Strategic planning is essentially about planning for the future in the medium and long term. The timeframe for strategic plans is often 3 - 5 years. Strategic planning for timeframe over 5 years can be problematical because it is difficult to see that far into the future. Nevertheless, there are some industries where it is necessary to plan 10 years ahead particularly when there is a lot of capital investment required in the industry. Mining might be an example of just such an industry.
In sport and recreation however, strategic plans are generally 3-5 years. While it might be useful to have long-term plans, the problem with sport and recreation organisations is that management personnel is constantly changing i.e. in management committees are often like revolving doors.
Under these circumstances, it is hard for people in management committees to think further ahead than one year.
The timeframe for strategic plans is often set by government. If an organisation wants to apply for funding for developing facilities, for example, it is usually required to produce a strategic plan for a 5 year period. The organisation may be given no option in regard to that criteria.
Operational plans, on the other hand, have a timeframe of one year. When a strategic plan and operational plan have been developed together the operational plan will be constructed for the first year of the strategic plan. When the first year is over, a new operational plan will be formulated for the second year of the strategic plan.