workstreams need to be initiated; there is a one-to-one relationship between Workstreams and Objectives. Most often a Workstream is a Squad. If you determine you need multiple Workstreams in your Squad, the scope of your squad is likely too broad and you should either do less and limit your scope or, if you have the resources, spin up a new Squad
Objectives - Each Squad identifies a single Objective; Objectives are intentionally broad and speak to the team’s long-term mission; An Objective should answer the question "What do you do and why is it important?" Objectives will likely carry over until the core strategy changes; Each Objective must Align To an annual company objective.
Key Results - Squads then identify up to 4 Key Results they want to track for their Objective; A Key Result represents a time-bound measurement of the progress toward addressing the Objective. KRs must be quantifiably measurable as either #, %, $, or binary values
Initiatives - An Initiative is a substantial feature or unit of work designed to drive a Key Result; Initiatives are large in scope (similar to Epics) and do not prescribe technical or solution-oriented details - those will come once execution begins.
Defining a Tactical Plan
Tactical planning is facilitated by the Squad leads or a facilitator, like the CPO; a presentation is used to guide the process
Planning workshops for each Squad take between 2-4 hours; best practice is to conduct two 2-hour sessions per Squad, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon
Using the presentation, the facilitator first provides context by walking through the company mission and OKRs
To help guide the definition of the Squad's Objective, a brainstorm is facilitated to capture key descriptors of what the team does
Potential Objective candidates are crowdsourced from the room; once Objective ideas are gathered, the team is given the opportunity to upvote their favorite 2 or 3 (excluding their own submissions)
The team then reviews and discusses the top four or five Objective ideas
At this point a final Objective is identified; or, the Squad leads may decide to wordsmith the final Objective offline, for later review and comment by the rest of the team
The facilitators walk through the definition of a Key Result and provide examples
Potential Key Results are crowdsourced from the room; once KR ideas are gathered, the team is given the opportunity to upvote their favorite 3 or 4 (excluding their own submissions)
The team then reviews and discusses the top four KRs
At this point four final Key Results are identified; or, the workstream lead may decide to review and finalize the set of KRs offline, for later review and comment by the rest of the team
The facilitators walks through the definition of an Initiative and provide examples
Potential Initiative are crowdsourced from the room; once Initiative ideas are gathered, the team is given the opportunity to upvote their favorite 3 or 4 (excluding their own submissions)
The team then reviews and discusses the top four Initiatives
At this point four final Initiative are identified, each aligned to one Key Result; or, the workstream lead may decide to review and finalize the set of Initiative offline, for later review and comment by the rest of the team
Strategy Brief and Presentation
Once draft OKRs are defined, the "Accountable Facilitator" (AKA Squad lead), begins to draft a strategy brief and solicits comment from the rest of the team. The brief is then made available to review by all stakeholders. A presentable version of the brief is then created for later presentation to the rest of the company.
During the course of tactical planning, cross-functional dependencies become apparent. It is the responsibility of the Squad lead to ensure the right discussions happen with the right people to ensure cross-functional alignment.