Learn and Understand, Discussion in the Nature of Planning!
A plan is a predetermined course of action to achieve a specified goal. It is an intellectual process characterized by thinking before doing. It is an attempt on the part of the manager to anticipate the future in order to achieve better performance. Also learn, Planning is the primary function of management, now get Discussion of the main Nature of Planning!
First, Discussing Definitions of Planning: Different authors have given different definitions of planning from time to time.
The main definitions of planning are as follows:
- According to Alford and Beatt, “Planning is the thinking process, the organized foresight, the vision based on fact and experience that is required for intelligent action.”
- According to Theo Haimann, “Planning is deciding in advance what is to do. When a manager plans, he projects a course of action for further attempting to achieve a consistent co-ordinate structure of operations aimed at the desired results.
- According to Billy E. Goetz, “Planning is fundamentally choosing and a planning problem arises when an alternative course of action is discovered.”
- According to Koontz and O’ Donnell, “Planning is an intellectual process, conscious determination of course of action, the basing of the decision on purpose, facts and considered estimates.”
- According to Allen, “A plan is a trap laid to capture the future.”
The following are the essential characteristics of planning which describe the main nature of planning:
1. Planning is the primary function of management:
The functions of management are broadly classified as planning, organization, direction, and control. It is thus the first function of management at all levels. Since planning is involving in all managerial functions, it is rightly called as an essence of management.
2. Planning focuses on objectives:
Planning is a process to determine the objectives or goals of an enterprise. It lays down the means to achieve these objectives. The purpose of every plan is to contribute to the achievement of objectives of an enterprise.
3. Planning is a function of all managers:
Every manager must plan. A manager at a higher level has to devote more time to planning as compared to persons at the lower level. So the President or Managing director of a company devote more time to planning than the supervisor.
4. Planning as an intellectual process:
Planning is a mental work basically concerning with thinking before doing. It is an intellectual process and involves creative thinking and imagination. Wherever planning is done, all activities are orderly undertaken as per plans rather than on the basis of guesswork. Planning lays down a course of action to follow on the basis of facts and consider estimates, keeping in view the objectives, goals, and purpose of an enterprise.
5. Planning as a continuous process:
Planning is a continuous and permanent process and has no end. A manager makes new plans and also modifies the old plans in the light of information received from the persons who are concerning with the execution of plans. It is a never-ending process. Explain are What is the Importance of Planning in Management?
6. Planning is dynamic (flexible):
Planning is a dynamic function in the sense that the changes and modifications are continuously done in the planning course of action on account of changes in business environment.
As factors affecting the business are not within the control of management, necessary changes are made as and when they take place. If modifications cannot include in plans it is said to be bad planning.
7. Planning secures efficiency, economy, and accuracy:
A prerequisite planning is that it should lead to the attainment of objectives at the least cost. It should also help in the optimum utilization of available human and physical resources by securing efficiency, economy, and accuracy in the business enterprises. Planning is also economical because it brings down the cost to the minimum.
8. Planning involves forecasting:
Planning largely depends upon accurate business forecasting. The scientific techniques of forecasting help in projecting the present trends into future. "It is a kind of future picture wherein proximate events are out-line with some distinctness while remote events appear progressively less distinct".
A plan should formulate in the light of limiting factors which may be any one of five M’s viz., men, money, machines, materials, and management.
10. Planning is realistic:
A plan always outlines the results to attain and as such, it is realistic in nature. Also read, Definition, Importance, and Affected Factors of Manpower Planning!
Another, main Nature of Planning also helps fully!
Planning is an Intellectual Process!
Planning is an intellectual process of thinking in advance. It is a process of deciding the future on the series of events to follow. Planning is a process where a number of steps are to take to decide the future course of action. Managers or executives have to consider various courses of action, achieve the desired goals, go in details of the pros and cons of every course of action and then finally decide what course of action may suit them best.
Planning Contributes to the Objectives!
Planning contributes positively to attaining the objectives of the business enterprise. Since plans are there from the very first stage of operation, the management is able to handle every problem successfully. Plan try to set everything right. A purposeful, sound and effective planning process knows how and when to tackle a problem. This leads to success. Objectives thus are easily achieving. Don't forget to read, the Features, Nature, Characteristics of Planning!
Planning is a Primary Function of Management!
Planning precedes other functions in the management process. Certainly, the setting of goals to achieve and lines of action to follow precedes the organization, direction, supervision, and control. No doubt, planning precedes other functions of management. It is primary requisite before other managerial functions step in. But all functions are inter-connect. It is mixing in all managerial functions but there too it gets precedence. It thus gets primary everywhere.
A continuous Process!
Planning is a continuous process and a never ending activity of a manager in an enterprise based upon some assumptions which may or may not come true in the future. Therefore, the manager has to go on modifying revising and adjusting plans in the light of changing circumstances. According to George R. Terry, "Planning is a continuous process and there is no end to it. It involves the continuous collection, evaluation and selection of data, and scientific investigation and analysis of the possible alternative courses of action and the selection of the best alternative".
Planning Pervades Managerial Activities!
From primary of planning follows pervasiveness of planning. It is the function of every managerial personnel. The character, nature, and scope of planning may change from personnel to personnel but the planning as an action remains intact. According to Billy E. Goetz, "Plans cannot make an enterprise successful. The action is requiring, the enterprise must operate managerial planning seeks to achieve a consistent, coordinated structure of operations focus on desire trends. Without plans, action must become merely activity producing nothing but chaos".