Everything you need to know about the definitions of planning. Planning is the first primary function of management, followed by other functions.
Planning is the process of deciding the objectives to be achieved and selecting the ways and means of achieving the pre-decided objectives.
We can say that it is a process of decision-making regarding what to do, how to do, when to do and who is to do. Even it precedes all managerial functions, but it is closely related to controlling. Planning is required for all organizations and also for every level of organisation. Therefore, Planning is prerequisite of effective management.
“Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do it, where to do it and who is to do it.
Planning bridges the gap from where we want to go. It makes possible for things to occur while would not otherwise happen.” – Koontz and o’ Donnell.
Learn about the definitions of planning provided by eminent authors and management experts like Theo Haimann, Terry and Franklin, Henry Fayol, L.F. Urwick, Koontz and O’Donnell, Charles WL Hill Meshane, J.P. Barger, M.S. Hurley, Haynes and Massie, Peter F. Drucker, Hamilton Church, Alfred and Beatty, William H. Newman and Charles E. Summer Jr., Bill E. Goetz and Others.
Definitions of Planning in Management: Provided by Eminent Authors and Management Thinkers
Definitions of Planning – Provided By Theo Haimann, Terry and Franklin, Henry Fayol, L.F. Urwick, Koontz and O’Donnell and Charles WL Hill Meshane
Planning is a pre-decided course of action which will be taken in future. It deals with the determination of objectives to be achieved and the activities required achieving the objectives.
Planning is a mental exercise that requires Imagination, forecasting and sound decision making; it requires a lot of thinking before doing. Planning is looking forward, anticipating the future and deciding the appropriate course of action to be taken.
Some important definitions of planning are given as under:
“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, coordinated structure of operations aimed at the desired results.” – Theo Haimann.
“Planning is selecting information and making assumptions regarding the future to formulated activities necessary to achieve organizational objectives.” – Terry and Franklin.
“The plan of action is, at one and the same time the result envisaged, the line of action to be followed the stages to go through and the methods to use.” – Henri Fayol.
“Planning is fundamentally a mental predisposition to do things in an overly way, to think before and to act in the light of the fact rather than of guesses.” – L. F. Urwick.
“Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do it, where to do it and who is to do it. Planning bridges the gap from where we want to go. It makes possible for things to occur while would not otherwise happen.” – Koontz and o’ Donnell.
“Planning is a process whereby managers select goals choose actions to attain those goals, allocate responsibility for implementing actions to specific individuals or units, measure the success of actions by comparing actual results against the goals, and revised plans accordingly.” – Charles WL Hill Steven Meshane.
Definitions of Planning –According to Eminent Management Experts: Theo Haimann, J.P. Barger, Koontz and O’Donnel, M.S. Hurley, Haynes and Massie and a Few Others
Planning is the determination of a future course of action to achieve any desired result. It is the process of thinking before doing. It depicts a framework within which other management functions will operate. It is a continuous process that takes place at all levels of management. Today, planning is considered as a strategic area of management in the context of globalization of business operations. It is a process of identifying the strengths and weaknesses of an organization and correlating them with opportunities available in the business world.
For proper planning, the following points should be decided in advance:
i. What is to be done in future?
ii. How it is to be done;
iii. Where it is to be done;
iv. When it is to be done;
v. By whom it is to be done.
Planning is the first function of management. Planning performs the functions of decision-making and problem-solving. In other words, planning involves the selection of business objectives and deciding the future course of action for achieving organizational goals. Therefore, planning is a process of determining objectives, discovering alternative courses of action, and choosing suitable methods for achieving desired objectives. Planning provides a rational approach to managerial activities. It brings orderliness, efficiency, and stability in managerial actions and decisions.
