Planning in Management
Planning in Management
Meaning of Planning
Planning is deciding in advance what is to be done in future. It is an intellectual process, characterized by thinking before doing. Planning involves the selection of objectives, policies, procedure and programmers from among alternatives. A plan is a pre-determined course of action to achieve a specified objective.
Definition of Planning
- In the words of Koontz and O’Donnell, “Planning is an intellectual process the conscious determination of course of action, the basing of decisions on purpose, facts and considered estimates.
- In the words of Haynes and Massie, “Planning is that function of manager in which he decides in advance what he will do. It is a decision-making process of a special kind, its essence is futurity.
- According to Hayman, “Planning is deciding in advance what is to be done. When a manager plans, he projects a course of action for the future, attempting to achieve a consistent, co-ordinate structure of operations aimed at the desired results.”
In conclusion we may state that planning is a mental process which requires intellectual facilities, imagination, foresight and sound judgment. It is the process by which companies adjust their resources to their objectives and opportunities.
Nature of Planning
The nature and characteristics of planning can easily be stated as below:
Primary function of management :
Among various functions planning is the primary function of management and without – planning the other functions cannot be executed successful. The allocation of resources, authority and responsibility of an organization is made in accordance with the plan objectives.
An intellectual process:
Koontz and O’Donnell observe “Planning is an intellectual process, the conscious determination of course of action the leasing or buying decisions based on purpose facts and considered estimates.” These require a process of orderly thinking by an intellectual.
Process of looking forward:
Hodge and Johnson: observe, “Planning is an attempt to anticipate the future in order to achieve better performance. “It is a method or technique of looking ahead, a constructive reviewing of future needs so that present actions can be adjusted in view of the established goal.
Continuous and dynamic process:
George R. Terry observes planning is a continuous process and there is no end to it. It involves continuous collection, evaluation and selection of data; and scientific investigation and analysis of the possible alternative courses of action and the selection of best alternative.
Planning has been described as the most basic of managerial function. Arnold Toynbee specifies the pervasiveness of planning. Planning function is essential for every type of organization whether it is social, religious political in cultural. It is equally applicable at every level of managerial hierarchy.
Planning is an inter-dependent activity; as it co-ordinates the activities of various departments. Every organization has different departments like production, purchasing sales and marketing, personnel, finance etc. Although every department has its own plans, it will be a component part of the Master Plan prepared for the whole organization.
Planning is very closely associated with the goals or objectives of the organization. The goals may be expressed or implied. However, well defined goals lead to efficiency in planning.
Planning is dynamic as it is based on future conditions which too are dynamic. Planning is deciding in advance about a future course of action which future is uncertain. Therefore for the success of planning. It has to adjust with the changes taking place in the environment.
Uniformity is an important characteristic of planning. Henry Fayol suggested for execution of one plan at a time. More than one plan is executed at one time, which may lead to confusion and uncertainty. If necessary, a master plan is prepared and it may be divided into various sub-plans. But it must have uniformity and co-ordination.
Decision Making is an essential part :
Decision-making is an essential part of planning. Planning is deciding in advance the best course of action from among the various alternatives. Peter F. Drucker writes, every action taken by a manager is based on decisions.
Characteristics of Planning
Following are the essential characteristics of planning.
Planning is goal oriented:
Planning is not an end in itself. Rather it is a means towards the accomplishment of organizational goals. That is the purpose of every plan and all its supporting plans is to contribute to the accomplishment of enterprise purpose and objectives. All plans emanate from objectives. These goals may be implicit or explicit, but well-defined goals are essential for efficient planning. Thus planning is goal -oriented.
Planning is a primary function:
Planning has been described as the most basic of all managerial functions in that the manger must do planning before he can intelligently perform any of the other managerial functions. Besides a manager must plan in order to know what kind of organization relationships, and personal qualifications are needed, along which course subordinates are to be led, and what kind of control is to be applied. And of course, all the other managerial functions must be planned if they are to be effective. Without planning there is nothing to organize, no one to actuate, and no need to control. That is planning precedes the execution of all other managerial functions.
Planning pervades all managerial activity:
Planning is a function of all managers irrespective of the level of hierarchy or nature of enterprise. Of course, the character and breadth of planning will vary with each manager’s authority and with the nature of policies and plans outlined by supervisors. So all managers plan. But whereas managers at the top level plan the strategy and long-term plans for the enterprise as a whole, middle level managers formulate departmental plans for medium-term, and those at the lower levels prepare operating short-term plans.
Importance of planning
Planning becomes necessary due to the following reasons:
To manage by objectives:
All activities of an enterprise are designed to achieve certain specified objectives. Planning makes these specified objectives more concrete and tangible by focusing appropriate attention on them.
To off-set the growing complexity of business:
Future is always uncertain and changes can be expected in the existing situations at any time. some of the uncertainties and changes can be predicted in advance through effective planning.
To secure the economy in operation :
Planning process involves the selection of the most profitable course of action that would bring the best result at the minimum cost.
Better utilization of resources:
An important advantage of planning is that it makes effective and proper allocation of company’s resources. It identifies all such resources available to it and initiates better utilization of these.
Helps in co-ordination:
Co-ordination is the essence of management. Without planning, it is not possible to co-ordinate the different activities of an enterprise.
Improving competitive strength:
Planning helps an organization to compete effectively with other such organization in the industry. Effective planning helps to add new lines of products, expansion of plant capacity, changes in working methods, changes in quality and designs of products, and so on.
Makes control effective:
The controlling function of management relates to the comparison of the planned performance with the actual performance. In the absence of plans, a manager will have no standards for controlling the performance of the subordinates.
Improvement of morale:
A well designed plan will improve the morale of workers because it gives a real sense of participation of the employees in corporate activities.
Increases organizational effectiveness:
Planning enables the manager to measure the organizational effectiveness in the context of the stated objectives and take further actions in this direction.
Prevents hasty decisions:
Planning is a process which includes identification of problems and selecting the best alternatives. This prevents the tendency to make hasty decisions.
Stimulates innovative and creative thoughts:
A good planning system stimulates innovative and creative thoughts. D.E. Hussey writes, A good planning process will provide avenues for individual participation, will throw up more ideas about the company and its environment, will encourage an atmosphere of frankness and corporate.
Delegation of authority facilitated:
A good plan always facilitates delegation of authority in a better way to the subordinates.
Facilitates sound communication :
Planning process is regarded as an excellent channel of communication through out the organization. A master plan sets the sub-plans of all the departments of the organization and this effort cannot be possible without sound, communication from all concerned.
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