What are Tactics?

What are Tactics?

What are Tactics? Jonathan Poland

Tactics are short-term, immediate strategies that are designed to respond to fast-changing realities and situations. They are focused on taking advantage of opportunities and managing risks as they arise, and they differ from long-term strategies in that they are reactive rather than proactive. Tactics are commonly used in business and in life in general as a way to adapt to changing circumstances and seize opportunities as they present themselves. They may involve using specific tools, techniques, or resources to achieve a specific goal or objective, and they may be flexible and adaptable in order to respond to changing conditions. Tactics are an important aspect of decision-making and problem-solving, as they allow individuals and organizations to respond quickly and effectively to changing circumstances. The following are illustrative examples.

Markets
A trader purchases a stock she wouldn’t ordinarily buy simply because the price drops irrationally low as the result of a capitulation process.

Weather
A ski resort applies steep discounts to hotel rooms based on weather forecasts that suggest several weeks of unseasonably warm temperatures.

Locations
A retailer has a strategy to open 10 new locations in a given year. The plan is almost complete when a lease becomes available in a prime location. They decide to open an 11th shop to grab the prime location.

Information Security
An IT team disables several customer accounts when it realizes their passwords may have been leaked.

Environment
A city bans gasoline powered cars in its city center for a day when air quality drops to dangerous levels.

Pricing
A fashion retailer increases its price when it realizes there will be strong demand for a new product.

Promotion
A restaurant chain increases its advertising budget when a particular commercial is unusually successful in driving word of mouth and sales.

Supply Chain
A supply chain disruption causes a fast food restaurant to run out of french fries across an entire region. They contact a wholesaler of snacks and purchase a variety of substitutes such as potato chips.

Diplomacy
A protectionist government places new tariffs on a range of goods. Other countries respond with their own tariffs in a tit for tat response.

Career
An IT team experiences a period of instability as two senior resources leave just as a large project is about to launch. A junior engineer steps in to work long hours to help the team deliver to commitments. The engineer ends up doing the work of far more senior resources and gains valuable experience and reputation. Within months she is promoted.

Projects
A vendor delivers low quality work products that cause a project to miss dates. The program management team decides to withhold milestone payments to the vendor to get the attention of the firm’s management.

Ethics
An employee joins a new firm and finds that it has a poor ethical climate. She decides to cut and run by returning to her former employer.

Negotiations
A purchaser deploys a bogey in negotiations by claiming that it is their firm’s standard to pay suppliers within 135 days of invoice. They know the seller won’t be able to accept such terms and may bend on price.

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