Function of Management – Planning
Concept of Planning
Planning is the process of selecting the best course actions from the available alternatives for the future. Planning is the process that bridges the gap between two points i.e. where we are and where we want to go. “Planning is the process of determination of objectives and selecting the best course of action for achieving predetermined Objectives.”
W.H. Newman– “Generally speaking, planning is deciding in advance what is to be done.”
George R. Terry– “Planning is the selecting and relating of facts and the making assumptions regarding the future in the visualization and formulation of proposed activities necessary to achieve the desired result.”
Harold Koontz and O’Donnell– “Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do, when to do it, and who is to do it. Planning bridges the gap from where we are to where we want to go.”
Nature/Feature of Planning
Planning is the primary function of Management. It focuses on the future course of action. It specifies the objectives to achieve in the future and select the best alternative course of action to meet defined objectives.
- The primary function of management: Planning stands as the base of all other functions like organizing, staffing, etc. Every manager performs their activity as per their planning. Planning provides the foundation for everyone’s action (from top-level management to low-level management) by specifying the methods to achieve its objectives.
- Objective focused (Goal Oriented): Planning aims to accomplish the objectives of the company. When it leads in a meaningful way to the achievement of desired goals, planning is a valuable activity. It also guarantees actions that will easily and economically contribute to the desired outcomes.
- Intellectual process: Planning entails considering future trends, making predictions, and then taking decisions. Planning is an intellectual practice, as some mental and analytical abilities are necessary. Planning is an intellectual process where different mental exercises are done. Creative thinking and imagination are two main mental work that has to be done to formulate/develop a good plan.
- Continuous process: Plans are formulated for a defined amount of time. The latest plans need to be made at the end of the given period. In the same way, the current plans must be updated as the circumstances have changed. Planning requires choice and is the method of deciding between different courses of action. Therefore, we may conclude that preparation is an ongoing phase.
- Related to the future: The method of planning calls for visualizing the future. Seeing the future in light of the present is a strategy. Good planning helps to forecast future realistically. Planning is designed to deal with unpredictable events and circumstances in the future. Planning is, thus, futuristic in nature.
- Pervasiveness: Every type of organization (profitable or charitable) need to exercise planning to achieve their objectives. From small to big or love level to top-level, every field, level, and nature of an organization needs to follow their planning.
- Selective process: Planning is the process of selecting the best course of action from different available alternatives i.e. choosing the best option from different options. The management/manager has to follow some systematic procedures to select those options.
- Actionable: Good planning must be useable. Management must be able to implement the planning from paper to real activity and the effectiveness of planning can be seen only after implementing the planning in action.
Types of Planning
Planning is the formal process and schedule to complete the work. The plan may be prepared either for a short period or a long period and may be prepared by top-level management or operational management. The following three are the major types of plan
- Corporate or strategic plan: This plan is prepared by the top-level management by considering the long term objectives of the organization, It clearly defines objectives of the organisation and strategies to achieve the defined objective, The strategic plan may concern with products or service, market, competition, social responsibility introduction of technology, public image, etc. It based on analysis of future opportunities and threats.
- Tactical or division plan: Tactical plan is prepared by the middle-level management by considering short-term objectives of the organization. It is the sub-division of corporate plan. It is prepared to allocate divisional activities like production, finance, marketing human resources, and others. This plays a mediator role between corporate and operational plans
- Operational or unit plan: This plan is prepared by lower-level management by considering day to day function of the organization. It is consistent with tactical plan It prepares schedule of each unit of work. It is concentrated in the best use of organisational resources consisting of manpower, materials, money and machines.
Procedures or steps or process of planning
For a systematic approach to planning, it is essential to complete some procedures or steps. The major procedures in the process of planning are:
- Analysis of the environment
- Setting objectives
- Development of planning premises
- Identification of alternatives
- Evaluation of alternative
- Selection of best alternative
- Formulating supportive planning
- Budgeting the plan
- Implementation of plan
- Reviewing the planning
According to Billy E. Goelz remarked that “without plans, action will become merely a random activity, producing nothing but chaos”. Thus, planning is very essential to achieve the consistent and coordinated structure of opera ions focused on desired goals/objectives.
Rationale or need for Planning
According to George R. Terry viewed “Planning as basic to the other managerial functions. Without planning, there would be nothing to organize, no one to actuate. and no need to control”.
This stresses the rationale and needs for planning in the management process. Thus, good planning is the foundation of efficient management. It is also a prerequisite to good management.
- Focus on objective
- To perform other functions of management
- Minimise uncertainty
- Innovation and creativeness
- Avoid business failure
- Basis of control
- Effective decision
- Facilitates coordination
- Forecasting and utilization of resources
- Improve competitive strength
Benefit/Advantages/Important of Planning
- Reduce uncertainty
- Focused on objective
- Facilitate effective control
- Better coordination
- Improves motivation
- Improvement in competitive strength
- Utilization of resources
- Improve efficiency
- Innovation and Creativity
- Brings Systemetisation
Thus, planning is very essential to achieve the consistent and coordinated structure of opera ions focused on desired goals/objectives. • Thus, planning is very essential to achieve the consistent and coordinated structure of opera ions focused on desired goals/objectives.
Limitation/Constraints of Planning
The limitation in planning arises due to a defect in process of implementation and management inefficiency. Limitation of the planning may be of two types: internal (arises due to management inefficiency) and external (in the process of implementation).
- Costly and time-consuming
- Lack of flexibility
- Lack of reliable data
- Rapid change of premises
- External limitations
- Internal limitations