Definitions of planning given by eminent management experts:
‘Planning is deciding in advance what is to be done.’ – [Theo Haimann]
‘Planning is an ability to visualize a future process and its results.’ – [J.P Barger]
‘Planning is an intellectual process of conscious determination of actions, decisions, and considered estimates.’- [Koontz and O’Donnel]
‘Planning is the selection of objectives, policies, procedures, and programmes from among alternatives.’ – [M.S. Hurley]
‘Planning is deciding the best alternative to perform different managerial operations for achieving predetermined goals.’ – [Henry Fayol]
‘Planning is an intellectual decision-making process in which creative thinking and imagination are essential.’ – [Haynes and Massie]
‘Planning is a continuous process of making present entrepreneurial decisions systematically.’ – [Peter F. Drucker]
‘Planning is, in essence, the exercise of foresight.’- [Hamilton Church]
Planning is essential in every walk of life. Effective planning facilitates early achievement of objectives. It is a process of coping with uncertainty by formulating a future course of action. It attempts to anticipate the future in order to achieve better performance. It discovers the best alternative out of many available alternatives. Growth and prosperity of an organization depends upon its successful planning. Planning helps the manager to shape the organization’s future. It brings rationality into the organization and ensures the most efficient use of scarce resources.
Definitions of Planning – Provided By Different Authors
Planning is deciding in advance what to do and how to do. It is the primary function of management.
1. Setting objectives
2. Formulating an idea of how to work to achieve predetermined objectives
3. Bridging the gap between where we are and where we want to go
4. Evaluating alternative courses of action to select the most suitable one
5. Providing a rational approach to achieve predetermined objectives.
Therefore, Planning can be defined as a function of management which involves-setting objectives for a given time period, formulating various courses of action to achieve them, and then selecting the best possible alternative among the various courses of action available with an aim to achieve the set objectives most effectively and efficiently.
Definitions of Planning by Different Authors:
“Planning is the thinking process, the organised foresight, the vision based on facts and experience that is required for intelligent action.” – Alfred and Beatty
“Planning is chalking out plan of action, i.e., the result envisaged in the line of action to be followed, the stages to go through and the methods to use.” – Fayol
“Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do and who is to, do it. Planning bridges the gap from where we are to where we want to go. It makes it possible for things to occur, which would not otherwise happen.” – Koontz and Odennell
Definitions of Planning – With Meaning and Concept
Planning is a prerequisite of every management function, whether it is organising, staffing, directing or controlling. All these functions have to be preceded by a system of efficient planning otherwise the persons concerned with executing them will find it difficult to perform them systematically and efficiently, Planning enable to provide for the uncertain future. Planning is the most basic rock bottom function of management.
While performing the organisation function, the top management has to evolve the concept of proper flow of authority, responsibility among the superiors and the subordinates and also the extent of delegation of authority. Under staffing, the top management has to determine policies and programmes in respect of recruitment, selection, placement, training etc. The direction function can be performed efficiently, if the systems of communication and motivation are planned properly.
The performance of the control function is largely dependent upon the effectiveness of planning. The designing of control system starts with the formation of various plans.
Planning involves anticipation of future course of events and deciding the best course of action. It is basically a process of thinking before doing. To plan is to produce a scheme for future action, to bring about specified results, at specified cost and in a specified period. It is a deliberate attempt to influence, exploit, bring about and control the nature, direction, extent, speed and effects of change. It may even attempt deliberately to create change.
But, while incorporating changes, it should always be remembered that change (like decision) in any one sector may in the same way affect other sector. Broadly speaking, planning is a major cluster of activities in the management process and consists of formulating the objectives and the actions to be taken to achieve them. It is a process concerned with what has to be done and how it is to be done. Its focus is on laying down the ends and means.
Thus, there are two essential aspects of planning. Merely, selecting goals and targets to reach, is not planning. That is only one phase of his process. Other necessary phase involves selecting or designing appropriate techniques and procedures that will be instrumental in arriving at the goals. One without the other does not provide a plan.
Meaning and Concept of Planning:
Planning concentrates on setting and achieving objectives of an organisation. Planning is the first Management function to be performed in the process of management. It governs survival, growth and prosperity of any organisation in competitive and ever-changing environment. The planning function is performed by mangers at every levels of Management. It is necessary for discharging all other management functions.
