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Terms

Can someone please explain the following terms for me?

Strategies vs Tactics vs logistics

I am looking for definitive answer.

Thanks

Jay
Friday, March 14, 2003

The Merriam-Webster dictionary is at http://webster.com/

RocketJeff
Friday, March 14, 2003

Strategy is about goal selection, tactics is about the methods you use to achieve the goals, and logistics is about the process that controls the tactics.

anon
Friday, March 14, 2003

Tactical strateegery synergisticly complements the logistical global dynamic paradigm.

Usually, Webster's definitions matter little when these words are used...

Nat Ersoz
Saturday, March 15, 2003

The technical meaning of these terms has its origin in military matters.

Here's my understanding of it:

The big distinction between "strategy" and "tactics" has to do with scale.  "Strategy" has to do with overarching decisions that are fairly general in nature.  Doesn't describe how to do something, but decides what is going to be done.  E.g., "We're going to fight this war on two fronts."

"Tactics" have to do with the particular method of accomplishing smaller scale items.  E.g., "To take over that position we'll first soften them up with cannons and then rush them and use hand-to-hand combat with bayonets."

Generals study and decide strategy.  Lower level soldiers study tactics.  Tactics are used to execute the strategy decided upon by the generals. 

Logistics has to do with the shuffling around of resources from place to place.  Not sure how it relates to strategy and tactics, exactly.  I would think that depending on their scale logistics decisions could be either strategic or tactical.

As related to software, "strategy" is obviously closely related to the overall architecture of a project.  Tactics would have more to do with specific implementations.  In the current thread about "design and implementation as separate roles", the "design" can be thought of as "strategic", the "implementation" as "tactical".  If you want, you can think of the software architects as the generals and the coders as the grunt solders.  ;)

Herbert Sitz
Saturday, March 15, 2003

I studied Corporate Finance and Strategic Management, and I still have no idea what the terms mean.

To be totally cynical though, it is a word that sounds good, and gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling when you pay Strategic Consultants muchos money for advice.

At the end of the day, it is about the grand vision, or master plan. For a president, we need to win this war to ensure survival. For a General, it is "We need to control the pacific to win this war". For a ship's captain, it is we need to sink more enemy boats. For a sonar/radar officer it is we need to detect the enemy before they spot us....

tapiwa
Monday, March 17, 2003

Herbert nailed it.  Here's how it works in business, as I see it:

In a business context, "strategy" refers to large-scale decisions which affect a significant amount of the company.  If a software company decided to sell hardware, that would be a strategy decision.

"Tactics" are smaller-scale decisions that use specific tools to achieve specific goals.  If a new software company decided to give away demos CDs at COMDEX, that would be a tactical decision.

"Logistics" are details about shifting resources around.  If a company decided to demo their software on a PC at COMDEX, the exact process of getting the PC to COMDEX would be logistics.

Unfortunately, "strategy" and "tactics" are often used interchangeably.

Brent P. Newhall
Monday, March 17, 2003

They probably are somewhat interchangeable, depending on point of view.  Something that looks tactical from on high may look strategic to someone down lower.  For instance, the CEO may decide that his strategy is to capture a certain market segment.  One of the tactics he might employ will be to develop strong brand recognition of his products in that segment.  The marketing guy looks at this as a marketing strategy though.  He'll develop tactics to achieve that goal.

anon
Monday, March 17, 2003

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