What is planning? The most important of all managerial tasks are planning. It is the mechanism by which administrators set targets and determine the process by which those goals are to be accomplished. Planning includes the selection of tasks and goals and the actions to achieve them; decision-making, that is, the selection of future courses of action from among alternatives, is necessary. Planning may thus be considered to decide on a possible course of action. Before doing so, it can also be treated as a thought mechanism. Director scheduling involves worrying about what to do, who is going to do it, and how and when to do it.
Plans have two basic components: priorities and statements of action. Goals reflect the goals and outcomes that executives aim to accomplish. Statements of action reflect the means by which an agency goes forward in order to accomplish its objectives. Planning also requires (retrospectively) thinking about previous events and about future prospects and impending challenges (prospectively). Planning questions the strengths and limitations of the company and requires decision-making on the desired ways and means to accomplish them. Differences in decision-making and planning, however, exist. Decisions can be taken without preparation, but without making decisions, planning cannot be carried out.
The nature of planning
By observing its features, the essence of planning can be illustrated. They are the following:
- Planning is a conceptual activity: a quick method is not planning. It is an analytical exercise on the part of the manager and requires thought and prediction.
- Planning is goal-oriented: each plan outlines the targets to be accomplished in the future and the steps taken to achieve them. Unless the objectives are known, a manager cannot do any planning.
Planning is forward-looking:
planning is “look before you leap” in line with the adage. Planning thus implies planning ahead. Since it is carried out to reach such targets in the future, it is futuristic in nature.
All managerial tasks are covered by planning:
planning is the fundamental role of managers at all levels, although the type and scope of planning will be somewhat different at each level.
The foundation of planning is facts:
planning is a deliberate decision and projection of a potential course of action. It is based on priorities, facts, and forecasts considered. Planning is also not a job of guessing.
Planning if flexible:
planning if a dynamic mechanism is capable of changing in compliance with situational needs and requirements. Planning must also be versatile and should not be static.
The Successful Plan Requirement:
The following features should have an appropriate and sound plan:
- Simple objective: Designing and promoting the achievement of organizational goals is the aim of strategies and their components. The declaration of goals should be simple, succinct, definite, and precise.
- Proper understanding: A successful strategy is one that those who have to implement it understands well. Sound conclusions and sound reasoning must be based on it.
- Flexible: The flexibility concept states that because of environmental change without undue unnecessary costs or delay, management should be able to change an ongoing strategy so that activities continue to progress towards the defined goals. Thus, to handle potential uncertainties, a successful strategy should be flexible.
- Stable: The theory of stability states that, due to changes in external factors such as demographic trends, technological advances, or unemployment, the basic feature of the strategy should not be scrapped or changed.
- Comprehensive: When it encompasses each and every aspect of the business, a plan is said to be comprehensive. The different administrative plans should be combined so that the entire company functions at peak productivity.
- Economical: Based on the resources available to the organization, a strategy is said to be successful if it is as economical as possible.
Types of Plan
- Strategic Plans
- Tactical Plans
- Operational Plans
- Contingency plans
- Strategic Plans: Strategic plans are plans that have been formed to accomplish strategic objectives. It is a general plan detailing the resource allocation decisions, objectives, and active measures taken to achieve strategic goals. These plans are set by the top management; the time period is usually extended.
- Tactical Plans: To execute particular parts of a strategic plan, tactical plans aimed at achieving tactical objectives are created. Tactical plans usually include middle management and generally have a shorter time horizon compared to strategic plans. An intermediate-term emphasis on tactical strategies. A plan that typically spans periods of between one and five years.
- Operational Plans: The aim of an organizational plan is to carry out tactical strategies to achieve operational objectives. Operational plans have a short-term emphasis and are relatively narrow in reach, established by lower-level managers (first-line managers).
Types of Operational Plan
Two types of organizational plan exist:
- Single-use plan: planned for the execution of a course of action that is not likely to be replicated in the future.
- Program: Single-use schedule for a wide range of operations.
- Project: Less variety and complexity of a single-use plan than a program.
- Standing plan: Designed for events that occur on a daily basis over time. Managers may, for instance, face the issue of late arrival very frequently.
- Policy: Standing strategy defining the general response of the company to an issue or situation designated.
- Standard operating procedure (SOP): A standing plan specifying in specific cases the measures to be taken.
- Laws and Regulations: Standing plans that specify precisely how to carry out specific activities.
- Contingency Plan: Identification of potential courses of action to be taken if the planned action plan is suddenly interrupted or improperly made necessary. In order to meet unexpected crises, contingency preparation is carried out. Strikes, boycotts, natural disasters, and big economic shifts, for instance.
Alternative form of classifying Plans
Any course of future action encompasses a plan; we see that plans are varied. Here, they are known as,
- Purposes or missions: The aim or objective determines the central role or task of, or some part of, an organization or entity.
- Objectives or objectives: goals or objectives are the goals to which the action is driven.
- Strategies: Strategies are described as defining the underlying long-term goals of an organization and taking action and allocating the resources required to achieve these objectives.
- Policies: Policies are often proposals to direct or channel thought in decision-making in terms of general statements or understandings.
- Procedures: Procedures are plans that create a system of handling future activities that is needed.
- Rules: Rules set out explicit acts or non-actions that are expected, leaving no discretion.
- Programs: Programs are a collection of priorities, procedures, processes, guidelines, task assignments, steps to be taken, resources to be used, and other elements that are required for the implementation of a given course of action.
- Budgets: A budget is a declaration expressed in numerical terms of projected performance. It can be referred to as a program called “number zed.”
Time Frames for planning
Strategic strategies tend to have a long-term outlook (extended time horizon), an intermediate-term focus on tactical plans, and a short-term focus on operating plans. It should also note, of course, that time frames differ widely from industry to sector.
Long-Range Plans: A plan that spans several years, maybe even decades; five years or more are typical long-range plans.
Intermediate plans: A policy that normally spans periods of between one and five years.
Short Term Plans: A strategy that spans a period of one year or less in general.
Action Plan: A plan used by some other form of plan to operationalize.
Reaction Plan: A plan designed to enable the organization to adapt to an unexpected situation.
Barriers to goal setting and planning
Managers must consider the challenges that can disrupt them as part of controlling the goal setting and preparation processes. Also, administrators need to know how to conquer challenges.
The following are significant challenges to target building and planning:
- Unacceptable priorities
- Improper recompense scheme
- Dynamic and dynamic setting
- Reluctance to establish objectives
- Resistance against transition
The way the obstacles are overcome:
- Comprehension of the intent of priorities and preparation
- Communication and attendance
- Consistency, upgrading, and revision
- Efficient recompense scheme