Planning is a primary function of Management. It decides in advance, what to do, how to do it, when to do it and who is to do it. Planning bridges the gap between ‘where we are’ and ‘where we want to be.’ Planning is an intellectually demanding process. It requires the conscious determination of course of action and founding of decisions on purpose, knowledge and considered estimates. Planning is the determination of courses of actions to achieve the desired results.
It involves anticipation of future course of events and choosing the best course of action. Thus, it is a process of thinking before doing. We can say that planning is a systematic attempt to decide a particular course of action for the future. It leads to determination of objectives of the group activity and the steps necessary to achieve them.
In a way planning seeks to answer to the following questions:
What should be done?
Why is action necessary?
Where shall it he done?
Who will do it?
How will it be done?
What physical resources will he required?
Planning is deliberate and conscious research used to formulate the design and orderly sequence of actions through which it is expected to help to reaching its objectives. Planning chalks out a course of action for the enterprise to follow. Planning is a major cluster of activities in the managing process and consists of formulating the objectives and the actions to be taken to achieve them.
In other words, it can be said, Planning is an analytical thought process which covers:
i. Assessment of future,
ii. Determination of objectives and goals in the light of the future,
iii. Development of alternative courses of actions to achieve such objectives, and
iv. Selection of the best course of action and its alternatives
Planning in business is an ongoing process because changes in business environment are continuous. A business enterprise is not living in a vacuum. It is an open, adaptive social sub system living in a dynamic world, always trying to adapt itself to the ever changing conditions of demand, supply, prices, competition, technology, government policies etc. A plan is based on reliable information and not on emotions and feelings. It reflects vision, foresight and wisdom. It is a blueprint of action.
Planning is defined by different authorities as follows:
“Planning is the selecting and relating of facts and the making and using of assumptions regarding the future in the visualization and formulation of proposed activities believed necessary to achieve desired results.” – George Terry
“The process of planning covers a wide range of activities, all the way from initially sensing that something needs doing to firmly deciding who does, what, when. It is more than logic or imagination or judgment. It is a combination of all those that culminate in a decision- a decision about what should be done. The decision phase of planning is so important that we shall use the expression decision making as a synonym of planning.” – William H. Newman and Charles E. Summer Jr.
“The planning function determines organisational objectives and the policies, programmes, schedules, procedures and methods for achieving them. Planning is essentially decision making since it involves choosing among alternatives and it also encompasses innovation. That planning is the process of making decision on any phase of organised activity.” – Richard N. farmer and Barry M. Richman
Planning is fundamentally choosing and that, “a planning problem arises only when an alternative course of action is discovered.” – Bill E. Goetz
The selecting from among alternatives for future course of action for the enterprise as a whole and each department within it. – Knnontz and O’Donnell
However, they immediately indicate that planning is more than mere decision making, Planning does involve decision making and is intimately connected. Final selection from alternatives or decision making is merely a part of planning which depends on the existence of alternatives.
To conclude, planning is thus the first step in the management process concerned with the establishment of objectives and goals to be attained in the future in the light of an analysis of present limitations for attaining such goals with a view to their removal or deduction, anticipation of the future environmental factors and their impact and designing the course of action and programmes for attaining such preselected goals. It involves both thought and communication.
In fact Harwick and Landuyt described planning as “gan mesmanship” or the employment of a strategy in the pursuit of goals. They thus place special emphasis or imaginative thought, creativity and innovation.
Thus, planning involves thinking and analysis of information, arriving at certain assumptions in connection with what is likely to happen in the future and then formulating the activities required to achieve desired results or goals or objectives. The planner must be able to look into the future and conceptualize the proposed pattern of activities. Planning concerns the future. As Terry indicates, “Today’s, efforts are tomorrows work that the manager thought about yesterday”.
