Chapter 4: Notes on Planning

Planning means deciding in advance what to do, when to do, how to do, how to do etc. It bridges the gap between where we are and where we want to go.

Features of Planning:

  1. Focuses on achieving objectives: planning gives importance to organisational goals.
  2. Primary function of management: Planning is the base for other functions of management. All other functions is performed according to these plans only.
  3. Planning is pervasive: It is required at every level of management.
  4. Planning involves decision making: If there is only one possible course of action, there is no planning. It involves choice of various alternatives.
  5. Planning is futuristic: planning involves looking ahead.

Importance of Planning

  1. Provides direction: If goals are well defined it becomes easy to achieve organisational goals.
  2. Reduces risk of uncertainty: By deciding in advance planning shows the way to deal with the changes and uncertain events.
  3. Facilitates decision making: manager has to make choice amongst various alternative courses of action. For this he has to evaluate each alternative courses of action and select the best one.

Steps in Planning Process

  1. Setting objective: The first step in planning is setting objective as they specify what the organisation wants to achieve.
  2. Developing premises: Assumptions made for future are called premises. Premises must be same for all i.e. they should be using the same assumptions.
  3. Identifying alternative course of action: once the objective are set, assumptions are made the next step is to find out alternative courses of action.
  4. Evaluating alternative courses: The positive and negative aspects of each proposal are evaluated in the light of objective.
  5. Setting an alternative: The ideal plan would be the most feasible, profitable and with least negative consequences.
  6. Implement the plan: Required resources are acquired to put the plan into action.
  7. Follow up action: plans are monitored to ensure that objective is achieved.

Types of Plans:

  1. Objectives: is desired future position where the organisation has to go.
  2. Strategy: is a comprehensive plan to achieve the objectives of the organisation.
  3. Policy: are general statements that guide thinking defines the broad parameters within which a manager may function.
  4. Procedure: are the steps to carry out the activities i.e. the exact manner in which work is to be performed.
  5. Method: provide the prescribed way of doing a task. It deals with one step of a procedure and specifies how this step is to be performed.
  6. Rule: are the specific statements that inform what is to be done.
  7. Programme: are detailed statements about a project. It contains outline of objectives, policy, procedure, rules, etc.