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1 Introduction:
Planning involves selecting mission and objectives and deciding on the action to
achieve them, it
requires decision-making, that is choosing a source of action from among
alternatives. Plans thus
provide a rational approach to achieving pre-selecting objectives.
2.1.1 Definition:
Planning is an intellectually demanding process, it requires the conscious
determination of courses
of action and the basing of decisions on purpose, knowledge and considered
__Koontz and ODonnell
2.1.2 Nature of Planning:
Nature of Planning could be understood with reference to the features of
planning which for
purposes of clarity and quick comprehension have been classified into the following
(a) Constitutional Features:
Planning is goal oriented
Planning has a reference to future
Planning is the primary function of management
Planning involves choice
Planning is an intellectual exercise
(b)Operational Features
Planning is all pervasive
Planning is both long range and short range.
Planning is continuous
(c) Desirable Features

Planning is actionable
Planning is flexible
Planning is an integrated system
Planning is effective

1. Planning is goal oriented: Each and every plan major or minor of an enterprise must
make at least some contribution towards the attainment of the common objectives of the
enterprise objectives are the beginning and end point of planning.
2. Planning has a reference to future: It is matter of common sense to understand that all
planning is done for future, and in the context of future conditions. The past, as such has
no relevance for planning. The only role of the past in planning is that while making a
plan for future for a second time.
3. Planning is the primary function of management: The performance of all other
managerial function i.e., organizing, staffing, directing and controlling would depend on
the nature and type of planning done earlier.
4. Planning involves choices: Planning is fundamentally choosing. It is really a problem of
selecting from out of several alternatives. While deciding about a course of action to
attain the pre-selected objectives, the planner has to select the best alternatives course of
action from among several alternatives available in the managerial situations.
5. Planning is an intellectual exercise: Planning requires imagination foresight and
intelligence. On the part of the planner, by virtue of which qualities the best objectives
and the best course of action are selected by him. The more intelligent and experienced a
manager is the better would be the plans drafted by him.
6. Planning is all pervasive: As a function of management planning is done by all managers
from the highest to the lowest in the management hierarchy. It is not the exclusive
function only of the managers at the top, as a layman might think about it. It is however,
true that managers at the top do more significant planning and the problem faced by them
are rather complex.
7. Planning is both long range and Short range: Long range planning usually covers a period
ranging from 3 to 5 years while plans made for a period up to 1 year are regarded as
short-range plans. In fact, short range plans are a part of long range plans, and the two
sets of plans must be integrated perfectly to help realize the objectives of the over all
planning of the enterprise.
8. Planning is continuous: The planning process continues so long as an enterprise is in
existence. Throughout the organizational life, when some existing plans are realized,
certain new plans are made in further the objectives of the enterprise in the light of
changing internal and external environmental factors.
9. Planning is actionable: An ideal requirement of planning is that it must be actionable. A
A plan is not just a paper-plan which either is not capable of implementation or is never reasons
put into practice, for any reasons whatsoever.

Planning is flexible: By Flexibility of planning, we mean that a plan is capable of

modification, revision or adjustment in future, when some of those future environmental
factors change on which the plan is based.
11. Planning is an integrated system: Total planning of the enterprise must look like an
integrated system, i.e., various departmental plans, the plans of
superiors and
subordinates and the long-range and short-range plans all must be harmonized and fitted
into an integrated structure of planning.
12. Planning is efficient: A plan is efficient, if the benefits (monetary and non-monetary)
obtained from the implementation of the plan exceed the costs (Monetary and nonmonetary) associated with the making and the implementation of the plan