Planning thus deals with the proposed actions. Great emphasis is placed on planning by the modern managements which strive for their organisation’s survival, growth, prosperity and healthy mode of operations. A Manager desires to provide stability to his efforts by considering many complicated future variables, since the future involves change and uncertainty. Moreover, planning is necessary to achieve results through the efforts of others.
Hence, a manager must plan the efforts required to achieve the desired results. The main principle of planning is that adequate planning or mental exercise must take place before doing the physical efforts to accomplish a goal most effectively. Planning exists in all enterprises irrespective of their size. It is done consciously in some and unconsciously in others.
Since planning is a continuous and never ending activity, most managers re-examine plans regularly with a view to modify or adjust them promptly in the light of the new situations or conditions. Managerial planning draws up a blue print of activities to be undertaken. It is consciously choosing out of several given alternative of the objectives to be achieved, policies to be followed, rules and methods to be adopted, and ascertaining in advance the programmes, procedures and budgets so that they may serve as a guide to the action yet to be undertaken.
According to Alford and Booty? “Planning is the thinking process, the organised foresight, the vision based on facts and experience that is required for intelligent action.” Millet observes, planning is the process of determining the objectives of administrative effort and of devising the means calculated to achieve them. Planning is essentially an intellectual process of careful thinking and analysis of facts, considering estimates of past events and future trends.
It requires a difficult mental exercise, a keen foresight, analytical mind and broad based knowledge of facts. In planning, the manager must be able to manipulate abstract ideas and anticipate the impact of any possible outcomes which might affect the enterprise. Planning is pervasive. It is not an exclusive responsibility of the top management but is performed by each manager at every level in an enterprise.
Although the nature and scope of planning will vary with a manager’s authority, it is virtually impossible to circumscribe his area of choice, that he has no discretion in any of his actions. In fact, unless a manager has some function of planning, how so ever limited, it is doubtful that he is truly a Manager. In practice, the strategic and important planning’s are performed by managers enjoying wider authority and the lower level managers formulate their own plans within the framework of objectives set by the Management.
Business planning should be a way or mode of life essential to maintain the health of an enterprise. It demands a firm determination and conviction to plan constantly and systematically and business planning must be an integral part of the Management.
Definitions of Planning
Planning is the most basic of all management functions. Every manager plans no matter at what level he operates. It is through planning that he decides to do what to do when to do, how to do and who will do a particular task. It thus provides direction to the enterprise. In the absence of a plan, an enterprise would be like a ship without a rudder.
A planning attempt comprises of two factors- (a) improvement of the organisation within the boundaries that are laid down, and (b) questioning, evaluation and restructuring of boundaries themselves. In fact, testing and correcting the boundaries is a vital part of business planning.
Planning is not an activity; it is a process which involves selection from among many alternatives. It thus presupposes the existence of one or more alternative courses of action.
The concept of achieving desired results through planned action has developed to a sophisticated level, where it is no longer sufficient to manage through ‘ad hoc’ decisions if the greatest sufficient possible level of efficiency in the use of resources is to be achieved.
Planning must now be viewed as a series of logical interrelated procedures which can be evolved, taught, expanded and overlapped for a variety of different management purposes. The planning procedures which should be applied depending upon the management purposes which are chosen as those governing the achievement of a derived result.
Thus planning may be described as a continuous and deliberate attempt to set the goals of the enterprise.
Definition of Planning Function:
Planning is the process of determining the objectives of the administrative effort and of devising means calculated to achieve them. In other words, planning is the preparation for action. It is an endeavour to apply foresight to human activity, and is based on knowledge and research.
Richard T. Cass aptly puts it thus- “A plan is a statement by a person what he intends to do a certain thing by a certain means. Planning is the process by which he develops that statement”. Yet, James L. Pierce, a management expert and Vice-president of A.B. Dick and Company, looks at planning in another way.
