Concept and meaning of Planning
Planning is the primary function of management. It is looking ahead. It attempts to define the future road Map of any organization.
Planning is the basis for other managerial functions among the organizing directing and controlling. Planning selects future courses of action from among the alternatives. Without planning, managers do not know how to organize activities, people, and resources effectively and efficiently.
Planning is an intellectual process that is concerned with deciding in advance what, when, where, why, and how is to be done and who shall do it. Thus planning is the process of setting goals and choosing the actions to achieve those goals.
Definition of Planning
“Planning is setting an organization’s goals and deciding how best to achieve them – Ricky w. Griffin
‘Planning is the process by which managers define goals and take the necessary step to ensure that these goals are achieved” -Richard steers
‘Planning is deciding in advance about what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and who is to do it. It provides the ends to be achieved”. -Stephen P. Robbins of Plan
Types of plan
A plan is a formal statement of future goals and actions to achieve them. On the basis of hierarchy, use, and flexibility there are various types of plans. The type of plan depends upon the nature and size of the organization.
1. On the Basis of Hierarchy
On the basis of hierarchy, the plan can be classified into three groups corporate, tactical, and operating.
a. Corporate Plan:
A corporate plan is a long-term plan prepared by the top-level management. It has more Degree of uncertainly. It clearly defines the objectives of an organization and strategy to achieve defined objectives. They are based on analysis of environmental scanning
b. Tactical plan:
A tactical plan is a medium-term plan prepared by the Middle-level management. It has a balance Degree of uncertainly. Tactical plans should be consistent with corporate plans. It defines tactical goals for implementing the corporate plan. It identifies the priorities of the divisional activities. It is prepared for each division or department.
c. Operational plan:
The operational plan is a short-term plan prepared by lower-level management. It has less Degree of uncertainly. Operational plans should be consistent with a tactical plan. It is a specific action plan for each and every activity.
2. On the basis of Use
On the basis of use, the plan can be classified into two groups; single-use and standing use plans.
a. Single-use plan:
Single-use plan used only once. Such a plan is prepared for a specific purpose in non-programmed situations and also it is prepared for non-repetitive activities. The examples are (i) Projects (ii) Budgeting.
b. Standing use plan
A standing use plan is prepared for programmed decision-making situations in an organization. This plan gives broad guidelines for repetitive activities. Such plans are used over a long period of time. Examples of such a plan are (i) mission (ii) goals (iii) policies (iv) strategic, procedures, rules.
3. On the basis of flexibility
On the basis of flexibility, the plan can be classified into two groups; specific and flexible.
All clearly stated (defined objectives) plans are specific plans. There is no ambiguity. There is no room for misinterpretation and misunderstanding. It is developed for a particular department or unit about the activities to be performed.
b. Flexible plan
A flexible plan is changeable on the basis of time and situation. They do not provide specific objectives or specific courses of action. Such a plan only provides guidelines to the members. Thus, it is known as Directional plans.