Planning “Involves selecting missions and objectives and deciding on the action to achieve them; it requires decision-making, that is, choosing course of action from among alternatives.”
Planning is the most basic of all managerial functions, and it is about deciding in advance ‘what is to be done, by whom, how, when and where’
Nature & Characteristics of Planning:
Focus on objectives
It is an intellectual process
Planning is a selective process: Planning involves selection of the best plan after making a careful analysis of various alternative courses of action. It concerned with the decision-making relating to-a) what is to be done? (b) How it is to be done? (c) When it is to be done? & (d) by whom it is to be done?
Planning is pervasive
Planning is an integrated process
Planning is directed towards efficiency
Planning is flexible
Planning is the most basic of all management functions
Planning is a continuous & never-ending process
The efficiency of planning is measured by what it contributed to the objectives
Essentials of a good plan: According to I.F. Urwick essentials of a good plan are as follows:
It should be based on a clearly defined objective
It must be simple
It should be comprehensive
It should prove for a proper analysis & classification of action
It must be flexible
It must be balanced
It must use all available resources & opportunities utmost before creating new authorities & new resources
It should be free from social & psychological bases of the planners as well as the sub-ordinates
There should be proper co-ordination among short-term & long-term plans
Objectives of planning:
Planning helps in effective forecasting
Planning provides certainty in the activities
Planning gives a specific direction to the organization
It establishes co-ordination in the enterprise
It is helpful in creating a healthy competition
It provides economy in the management
It can forecast the risk
It provides important information
It is helpful in facing competition
It is very much helpful in the accomplishment of budgets
Is Planning a necessity in an organization? In organizations, planning is the process of setting goals & choosing the means to achieve those goals. Without plans, managers cannot know how to organize people & resources effectively. Without a plan, managers & their followers have little chance of achieving their goals. Faulty plans affect the future of an entire organization. Hence, planning is crucial.
Benefits of Good Planning:
Ensures economical operations
Encourages innovation & creativity
Gives competitive edge to the enterprise
Ensures better co-ordination & avoids duplication of efforts
Peter Drucker & 6 P’s of planning: Purpose Philosophy Premise Policies Plans Priorities
The hierarchy of organizational plans:
Principles of planning:
Principle of contribution to objectives
Principle of pervasiveness of planning
Principle of flexibility
Principle of limiting factors
Principle of changes
New plans No undesirable deviations from plans Implementation of plans Controlling: comparing plans with results Planning Undesirable deviation Corrective action Close Relationship Of Planning and Controlling.
TYPES OF PLANS
MISSION or PURPOSE:
The mission and purpose identifies the basic purpose or function or tasks of an enterprise or agency or any part of it. Mission implies that the identified tasks should enable the organization to link its activities to the need of society and legitimize its existence by social expression of its business purpose.
OBJECTIVES or GOALS:
Objectives or goals are the ends towards which activity is aimed. Objectives emanate primarily from the mission statement of the organization .Objective should be expressed as specifically as possible so that results can be seen and verified.
Strategies is defined as the determination of the basic long – term objectives of an enterprise and the adoption of courses of action and allocation of resources necessary to achieve these goals. Strategies refer to a framework of grand plans formulated to meet the challenges of special circumstances. Strategy is a term that was originally used in military science to mean plans to counter what as adversary might or might not do. Strategy usually has the implication of action for countering completion by prior planning, and it is widely used in today’s industry.
Policies are also plans in that they are general statement or understandings that guides or channel thinking in decision-making. Policies defined an area within which a decision is to be made and ensure that the decision will be consistent with, and contribute to an objective. Policies in an organization can thus be major or minor in nature, but they all serve the purpose of bringing uniformity in decisions and action.
Procedures are plans that establish a required method of handling future activities .chronological sequences of required actions. Guides to action, rather exact manner in which certain activities must be accomplished.
The essence of a rule is that it reflects a managerial decision that a certain action must-or must-not- be taken. Rules are different from policies in that policies are meant to guide decision making which managers can use their discretion, while rules allow no discretion in their application.