To him, planning “refers to the construction of an operating programme, comprehensive enough to cover all phases of operations and detailed enough that specific attention may be given to its fulfilment in controllable segments”.
According to Alford and Beatty, “Planning is the thinking process, the organised foresight, the vision based on fact and experience that is required for intelligent action”.
Planning is therefore a feature of scientific management in operation. Planning is not, however, confined to industrial activity. This type of intellectual process is not associated with scientific management, or even with management as a whole. Thus, the prudent person plans his own financial affairs and provides for contingencies by pursuing a policy of thrift.
Thus planning is deciding what one will do about probabilities. It is the determination of a course of action to achieve a desired result. Thus a plan is ‘a projected course of action’.
According to Fayol, “The plan of action is, at one and the same time, the result envisaged, the line of action to be followed, the stages to go through, and methods to use. It is a kind of future picture, wherein proximate events are outlined with some distinctness, whilst remote events appear progressively less distinct.”
Planning includes forecasting, formulation or objectives, policies, programmes, schedules, procedures and budgets.
1. Policy, for which the plans must prescribe the detailed application. As policy is intended to ensure unity of action, so the plans defining the implementation of policy must pursue the same objective. When master plans are broken down into details so that the work of everyone concerned is governed by the separate parts of one over-riding theme, unity of action will result.
2. The efforts of all will be harmonised by working to plans having a common origin, the purpose of the coordination of strength, will be achieved. Individuals working separately find it difficult to attain what can be accomplished when their efforts are harmonised with others because only by following a determined plan are all imbued with a communal approach.
This is true of resources other than human one. Waste is avoided when plans have been correctly drawn up. The best utilisation of all resources will follow the coordination of effort.
3. Planning lies in the focusing of the efforts of everyone whose planned work is being directed. This again is in line with the policies basic to the plan. The attention of all will be directed to every aspect of their own work that is important to the overall objective. This avoids hesitation and prevarication because the efforts of all will be focused upon activities undertaken in the common interest.
According to Abraham Lincoln, “If we could first know where we are and from wither we are tending we could better judge what to do and how to do it”. This quotation will help us in understanding the work technique in planning.
The conclusion of the Second World War and the consequent enlargement of the buyers’ market put the business enterprises on a new footing, whereby scientific planning acquired new dimensions. During the past three decades, planning has become an area of incisive study.
The increased importance of business planning is the direct result of the dynamic environment in which an enterprise operates. The need for planning is accentuated because of the various changes at the micro-level which affect the growth and survival of the organisation.
Modern enterprises have just recognised the unlimited benefits of a wisely-constructed plan. One may, however, raise questions like what is the need for planning when in spite of careful planning, the enterprise suddenly encounters some unforeseeable disaster such as labour unrest or a drastic cut in it is less turnover.
These are few of the many instances when wisely-constructed a well-conceived plans of the enterprise are completely upset and when executive decisions are made daily to tide over the crisis. Such queries have been raised often in business circles. The hackneyed analogy of the captain charting his ship’s course is not really necessary to explain a simple idea.
It is, however, important to indicate that even when an enterprise is facing a crisis, the need for sound business planning cannot be underestimated. In fact, the situation is analogous to that of an aeroplane flying in a stormy weather. The pilot cannot dispense with the navigational instruments.
He recognises this and reconciles himself to the fact that, for the time being, they are less effective and re-establishes his course as quickly as possible. The same is the case with a business situation. A sudden crisis never lessens its importance. In fact, a well-established plan helps in appraising the effect of the crisis and in finding the means to meet it.
Definitions of Planning – According to Killen, Koontz, O’Donnell and Weihrich
Planning is the most basic of all management functions since it involves deciding of future course of action. The other functions of management, viz., organising, staffing, directing and control, must reflect proper planning. A manager organises, directs and controls to ensure the accomplishment of predetermined goals according to plans.
Thus, planning logically precedes the execution of all other managerial functions. Although all the functions intermesh in practice, planning is unique in the sense that it establishes the objectives for the group effort and lays down steps to accomplish them before the manager proceeds to perform other functions.
