Directives and orders from higher headquarters, including the
mission, means available, limiting considerations, and special
Standing operating procedures (SOPs)
Prepare Studies. Preparing planning studies is the sixth step in the
Planning studies determine the key factors in an
undertaking and explore these factors in detail.
Types of planning
studies most frequently used in this step are estimates and staff
studies. These estimates and studies (started as a result of general
planning and carried forward continuously) can be adapted quickly to
These planning studies assist in formulating
courses of action and in assessing the feasibility of courses of
action being considered, to include ethical implications.
Select Courses of Action. Selecting courses of action is the seventh
retained course of action.
These outline plans are based on
previously completed planning studies.
Because preparation for all
reasonable contingencies is the aim of the planning sequence,
consideration of courses of action involves more than elimination of
all but one course of action. Several feasible courses of action may
be retained so that the command is prepared for all likely
In a specific operation, however, each plan is built
on a single course of action.
Additional courses of action may be
retained to use as alternate plans.
These are normally attached as
annexes to the basic plan.
Preparing complete plans is the eighth step in the
The outline plan provides a framework from which
all details necessary to build a complete plan may be added.
details may come from the original estimates and studies of the
problem or from new studies developed as the planning progresses.
Conduct Rehearsals. Conducting rehearsals is the ninth and last step
in the planning sequence.
This step may or may not be taken,
depending on the command level, the time, and the facilities
Conducting rehearsals when time, resources, and security
permit is a good practice and allows for timely cancellation,
revision, or refinement of plans.
implemented on completion.
As new information becomes available or as
events occur, the plan is reviewed and revised accordingly.
continues until the plan is implemented or until no requirement exists for