Programs are a complex of goals, policies, procedures, rules, task assignment, steps to be taken, resources to be employed, and other element necessary to carry out a given course of action. The dimension of a programme can vary with the nature and purpose of the progamme, and can be termed major or minor.
A budget is a statement of expected results expressed in numerical terms. Budget should be expressed in financial or physical units, and must relate to a specific period of time.
STEPS IN PLANNING
BEING AWARE OF OPPORTUNITIES:
An awareness of opportunities in the external environment as well as within the organization is the real starting point for planning .All managers should take a preliminary look at possible future opportunities and see them clearly and completely know where company stands in light of its strength and weaknesses, understand what problems it has to solve and why, and know what it can expect to gain.
ESTABLISHING OBJECTIVES :
The second step in planning is to establish objectives for the entire enterprise and then for each subordinate work unit. This is to be done for a long term as well as for the short range. Objectives specify the expected result and indicate the end points of what is to be done, where the primary emphasis is to be placed. Enterprise objectives give direction to the major plans, which, by reflecting these objectives of every major department. Major departmental objectives, in turn, control the objectives of subordinate departments, and so on down the line .In other words objectives from a hierarchy.
Premises are assumption about the environment in which the plan is to be carried out. It is important for all managers involve in the plan to agree on the premises. In fact, the major Principle of planning premises is this: the more thoroughly individual charged with planning understand and agree to utilize consistent planning premises, the more coordination enterprise planning will be.
DETERMINING ALTERNATIVE COURSES:
The forth step is planning is to research for and examine alternative courses of action. The more common problem is not finding alternatives but reducing the number of alternatives so that the most promising may be analyzed. The planner must usually make a preliminary examination to discover the most fruitful possibilities.
EVALUTATIN ALTERNATIVE COURSES :
After seeking out alternative courses and examining their strong and weak points, the next step is to evaluate the alternatives by weighing them in light of premises and goals.
SELECTING A COURSES:
This is the point at which the plan is adopted-the real point of decision-making.
FORMULATING DERIVATIVE PLANS :
When a decision is made, planning is seldom complete. Derivative plans are almost invariably required to support the basic plans.
QUANTIFYING PLANS BY BUDGETING:
After decisions are made and plans are set, the final step is to quantify them by converting them into budgets. Budget of an enterprise represents the sum total of income and expenses, with resultant profit.
The Steps Of the Planning Process 8 Budgeting. 7 Formulating Derivative Plans 6 Selecting a Course. 5 Evaluating Alter native Courses. 4 Determining Alternative Courses. 3 Developing Premises. 2 Establishing Objectives. 1 Being aware of Opportunities.
Objectives are important ends towards which organizational and individuals activities are directed.
Objectives can be long-term or short-term, broad or specific.
Nature Of Objectives
Objectives need to be supported by sub-objectives.
Objectives form a hierarchy as well as network.
Managers have multiple goals.
Choosing between short-term and long-term performance and personal interests may have to be subordinated to organizational objectives.
Hierarchy Of Objectives
Social purpose such as contributing to welfare of people by providing goods and services.
Mission of the business.
Specific overall objectives such as those in the key result areas.
Divisions, departments and units down to the lowest level of the organization.
Bottom-up Approach Top-Down Approach Board Of Directors Top-Level Managers Middle-Level Managers Lower-Level Managers Organizational Hierarchy Hierarchy Of Objectives
Quantitative and Qualitative objectives
To make a reasonable profit. To improve communication. To improve productivity of the production department.
To achieve a return on investment of 12% at the end of the current fiscal year. To issue a two-page monthly newsletter beginning July 1, 2005, involving not more than 40 working hours of preparation time (after the first issue) To increase production output by 5% by December 31, 2005, without additional cost while maintaining the current quality level.
Management by objective
Management by Objectives(MBO) is a process to accept objectiveswithin an organization so that management and employees agree to the objectives and understand what they are in the organization.
Benefits of Management by objectives:
Improvement of managing through results-oriented planning
Failure of MBO:
Failure to give guidelines to goal setters is often a problem
Managers need to plan premises and knowledge of major company policies