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Published by ASHWINI SINHA
The needs for planning different types of planning principles of planning steps in planning

The needs for planning different types of planning principles of planning steps in planning

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Published by: ASHWINI SINHA on Nov 15, 2010
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Objectives of the lessonAfter studying this lesson, you should understand:1. The needs for planning2. The different types of planning3. The principles of planning4. The steps in planningPlanning as a process involves the determination of future course of action, that is whyan action, what action, how to take action, and when to take action. These “why, what,how, and when” are related with different aspects of planning process.Why of action reveals that action has some objectives or the end result which anorganization wants to achieve, what of action specifies the activities to be undertaken,how and when generate various policies, programs, procedures, and other relatedelements. Thus all these elements speak about futurity of action. Terry has definedPlanning as - - “ Planning is the selection and relating of facts and making and using of assumptions regarding the future in the visualization and formalization of proposedactivities believed necessary to achieve desired result.” 
Features of Planning
On the basis of the definition of planning, its following features can be identified:1. Planning is a process rather than behaviour at a given point of time. This processdetermines the future course of action.2. Planning is future oriented It is primarily concerned with looking into future. Itrequires forecasting of future situation in which the organization has to function.Therefore, correct forecasting of future situation leads to correct decisions about futurecourse of actions.3. Planning involves selection of suitable course of action. This means that there areseveral alternatives for achieving a particular objective or set of objectives. However, allof them are not equally feasible and suitable for the organization.4. Planning is undertaken at all levels of the organization because all levels of management are concerned with the determination of future course of action. However,its role increases at successively higher levels of management. Moreover, planning atdifferent levels may be different in the context that at the top management level,managers are concerned about the totality of the organization and tries to relate it withthe environment white-managers at lower levels may be involved in internal planning.5. Planning is flexible as commitment is based on future conditions, which are alwaysdynamic. As such, an adjustment is needed between the various factors and planning6. Planning is a pervasive and continuous managerial function involving complexprocesses of perception, analysis, conceptual thought, communication, decision, andaction.The very pervasiveness of these planning elements makes it difficult to identify andobserve them in detail.
Importance of Planning
1. Primacy of Planning
Planning precedes all other managerial functions. Since managerial operations inorganizing, staffing, directing, and controlling are designed to support theaccomplishment of organizational objectives, planning logically precedes the executionof all other managerial functions. Although all the functions intermesh in practice as asystem of action, planning is unique in that it establishes the objectives necessary for allgroup effort. All other functions are performed to achieve the objectives set b theplanning process.
2. To Offset Uncertainty and Change
There is continuous change in the environ-ment and the organization has to work inaccelerating change. This change is re-flected in both tangible and intangible forms.Tangible changes are in the form of changes in technology, market forces, governmentregulations, etc. Intangible changes reflect in changes in attitudes, values, cultures, etc.In order to cope up with the requirements of such changes, organization must lookahead for its future course of action which is basically provided by planning process.Planning does not stop changes in theenvironment but gears the organization to takesuitable actions so that it is successful in achieving its objectives.
3. To Focus Attention on Objectives
Planning focuses on organizational objec-tives and direction of action for achieving theseobjectives. Sometimes people in the organization may not be specific about itsobjectives because of lack of clarity and precise definitions. For example, often we takeprofit as the objective of a business organization. It is too abstract to be pursued. Inorder to enforce managerial actions, 1ihis should be defined more precisely. Whenplanning action is taken, these objec-tives are made more concrete and tangible. Theobjectives are defined in more mean-ingful terms so that managerial actions arepossible. For example, even if the organizational objective is profit earning, planningactivity will specify how much profit is to be earned looking into all facilitating andconstraining factors.
4. To Help in Coordination.
Though all managerial functions lead to coordination in the organization, real beginningis made at the level of planning stage. Well-con-sidered overall plans unifyinterdepartmental activities and consequently restrict the area of freedom in thedevelopment of purely departmental plans. Thus, various departments work inaccordance with the overall plan, and harmony is achieved. It is true to say thatcoordination is essence of management and planning is the base
5. To Help in Control
Control involves the measurement of accomplishment of events against plans and thecorrection of deviations to assure the achievement of objectives as set by the plans.Thus, control is exercised in the context of planning action as standards against whichactual results are to be compared are set up through planning. At the control stage, anattempt is made to monitor the perfor-mance on continuous basis so that immediateaction is taken if anything goes wrong.
6. To Increase Organizational Effectiveness
Planning ensures organizational ef-fectiveness in several ways. The concept of effectiveness is that the organization is able to achieve its objectives within the givenresources. Thus, for effectiveness, it is not only necessary that resources are gut to the
best of their efficiency but also that they are put in a way which ensures their maximumcontribution to organizational objectives. In fact, taking appropriate planning can dothis. Planning states the objectives of the organization in the context of given resources.Therefore, each resource of the organization has a specific use at a particular time.Thus, planning along with control ensures that resources are put in action in a way inwhich these have been specified. If this is done, organization will achieve effectiveness.
Needs for planning
As we saw in the beginning i.e. in Lesson 1, ‘management’ had begun as people startedforming groups to achieve their goals. They were quick to realize that managing isnecessary to ensure proper coordination of all the individuals in the group. If the groupeffort is to be successful then its every member must know exactly what is expected of him. This is the fundamental function of planning. This is a basic function of themanager. Planning is the most crucial part of the functions of the manager. Theimportance of planning cannot be over emphasized. It has been rightly said, “Failure toplan is planning to fail”. Most of the organisations very often fail due to poor planning.Whatever be the resources one may have, without planning one cannot move ahead.Planning is determining the objectives and formulating the methods to achieve them. Itis more simply said than done. A job well planned is half done. During planning oneneed to ask oneself the following:• What am I trying to accomplish? i.e. What is my objective?• What resources do I have and need to accomplish the same?• What are the methods and means to achieve the objectives?• Is this the optimal path?Good and effective managers are positive in their approach and are optimistic and yetprepare themselves for the worst. Though one cannot foresee the future but shouldlearn anticipate. No one can wail till the problems develop before preparing to tacklethem. This is rather being proactive. And proaction is an essential ingredient of planning.Planning needs choosing the best course of action among many alternatives anddecision making. If one is left with no alternatives then there is no scope for planningi.e. choosing. It is essentially an intellectual process requiring knowledge, experienceand intelligence.Planning is needed to make things happen or to cope up with the changes, otherwise,one has to simply be spectator and watch things happen.
Types of planning
We have seen that planning is essential for the success and survival of anyorgainisation. One should also understand that there exist many different types of plans.One can plan effectively only if one understands the different types of plans and itspurposes. Plans can be classified asa. purposes or missions,b. objectives,c. strategies,

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