What is Planning?

The most important function of management is termed as Planning which involves deciding in advance the blueprint of the future activities to be taken such as what one has to do, when and how he has to do.

It is a systematic process which is concerned with the achievement of the organizational goals which are pre-planned and decides the actions to be taken according to that only, which helps in goals achievement. It explains clearly and simply how the particular goals are to be achieved.

Planning simply helps us to determine in advance what should be done to achieve the targeted goals. It is simply a blueprint for the future course of action to be taken and involves: resource allocations, schedules, and actions necessary for attaining goals.

Planning is termed as a fundamental function of management because it helps in determining new opportunities, anticipate and avoid future problems, develop an effective course of action, comprehend the uncertainties & risk in various options and set standards.

Types of Planning in Management

Corporate Planning 

These types of plans are framed by the top management and include framing objectives, strategies, and policies for the management. It basically involves planning for the whole. These plans are served as the basis for the departmental and divisional planning. These plans are very broad and general in nature.

Departmental or Divisional Planning

Such plans include plans formulated for various departments or divisions of an enterprise. These include sales budget, production budget, finance budget. Each division formulates its overall plan by integrating all sectional plans relating to that division. Formulated at the middle level and approved by the top management.

Group or Sectional Planning

It refers to planning to specific groups or sections within a department or division. Prepared to implement the departmental or divisional plan. Advertising section may prepare a sectional plan to execute the sales plan of the company. Also known as Unit Planning and it is action oriented. Plans formulated mainly at the operating level of management but need to be approved by higher authorities.

Importance of Planning in Management

Initiates the Management Process

It is the one which serves as the basis for starting the management process. It is the primary function and serves as the basis for rest of the planning functions such as staffing, organizing, controlling and directing.

Concerned with Pre-decided Goals

As every planning process is concerned with listing the goals of the organization, deciding the steps to be taken to achieve those goals and performing them efficiently.

Unavoidable

It is the requirement of every management process. It plays an important role in the successful accomplishment of the goals of the manager. It is important and required at different areas of the organization although its scope and magnitude may be different for different levels.

Planning is an Ongoing Process

It is a continuous and ongoing process. As plans for made for a specified term like days, month and year. Once this period is expired new plans are formulated and this process is repeated again and again. That why it is termed as a continuous and ongoing process.

Concerned with Future

The overall planning process is concerned with the future. It involves checking the future conditions, predicting and analyzing them so the corporations can tackle future competition easily.

Planning is an Integrated Process

As plans are formulated at different levels that are at a lower level and higher level. Each plan at the lower level is served as the basis for higher levels plans. They are interlinked with each other. That’s why this process is termed as an integrated process.

Planning Involves Choice

This process involving choosing the best option among different alternatives available that is best suited for goals achievement. It involves rational thinking based on knowledge and intelligence and choosing the best option available.

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