According to Killen, “Planning is the process of deciding in advance what is to be done, who is to do it, how it is to be done and when it is to be done”. It is the determination of a course of action to achieve the desired results. It bridges the gap from ‘where we are’ to ‘where we want to go’. It makes it possible for things to occur which would not otherwise happen.
Planning is a mental process requiring the use of intellectual faculties, imagination, foresight and sound judgement. In the words of Koontz, O’Donnell and Weihrich, “Planning is an intellectually demanding process; it requires the conscious determination of courses of action and the basing of decisions on purpose, knowledge and considered estimates.”
Planning involves anticipation of future course of events and deciding the best course of action. It is basically a process of thinking before doing is a deliberate and conscious research used to formulate the design and orderly sequence of actions through which it is expected to reach the objectives. Thus, we can say that planning is a systematic attempt to decide a particular course of action for the future. It leads to determination of objectives of the group activity and the steps necessary to achieve them.
Definitions of Planning – With a Careful Analysis of the Definitions
Regardless of the size of the business or non-business unit, planning emerges as a critical management activity. Modern managers are facing the challenge of designing a sound action plan for their organisations to achieve their organisational goals. Planning gives a scientific direction to managers as to where the firm has to move to attain its objectives.
A good organisational plan minimizes risk, reduces uncertainties surrounding business conditions and it classifies the consequences of related action. Planning increases the degree of success and establishes coordinated effort in the organisation. It makes the managers future-oriented and their decisions coordinated. Good planning make the organisations reach their objectives.
Planning is a particular type of decision-making that addresses the specific future that managers desire for their organisations. It is the process of fixing goals of the business and finding the ways to attain these goals. Plan will help the managers to organise people and resources effectively. Plans develop confidence in managers.
Planning is the first managerial function to be performed in the process of management. It is concerned with deciding in advance what is to be done, when, where, how and by whom it is to be done. Thus, it is a predetermined course of action to achieve a specified aim or goal.
The definitions of planning given by the different writers are listed here.
In the words of Alfred and Batty, “Planning is a thinking process, the organised foresight, the vision based on facts and experience that is required for intelligent action.”
According to Koontz and O’Donnell, “Planning is essentially decision-making since it involves choosing from among alternatives.” According to George Terry, “Planning is the selecting and relating of facts and making and using of assumptions regarding the future in the visualisation and formulation of proposed activities believed necessary to achieve the desired results.”
A careful analysis of the above definitions of planning reveals that:
i. Planning is concerned with future and its essence is looking ahead;
ii. It involves thinking and analysis of information;
iii. It involves a predetermined course of action;
iv. It is concerned with the establishment of objectives to be attained in the future;
v. It is fundamentally a problem of choosing after a careful study of alternative courses;
vi. It involves decision-making;
vii. Its objectives is to achieve better results;
viii. It is a continuous and integrated process.
In every human activity, there is an element of planning. For instance, we find that the head of the family plans his expenditure, the housewife plans her daily chores, the teacher plans his teaching work, the student plans his studies and the farmer plans his agricultural activities.
In the business field, the need for planning is all the more because of various factors such as fluctuations in demand, growing competition, introduction of new products, scarcity of resources, changing technology, change in prices, government policy, etc. Organisational activity without a plan is likely to be ineffective and will drift without achieving success. Hence, planning is a must for business organisations.
Definitions of Planning
A plan is a scheme which specifies the future resources and actions that an organisation needs in order to achieve its goals in an efficient and orderly way. It involves anticipating future requirements and challenges. It also involves sequencing future resources and actions to minimise the delay and waste which could arise if events were allowed to take their natural pace and chronological order.
For example, a student might be set an assignment to produce a report within a week on, say, the impact of computers on marketing. A student who dislikes planning might immediately start work by borrowing a library book on computers and then spend the next two days extracting relevant information. The student may then attempt to borrow a book on marketing only to find that it is on loan and the recall will take two days.
