What is Planning?
The first fundamental role of management is planning. Managers perform this role by defining the objectives of the organisation, outlining how they will be achieved, and allocating resources within the company to do so.
Planning entails choosing missions, objectives, and the actions necessary to attain them; it also necessitates decision-making, which entails picking one alternative future course of action over others.
The process of planning entails choosing a future path of action, including the why, what, how, and when of a course of action. These are connected to many elements of the planning process.
Features of Planning
- Intellectual Process: Because planning decides the course of action to be taken, it is essentially an intellectual activity that involves thinking rather than doing. It, however, calls for rational and systematic thought as opposed to speculation or wishful thinking.
- Goal-oriented: Organisations are created with a broad objective in mind. Plans include a list of specific goals as well as the tasks that must be completed to reach those goals.
- Pervasive: Every department in the company, as well as all levels of management, must engage in planning. It is not the sole responsibility of the senior management or of any certain department. However, the breadth of planning varies among departments and at different organisational levels.
- Primary management function: The main role of management is planning, which establishes the groundwork for all other managerial responsibilities. All additional managerial duties are carried out within the scope of the created plans. Planning therefore comes before other tasks.
- Futuristic: It is forward-looking since it fundamentally entails anticipating and planning for the future. The goal of planning is to prepare an organisation as best you can to deal with upcoming occurrences. It suggests looking into the future, studying it, and making predictions about it. As a result, planning is viewed as a forward-looking function based on forecasting.
- Involves decision-making: Making decisions is a key component of planning because there are many options and things to choose from. Planning is carefully analysing and evaluating each choice before selecting the best one.
- Ongoing process: Plans are made for a certain time frame, such as a month, quarter, or year. A new plan must be created at the conclusion of that time period in light of the new requirements and circumstances. Planning is therefore an ongoing effort.
- Planning lowers operational uncertainty, danger, and misunderstanding. Everyone is aware of the future course of action thanks to planning, so they all know precisely what needs to be done. This provides a sense of direction, which improves operational efficiency.
- Management decision-making is guided by planning. Their individual decision-making and action plans are guided by the planning of the goals to be attained and the course of action to be taken to reach the goal.
- Coordination and control are made easier by planning. Coordination is more effective when tasks are integrated properly at the operational level. Additionally, it aids in spotting irregularities and implementing remedial measures.
- The organisation becomes adaptable when there is some flexibility in the planning process. In other words, it equips an organisation to meet difficulties and adapt to a changing environment.
- Planning results in operations that are economical and efficient. The most effective approaches are chosen from the available options, reducing duplication and wasted processes.
- It starts with the choice of objectives and is geared towards achieving them. The executive is kept alive and awake by it. Periodically, managers must assess their performance and revise their plans in order to achieve their goals.
- Establishing Objectives: We are all aware that every organisation has objectives that it hopes to accomplish. Actually, the first step in planning is to clarify, clarify, and unambiguously state these objectives.
- Making assumptions about the external and internal conditions: The second step in planning involves making assumptions about the future business environment. These presumptions about the company’s future surroundings are referred to as planning premises. These premises could be inside or outside. External planning assumptions refer to circumstances outside the company. Premises for internal planning are related to internal organisational conditions.
- Identifying alternative courses of action: Depending on the conditions, there are a number of alternatives present before the company which it must find out to achieve the set objectives.
- Evaluation of alternatives: When a manager has a choice between several courses of action, he must consider each one’s viability and potential outcomes before deciding which is best. Some choices might not be workable. Such options should not be considered by management.
- Selecting the appropriate course of action: The manager will choose the one that offers the greatest benefit at the lowest price after weighing the available options. Managers should consider their own resource constraints when they choose the optimal route from the available options.
- Preparing for implementation: Once the management has made a decision, it should develop the required strategies and an implementation plan in close cooperation with the key individuals who will be responsible for carrying it out.
Above all, planning is a never-ending process. It entails deciding on a course of action for the future and outlining the order of tasks to achieve the goals. It is the process of creating a blueprint.