The Difference Between Strategy and Tactic

The Difference Between Strategy and Tactic

Primary definitions from dictionaries suggest that there is little difference between strategy and tactic. Thus, these two words have been used interchangeably. However, there are those who adhere to a more specific and stricter usage and differentiation between the two.

What is the Difference Between Strategy and Tactic: An Explainer

1. Purpose

The primary difference between the two is the scope of their purpose. A strategy involves a complex and lengthier plan that includes goals definitions and rationalizations, implementation details, and decision-making patterns that collectively govern the execution of tactics.

The aforesaid means that tactics are part of a strategy. These are actions carried out to meet specific objectives. A strategy is a plan and is concerned with goals while tactics are the means for materializing or realizing the plan and are involved with objectives.

2. Involvement

Involvement is another difference between strategy and tactic. A strategy is designed and implemented primarily by higher-ranking individuals within a group or organization. Examples of these are board members or executives and senior managers within business organizations or elected and appointed executives within government or government agencies.

Tactics welcome a wider involvement from individuals. They are overseen by higher-ranking individuals but are specifically carried out by designated individuals with specialized sets of skills or competencies. Examples of these individuals are mid-level managers and entry-level individuals like department or unit heads, supervisors, and team leaders.

3. Duration

Another difference between strategy and tactic is duration. A strategy is a plan or method designed to achieve goals and implemented over a long period. Take note that a goal is a general statement that describes results based on future aspirations or directions

On the other hand, a tactic is an action or method carried out to achieve short-term targets or objectives. These objectives are specific and meeting them would mean achieving goals. As defined, objectives represent concrete actions or steps required to reach goals.

Conclusion: Underscoring the Difference Between Strategy and Tactic

The differences between the two collectively denote that strategy supersedes tactics. To be more specific nonetheless, a strategy is a plan that defines and describes the guidelines for executing tactical actions. Furthermore, strategy answers the “what” and “why” of goals and objectives while tactics answer the “how” and “who” of such.

Consider strategy as something that defines and describes the destination and tactics as the specific actions that would be carried out in order to advance along the way. The strategy lays down the path while tactics are involved with smaller steps. These difference also coincides with the differences between purpose, goals, and objectives.