After the book becomes available, it takes a day to extract and integrate the relevant information and to word process the assignment. Unfortunately, on the evening before the deadline it is discovered that the printer has run out of ink and paper. By the time ink and paper have been obtained the deadline has passed. By contrast, another student carefully notes the future deadline, anticipates the need for both books and orders them from the library simultaneously.
At the same time this student checks the supplies of ink and paper and tops up her stocks in advance. Consequently this student does not waste three days’ waiting time. The assignment is submitted on the fourth day and the remainder of the week is spent on leisure activities. This example illustrates the essential features of planning.
(a) A goal – the desired future states an organisation intends to achieve
(b) An analysis of resources and stages
(c) An arrangement of stages to minimise unproductive time and waste
A number of other concepts are related to plans and planning:
i. Policies – guidelines for decisions and actions. For example, a policy of equal opportunities which will guide the way employees make decisions about selecting, training and remunerating employees. Policies usually require people to interpret what to do in a specific situation.
ii. Procedures – step-by-step sequences of events needed to achieve short-term goals or specific circumstances. Often these are called SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). Procedures usually involve a sequence of three or more actions.
iii. Rules – specific courses of action which must be followed. They involve little or no interpretation and frequently entail a single action. An example of a rule is, “all accidents must be reported to the Safety Officer”.
Definitions of Planning – With Meaning and Importance of Planning
William h. Newman on Charles E. Summer, Jr say that; the process of planning covers a wide range of activities all the way from initially sensing that something needs doing to firmly deciding who does, what and when – which shows that this is the process of decision making as a decision about what should be done? Decision phases of planning so important that we shall use the expression that decision-making is synonym of planning.
Richard N. Farmer and Barry M. Richman are of the opinion that- “the planning function determines organizational objectives and policies, programs, schedules, procedures and methods for achieving them.” Planning is essentially a decision-making since, it involves choosing among alternatives and it also includes innovation.
Billy E. Goetz says that Planning is fundamentally a process of choosing and that, “a planning problem arises only when an alternative courses of action is discovered”.
Koontz and O’Donnell describe planning as “the selection from among alternatives for future course of action for the enterprise as a whole and each department within it.” They also say that planning is mere decision-making. Planning does involve decision-making and being so intimately connected, decision-making has been treated under planning.
George Terry defines planning as “Planning is the selection and relating of facts and the making and using of assumptions regarding the future in the visualization and formulation of proposed activities believed necessary to achieve desired results.”
All the above clearly indicates planning involves selecting an optimal alternative among the available alternatives in the interest of the organization and this is done by the management (by a manager). It is clear that decision-making is one act of planning for decide what is to be done, when is to be done, by whom is to be done and how is to be done.
Planning is the first step in management process concerned with the establishment of objectives and goals to be achieved in the future in the light of an analysis of present limitations for attaining such goals with a view to avoid or reduction, anticipation of future environmental factors and their impact and designing the courses of action and programs for achieving the determined goals. In general, planning deals with proposed course of actions.
In today’s competitive environment and frequent changes in the industrial and business environment (both internal and external) a great emphasis is placed on planning by managements striving for survival, growth and healthy mode of operation. A manager desires to provide stability to his efforts by considering many complicated future variables, since the future involves change and uncertainty. Moreover the manager has to achieve the organizational goals through the efforts of manpower under him. Hence, a manager’s duty, as for planning is concerned to work in an uncertain future and viscous present.
Definitions of Planning
Planning is the process of deciding in advance what is to be done, who is to do it, how it is to be done and when it is to be done. It is the process of determining a course of action, so as to achieve the desired results. It helps to bridge the gap from where we are, to where we want to go.
It makes it possible for things to occur which would not otherwise happen. Planning is a higher order mental process requiring the use of intellectual faculties, imagination, foresight and sound judgement.
