What is a Planning? Meaning and Definition!

“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 the intelligent behavior.

Planning means looking ahead and chalking out future courses of action to following. It is a preparatory step. It is a systematic activity which determines when, how and who is going to perform a specific job. Planning is a detailed programme regarding future courses of action.

It is rightly said, “Well the plan is half done”. Therefore planning takes into consideration available & prospective human and physical resources of the organization so as to get effective co-ordination, contribution & perfect adjustment. It is the basic management function which includes the formulation of one or more detailed plans to achieve an optimum balance of needs or demands with the available resources.

Definition of Planning

According to Urwick, “Planning is a mental predisposition to do things in an orderly way, to think before acting and to act in the light of facts rather than guesses”. Planning is deciding best alternative among others to perform different managerial functions in order to achieve predetermined goals.

According to Koontz & O’Donell, “Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do and who is to do it. Planning bridges the gap between where we are to, where we want to go. It makes possible things to occur which would not otherwise occur”.

Processes of Scientific Management Planning: Planning is the primary function of management. Nothing can be performed without planning. Writing a book starts with a plan. The plan refers to deciding in advance what will do in near future. In the business world, the organization has to achieve the objectives and goals.

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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?

The plan 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. This plan 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, 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 do. 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 plan function helps the organization to achieve its organizational objectives effectively. Being a managerial function, the plan should intend to create maximum utility out of minimum possible resources. Do you know about, Processes of Scientific Management?

Example of the process: To give you an example, Production Plan 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 plan 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 Plan, 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. What is the Concept of Career-Planning?

What is a Planning - ilearnlot


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