Planning is the primary function of management. Nothing can be performed without planning. Writing a book starts with planning. Planning refers to deciding in advance what will be done in near future. In the business world, the organization has to achieve the objectives and goals.
What is a Planning?
“The control of urban development by a local government authority, from which a license must be obtained to build a new property or change an existing one.”
Planning (also called forethought) is the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve the desired goal. It involves the creation and maintenance of a plan, such as psychological aspects that require conceptual skills. There are even a couple of tests to measure someone’s capability of planning well. As such, planning is a fundamental property of intelligent behavior.
In order to achieve these objectives and goals the organization plans:
- What is to be done?
- When is it to be done?
- How is it to be done?
- By whom it is to be done?
Planning is a constructive reviewing of future needs so that present actions can be adjusted in view of the established goal. It is a deliberate conscious research used to formulate the design and orderly sequence of actions through which it is expected to reach objectives. Planning should take place before doing; most individual or group efforts are made by determining before any operative action takes place: What shall be done, where, how and who shall do it.
Planning involves determining the objectives and goals that an organization aspires to achieve within a given time period, developing alternatives, and selecting the best course of action among the available alternatives to accomplish the set objectives. Thus planning is a forward-looking function which involves future forecasting. The future forecasting is done on the basis of past analysis related to present.
By anticipating the future destination of an organization, planning provides direction and guidelines to managers to perform different organizational activities. In the planning phase, managers determine in advance where to go, how to go, what is to be done and by whom it is to be done. In addition, they attempt to forecast the problems that may arise in the future and the ways to deal with them.
The planning function involves the following activities:
- Visualizing the future position of the organization.
- Determining objectives.
- Selecting the best future course of action.
- Formulating policies, programs, budgets, schedules.
- Establishing procedures, and standards of performance.
- Forecasting future problems, and developing means to cope up with them.
- Comparing the past activities of the organization with present activities.
An efﬁcient planning function helps the organization to achieve its organizational objectives effectively. Being a managerial function, planning should intend to create maximum utility out of minimum possible resources.
Example of the process: To give you an example, Production Planning and control function is very crucial function, which essentially consists of planning production in a manufacturing organization before actual production activities start and exercising control activities in order to ensure that planned production is realized in terms of quality, quantity, delivery schedule and cost of production. This function includes routing, estimating, loading and scheduling, dispatching, expediting, inspection, evaluating and cost control.
Note: After Planning, you need organization and also needed Entrepreneur for your company “Why Become an Entrepreneur?”, also, read What Is Entrepreneurship?. You will come to know the deﬁnitions of all the seven Processes of Scientiﬁc Management; Planning, Organizing, Stafﬁng, Directing, Coordinating, Motivating, Controlling.