In a business environment, a timeline illustrates milestones, deadlines, and other significant dates and events over the lifecycle of the business, clearly tying goals to specific dates. At the core, a business plan timeline template should have five basic pieces of information: a description of your business, an analysis of your competitive environment, a marketing plan, a section on people requirements, and key financial information. As shown below, the 1985 tree-chart shows it had only off-the-cuff approaches to adjusting business plans. In 1986, a more structured approach was taken -- it gave management plenty of flexibility and focused concentration on the right levels of profitability. In 1987, mid-year adjustments to business plans helped this company improve its tactics. Another adjustment that was done by this hypothetical company happened in 1988, where all their business plans reflected a tension between planning and flexibility. Lastly, when 1989 came, this hypothetical company became one of the most successful companies in the United States in the 1980s.