Planning – Meaning, Nature & Characteristics

 

Meaning

It is the basic function of management. It deals with chalking out a future course of action & deciding in advance the most appropriate course of actions for achievement of pre-determined goals. According to KOONTZ, “Planning is deciding in advance – what to do, when to do & how to do. It bridges the gap from where we are & where we want to be”.

A plan is a future course of actions. It is an exercise in problem solving & decision making. Planning is determination of courses of action to achieve desired goals. Thus, planning is a systematic thinking about ways & means for accomplishment of pre-determined goals. Planning is necessary to ensure proper utilization of human & non-human resources. It is all pervasive, it is an intellectual activity and it also helps in avoiding confusion, uncertainties, risks, wastages etc.

Definition

SIMPLEST DIFINATION OF PLANNING:

  • Planning is decision making in advance.
  • Choosing the alternatives and making the decision is called planning.

 

According to Louis A Allen – “Management planning involves the development of forecasts, objectives, policies, programmes, procedures, schedules and budgets”.

According to Theo Haimann - “Planning is deciding in advance what is to be done. When a manager plans, he projects a course of action, for the future, attempting to achieve a consistent, co-ordinated structure of operations aimed at the desired results”.

 According to Koontz O’Donnell – “Planning is an intellectual process, the conscious determination of courses of action, the basing of decisions on purpose, acts and considered estimates”.

 

Nature


PLANNING IS THE PRE-SELECTION:

Planning is the pre-selection of objectives and outlines the action before starting any business.

Planning is selection of mission, objectives and true strategies, polices programs and procedure to achieve them.

According to Koontz and O’Donnell, the four basic principles to be dealt with in understanding the nature of planning are:

Primacy of Planning: This deals with the importance of planning for its central role in linking all the other managerial functions.

Pervasiveness (to persuade planning) of Planning: This brings out the ideas that planning is a function and responsibility of every manager, supervisor, and foreman in an organization.

Contribution to Objectives: Plans are means to achieve some ends and without planning, we can not achieve goals and objectives of an organization.

Efficiency of Planning: Least costly and more beneficial.

 

Characteristics

 

  1. Planning is goal-oriented.
    1. Planning is made to achieve desired objective of business.
    2. The goals established should general acceptance otherwise individual efforts & energies will go misguided and misdirected.
    3. Planning identifies the action that would lead to desired goals quickly & economically.
    4. It provides sense of direction to various activities. E.g. Maruti Udhyog is trying to capture once again Indian Car Market by launching diesel models.

 

  1. Planning is looking ahead.
    1. Planning is done for future.
    2. It requires peeping in future, analyzing it and predicting it.
    3. Thus planning is based on forecasting.
    4. A plan is a synthesis of forecast.

It is a mental predisposition for things to happen in future.

  1. Planning is an intellectual process.
    1. Planning is a mental exercise involving creative thinking, sound judgement and imagination.
    2. It is not a mere guesswork but a rotational thinking.
    3. A manager can prepare sound plans only if he has sound judgement, foresight and imagination.
    4. Planning is always based on goals, facts and considered estimates.

 

  1. Planning involves choice & decision making.
    1. Planning essentially involves choice among various alternatives.
    2. Therefore, if there is only one possible course of action, there is no need planning because there is no choice.
    3. Thus, decision making is an integral part of planning.
    4. A manager is surrounded by no. of alternatives. He has to pick the best depending upon requirements & resources of the enterprises.

 

  1. Planning is the primary function of management / Primacy of Planning.
    1. Planning lays foundation for other functions of management.
    2. It serves as a guide for organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.
    3. All the functions of management are performed within the framework of plans laid out.
    4. Therefore planning is the basic or fundamental function of management.

 

  1. Planning is a Continuous Process.
    1. Planning is a never ending function due to the dynamic business environment.
    2. Plans are also prepared for specific period f time and at the end of that period, plans are subjected to revaluation and review in the light of new requirements and changing conditions.
    3. Planning never comes into end till the enterprise exists issues, problems may keep cropping up and they have to be tackled by planning effectively.

 

  1. Planning is all Pervasive.
    1. It is required at all levels of management and in all departments of enterprise.
    2. Of course, the scope of planning may differ from one level to another.
    3. The top level may be more concerned about planning the organization as a whole whereas the middle level may be more specific in departmental plans and the lower level plans implementation of the same.

 

  1. Planning is designed for efficiency.
    1. Planning leads to accomplishment of objectives at the minimum possible cost.
    2. It avoids wastage of resources and ensures adequate and optimum utilization of resources.
    3. A plan is worthless or useless if it does not value the cost incurred on it.
    4. Therefore planning must lead to saving of time, effort and money.
    5. Planning leads to proper utilization of men, money, materials, methods and machines.

 

  1. Planning is Flexible.
    1. Planning is done for the future.
    2. Since future is unpredictable, planning must provide enough room to cope with the changes in customer’s demand, competition, govt. policies etc.
    3. Under changed circumstances, the original plan of action must be revised and updated to made it more practical.

 

 

 

Reference

http://tpcbbapm.blogspot.in/2012/08/definition-nature-of-planning.html

http://management4best.blogspot.in/2010/01/nature-of-planning.html

http://wps.pearsoned.co.uk/ema_uk_he_slack_opsman_4/17/4472/1144974.cw/index.html

http://www.publishyourarticles.net/knowledge-hub/business-studies/planning.html

http://www.scribd.com/doc/25420973/Nature-of-Planning

http://youcanwin.hubpages.com/hub/Nature-and-Characteristics-of-Planning

http://www.atlanticfinancial.com/dictionary/simple-plan.htm

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/planning.html

http://www.investorwords.com/3710/planning.html

http://managementstudyguide.com/planning_characteristics.htm

http://www.bms.co.in/nature-and-characteristics-of-planning/

http://managementinnovations.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/planning-characteristics/

 

 

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