Planning is deciding the objectives and methods to achieve them. Planning involves deciding in advance what is to be done, how is to be done, where is to do, how is to done and by whom is to be done and it makes things happen which may not occur otherwise and it bridges the gap between where we are and where we want to go, the process of planning includes two things:
1. Deciding objectives
2. Choosing best from available alternatives
Planning is a fundamental managerial function planning implies an arrangement for doing something as considered in advance and simple words, planning is deciding in advance and Prof. Urwick rightly said: “Planning is fundamentally a mental predisposition to things in an orderly way, to think before acting and to act in the light of facts rather than guesses”. Thus, a plan is a predetermined course of action and it is an attempt on the part of a manager to anticipate the future to achieve better performance, and planning is based on the principle, ‘Look before you leap’.
CONCEPT OF PLANNING
Planning requires goals and it focuses attention on purposes and determines ways achieving them and planning is necessarily a problem of choice and it involves the selection of the most feasible course of action from all available alternatives. Planning is a means of building a bridge to span the present position of the firm with its desired future position. It implies the work of both problems solving as well as decision-making. Man possesses a unique power of reasoning and he often evaluates the pros and cons before proceeding further into the matter.
NATURE OF PLANNING
1. Planning focuses on achieving objectives:
Planning is to facilitate the attainment of objectives of the organization and planning focuses action on purposes. Planning is merely an empty mental exercise if it loses sight of the organizational objectives and every plan should contribute towards the achievement of company goals. Thus, all plans are directly linked with the goals and objectives of the enterprise and contribute to its attainment and if there are objectives, there is no need for any planning.
2. Planning is a primary function of Management
Planning is a primary function of management and a manager must perform efficient and intelligent planning before performing any other managerial activities. Thus, planning comes before the execution of all other managerial functions. Planning function of management has the distinction of establishing objectives and all managerial efforts of organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling are directed towards their attainment.
3. Planning is pervasive An element of planning can be seen behind every human activity in an organization and God has gifted man with the faculty of reasoning and this enables a person to measure the consequences of his planned actions and we can quote several examples where planning precedes individual or group action. Planning is a pervasive activity covering the entire enterprise will all its segments and every level of management. Top management does strategic planning, middle management looks after the administrative planning and the lower management concentrates on operational planning.