Plans can be classified in following categories: 1. Standing or Repeated Use Plans 2. Single-Use Plans 3. Enterprise Plans 4. Time Plans.
Type # 1. Standing or Repeated-Use Plans:
These plans are used again and again and repetitive in nature. These are formulated by managers at different levels meant for repeated use as and when the situation demands.
Such plans are:
These are the goals established to guide the efforts of the enterprise, its each department and each section. Every organisation is required to set its objectives in respect of market standing, innovation, physical and financial resources, productivity, performance, attitude and public relations etc. The objectives must be both for long term and short term. Objectives may be treated as goals or targets.
Policies are the statements that guide the decision maker. Policies are adopted by the management, and the employees are expected to follow them to attain the goals. Policies must be clear, definite, and reasonably stable. These provide guidelines for action and help the subordinate in their day-to-day working.
Procedures are more specific than a policy statement, as it enumerates the sequence of steps to be taken in order to achieve an objective. It ensures uniformity of action and decision-making as simple and easy.
A rule is definite and rigid and do not allow any deviation or discretion to subordinates. Generally breach of rules invites a penalty.
It is a special kind of plan, prepared to meet the challenges of the policies of the competitors. These are generally formulated by the top management.
Type # 2. Single-Use Plan:
Single-use plans are drafted to meet a particular situation.
These include the following:
A budget is an estimate of revenue and expenditure and as a plan it is a statement of expected results expressed in numerical terms. These are mostly prepared in terms of money units. Budget preparation is a part of planning, as it is a compilation of all relevant facts and figures like any plan. Budgets are also used as a tool for control. Budgets may be sales budget, materials budget, production budget, personnel budget and cash budget, etc.
A programme is a specific plan drawn for a specific purpose for which the programme was drawn; this programme is not likely to be used again in the same form.
Planning of a project is a single use plan. While planning a project, special task force and ad-hoc administrative set up is also envisaged for its implementation.
Type # 3. Enterprise Plans:
(a) Divisional Plans:
These are the plans for individual division in an enterprise.
(b) Functional Plans:
Separate plans are drawn for each of the functional departments. These should match with the organisation plan.
(c) Regional Plans:
These are the plans concerning the activities of each region or zone.
(d) Corporate Plans:
These are the plans prepared for the enterprise as a whole.
Type # 4. Time Plans:
(a) Short Range Plans:
Short range plans are generally for a period upto one year. In some cases planning for a week in advance is also sufficient. These plans must contribute towards long term plans. Being for a shorter period these are more realistic, as in this case it is easy to predict resource availability.
(b) Medium Range Plans:
Medium-range plans are generally for a period between 1 to 5 years.
(c) Long Range Plans:
Long-range plans generally extend for more than 5 years. In large organisations, because of the complexibility, long-range planning has acquired considerable significance. These plans are drawn considering the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats concerning the organisation.