According to Koontz, O’Donnell and Weihrich, “Planning is an intellectually demanding process; it requires the conscious determination of courses of action and the basing of decisions on purpose, knowledge and considered estimates.”
Planning is a process, which involves anticipation of future course of events and deciding the best course of action. It is a process of thinking before doing. To plan is to produce a scheme for future action; to bring about specified results, at specified cost, in a specified period of time. It is deliberate attempt to influence, exploit, bring about, and controls the nature, direction, extent, speed and effects of change. It may even attempt deliberately to create change, remembering always that change (like decision) in any one sector will in the same way affect other sectors.
Planning is a deliberate and conscious effort done to formulate the design and orderly sequence actions through which it is expected to reach the objectives. Planning is a systematic attempt to decide a particular course of action for the future; it leads to determination of objectives of the group activity and the steps necessary to achieve them.
Thus, it can be said that planning is the selecting and relating of facts and the making and using of assumptions regarding the future in the visualization and formulation of proposed activities believed necessary to achieve desired results.
Planning is thus deciding in advance the future state of business of an enterprise, and the means of attaining it.
Its elements are:
1. What will be done – What are the objectives of business in the short and in the long run?
2. What resources will be required – This involves estimation of the available and potential resources, estimation of resources required for the achievement of objectives, and filling the gap between the two, if any.
3. How it will be done – This involves two things – (i) determination of tasks, activities, projects, programmes, etc., required for the attainment of objectives, and (ii) formulation of strategies, policies, procedures, methods, standard and budgets for the above purpose.
4. Who will do it – It involves assignment of responsibilities to various managers relating to contributions they are expected to make for the attainment of enterprise objectives. This is preceded by the breaking down of the total enterprise objectives into segmental objectives, resulting into divisional, departmental, sectional and individual objectives.
5. When it will be done – It involves determination of the timing and sequence, if any, for the performance of various activities and execution of various projects and their parts.
Definitions of Planning – With the Key Elements of Planning
Planning involves selection of missions and objectives and the actions to attain them; it requires thinking, that is, selection from various alternative future courses of action. Plan, thus, provides a rational approach to achieve predetermined objectives. “Planning involves the determination of future course of action, that is why an action, what is to be done, how to be done, and when to be done. All these factors constitute the planning function. Planning bridges the gap from where we are and where we want to go.”
It makes it possible for things to occur that would not otherwise happen. Planning is an intellectually demanding process; it requires that we consciously determine courses of action and base our decisions or purpose, knowledge and considered estimates.
According to Koontz and O’Donnell, “Planning is an intellectually demanding process; it requires the conscious determination of courses of action and the basing of decisions or purpose, knowledge and considered estimates.”
Joseph Massie defined, “Planning is a process by which a manager looks to the future and discovers alternative courses of action open to him.” Massie clearly outlined that planning is a forecasting activity.
According to Allen, “Planning is a trap to capture the future.” It means planning decides/takes decision about every activity in the organization. “Planning is anticipating”, says Hamilton Church. At last we can say that planning is a systematic attempt to decide a particular course of action for the future.
George R. Terry concluded that, “Planning is the selecting and relating of facts and the making and using of assumptions regarding the future in the visualizing and formulation of proposed activities believed necessary to achieve desired results”.
On the basis of these definitions, the key elements of planning are:
(i) Process of forecasting,
(ii) Logical thinking involves decision-making,
(iii) Identifying strengths and weaknesses,
(iv) Evaluation of past and assessing the present,
(v) A sense of futurity,
(vi) Process of determination of objectives, and
(vii) Laying down pattern for the achievement of organizational objectives.
Planning may also be defined as a process of identifying strengths and weaknesses of an organization and matching them with the environmental threats and opportunities by developing a suitable course of action. An exercise of this nature is also a type of planning.
So, we can say that planning is a trap laid to capture the future only by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of an organization and then the decision would have been made after matching them with the threats and opportunities. At last, planning provides spectrums of rays on various activities of the organization.