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Planning (also called as forethought) is the

process of thinking about and organizing the
activities required to achieve a desired goal.
Planning is basic or primary function of
Planning is the process of setting goal and
selecting best course of action to reach the
Planning is deciding in advance, what to do,
who is to do, how to do, and when to do.
Planning may be a long term or short term.
Since plans are made to attain goals or
objectives, every plan and all its support should
contribute to the achievement of the
organization’s purpose and objectives.
An organized enterprise exists to
accomplish group objectives through willing
and purposeful co-operation.
That planning is the prime managerial function is proved
by the fact that all other functions such as organizing,
staffing, leading and controlling are designed to support the
accomplishment of the enterprise’s objectives.
Planning quite logically, therefore, comes first before
executing of all other managerial functions as it involves
establishing the objectives necessary for all group efforts.
Also, all the other managerial functions must be planned if
they are to be effective.
Likewise, planning and controlling are inextricably
bound up. Control without a plan is meaningless because the
plan provides the basis or standard of control.

Planning is a unique and universal function of all

managers. The character and scope of planning may
vary with each manager’s authority and with the nature
of the policies and plans outlined by superiors, but all
managers must have some function of planning.
Because of one’s authority or position in the
managerial hierarchy, one may do more or less planning,
but some kind or amount of planning a manager must
According to Weihrich and Koontz; “All managers,
from presidents to first-level supervisors – plan.”
Plans should not only be effective, but also efficient. The
effectiveness of a plan relates to the extent to which it
accomplishes the objectives.
The efficiency of the plan, however, means its
contribution to the purpose and objectives, offset by the
costs and other factors required to formulate and operate it.
Plans are efficient if they achieve their objective at a
reasonable cost when such a cost is the measure not only in
terms of time, money or production but also in terms of
satisfaction of the individual or group.
Both conceptual and practical reasons are put forward
in support of planning. Two conceptual reasons supporting
systematic planning by managers are limited resources and
an uncertain environment.
These plans are drawn at three major
hierarchical levels, namely, the institutional, the
managerial and the technical core. The plans for
these three levels are;
Strategic plan
Administrative or Intermediate plan
Operational plan
Plans can also be categorized according to
frequency or repetitiveness of use. They are broadly
classified as;
Standing plans are drawn to cover issues
that managers face repeatedly. Such a
standing plan may be called standard
operating procedure (SOP). Generally, five
types of standing plans are used;
Mission or purpose
Single-use plans are prepared for single or unique
situations or problems and are normally discarded or
replaced after one use. Generally, four types of single-use
plans are used. These are;
Objectives or Goals

Contingency plans are made to deal with

situations that might crop up if these
assumptions turn out to be wrong. Thus
contingency planning is the development of
alternative courses of action to be taken if
events disrupt a planned course of action.
Planning at this level should provide overall strategic
direction for an organization, sometimes referred to as the
“grand strategy.” This is a concise statement of the general
direction which senior leadership intends to undertake to
accomplish their stated mission or vision. Corporate level
strategy is usually decided by the CEO and the Board of
Directors although other senior leaders will often contribute to
the strategy formulation. Strategic options at the corporate
level will likely require a commitment of a significant portion of
the firm’s resources over an extended period, and the results will
have a significant impact on the future health of the
organization. Strategic planning at this level will usually include
a robust analysis and identification of several strategic options
based on the assumed future operating environment. In a multi-
business firm, careful consideration will be given to the overall
core competencies of the firm and where the boundaries lie
between corporate and business level responsibilities.
Each business within an organization will develop a strategy
to support the overall business within its specific industry. Business
level strategy is reflects the current position of the firm within its
industry, and identifies how the available resources can be
applied to improve the position of the firm in relation to its
competitors. There are a variety of ways that businesses will
compete, but more often than not it is based on the USP (unique
selling proposition) of the firm which distinguishes the company
and its products from other competitors. If there are no
differences between one firm’s products or services from other
competitors, then the product or service becomes a commodity.
Competition among firms that offer commodities is usually rooted
in price competition, and the low-cost providers usually take over.
On the other hand, businesses that distinguish themselves can
compete on their unique selling proposition. If they can
successfully demonstrate why they are different and how that
difference can provide a better level of service or quality product,
then the business can command a higher margin for the premium
service or product. This is the “value” added by the firm, and the
business strategy should focus on how the firm adds value.
Functional level describes support functions of a
business: Finance, Marketing, Manufacturing, and Human
Resources are a few examples of the functional level.
Strategies at this level should be defined to support the
overall business and corporate level strategies. If the
functional level leaders can describe their activities and
goals in relation to the business or corporate levels, then
everyone in the organization will be aligned and as such
contribute to the overall goals and objectives for the
organization. So for example, functional leaders for IT or HR
must ask if the strategies for their functions match and
support the overall strategic direction of the businesses they
support or of the overall firm itself.
• Decision-making is an integral part of modern
management. Essentially, Rational or sound decision
making is taken as primary function of management.
Every manager takes hundreds and hundreds of
decisions subconsciously or consciously making it as
the key component in the role of a manager.
• Decisions play important roles as they determine both
organizational and managerial activities. A decision
can be defined as a course of action purposely
chosen from a set of alternatives to achieve
organizational or managerial objectives or goals.
• Decision making process is continuous and
indispensable component of managing any
organization or business activities.
• Decisions are made to sustain the activities of all business
activities and organizational functioning.
• Decisions are made at every level of management to ensure
organizational or business goals are achieved. Further, the
decisions make up one of core functional values that every
organization adopts and implements to ensure optimum growth
and drivability in terms of services and or products offered.
• Decision making process is a consultative affair done by a
comity of professionals to drive better functioning of any o
• Decision making process can be regarded as check and
balance system that keeps the organization growing both in
vertical and linear directions.
• No decision comes as end in itself, since in may evolve new
problems to solve. When one problem is solved another arises
and so on, such that decision making process is a continuous
and dynamic.
In a management setting, decision cannot be taken
abruptly. It should follow the steps such as
Defining the problem
Gathering information and collecting data
Developing and weighing the options
Choosing best possible option
Plan and execute
Take follow up action

This is the case with every decision taken to solve

management and administrative problems in a business
In an organizational context, it is worthwhile to note that decision
making needs the right kind of information, the complete information
and the ability to synthesize and make sense of the information.
Decision making in an organizational context is that there must be
complete and accurate information made available to the decision
The overriding rule in decision making is that the decision maker ought
to have legitimacy and authority over the people who he or she is
deciding upon. In other words, decision makers succeed only when
their decisions are honored and followed by the people or groups that
the decision impacts. The reason for mentioning this towards the end is
that in many cases, the fragmented nature of the organizations with
different interests represented by factions often undermines the
decision making capabilities of the decision maker.