A manager’s most essential task is to see that everyone understands the group’s purposes and objectives and its methods of attaining them
Planning involves selecting missions and objectives and the actions to achieve them; that is choosing from among alternatives future courses of action.
Planning bridges the gap from where we are to where we want to be.
Planning by its very nature consists of 4 major aspects:
- Its contribution to purpose and objectives
- Its primacy among the manager’s tasks
- Its pervasiveness
- The efficiency of resulting plans
Planning and controlling are very closely connected and are inseparable. A plan without controlling aspects included or controls without planning both are useless for the manager and serve no purpose
Terminology used in planning:
- Objectives and Goals:They represent not only the end point in planning but also the end point for organizing,staffing, leading and controlling
- Strategies: is defined as the determination of the basic long-term objectives of an enterprise and the adoption of courses of action and allocation of resources necessary to achieve these goals.
- Policies:are also plans and define an area within which a decision is to be made and ensure that the decision will be consistent with, and contribute to, an objective.
- Procedures: are plans that establish a required method of handling future activities
- Rules: spell out specific required actions or non-actions, allowing no discretion
- Programs: are a complex of goals, policies, procedures, rules, task assignments, steps taken, resources to be employed, and other elements necessary
Planning is a vital and necessary management function. The functions of organizing, leading, and controlling all carry out the objectives and goals determined by planning. All organizations operate in uncertain environments and Planning helps it to adapt to change and uncertainty.Formal Planning is an activity that distinguishes managers from non-managers. Formal Planning distinguishes effective managers from ineffective ones.
Planning includes all the activities that lead to the definition of objectives and to the determination of appropriate courses of action to achieve those objectives.
There are the following 4 benefits to planning:
- Planning forces managers to think ahead
- It leads to the development of performance standards that enable more effective management control
- Having to formulate plans forces management to articulate clear objectives
- Planning enables an organization to be better prepared for sudden developments
The 4 aspects can be explained in terms of:
(a) Increasing time spans between present decisions and future results
(b) Increasing organizational complexity
(c) Increased external change
(d) Planning and other management functions
Types of Planning:
Although effective planning focuses on the custome and on issues of quality and competitiveness, planning activity differs in scope, time-frame, and level of detail.
Scope: refers to the range of activities covered by the plan
Time frame: is the period considered by the plan, ranging from short term and long term
Level of detail: concerns the specificity of the plan
There are 3 types of Plans:
- Strategic Planning:The activities that lead to the definition of objectives for the entire organization and to the determination of appropriate strategies for achieving those objectives
- Operational Planning:Translates the broad concepts of the strategic plan into clear numbers, specific steps, and measurable objectives in the short term
- Tactical Planning: planning that deals more with issues of efficiency than with long term effectiveness
There are the following elements in Planning: