Home Business & Management What is Planning? detailed outline

What is Planning? detailed outline

Do you know which function is most important in management ? its Planning function because we need to decide in advance what we want to achieve in future.

so, lets start a detailed information blog on planning.

whats in it for you

  1. what is planning
  2. Characteristics of planning
  3. Importance of planning
  4. Process of planning
  5. conclusion
  6. frequently asked questions

what is planning

It is usually the primary step/function perform by every manager. It refers to deciding in advance what to do, how to do when to do, and who is going to do it. Planning bridges the gap between where we stand today and where we want to succeed.

Every manager starts deciding in advance the objectives of an enterprise and how to accomplish these objectives. It is the base of all other functions of management.

Planning involves setting objectives and deciding in advance the appropriate course of action to achieve the objectives. It is a thinking process and most important, it is always done for the future and is a never-ending process. It is all-pervasive i.e. it requires at all levels of the organization.

In short

it is the function of predicting future but with due respect of old experiences and knowledge to not repeat those mistakes.

For example

If an organization plans to start a new business of clothes, firstly, a manager will do is planning.

what things are to be done & how it is to be done, from where he will acquire the raw materials, what will be the estimated cost of the total project, and whom he shall appoint to get work done through them.

This is all known as planning and it is always done for the future irrespective of nature, scale, and size of the business.

Characteristics of planning

1. Contribution towards objectives

It starts with setting up of objectives. We need to think in advance what is our objective because in the absence of objective we cannot decide what we have to do.

After setting up of objective we have to decide methods, procedures, and actions to be taken for the achievement of a decided objective.

For example

if a company has decided to manufacture 500 t-shirts this month only 400 t-shirts are manufacture, then the company made changes in the plan to achieve the final objective.

2. Primary Function of Management

it is the first function to be perform by the managers of the organization.

No further functions can be performed without performing a planning function because the objective is set up in the planning and other functions depend on the objective only.

For example

In organizing authority and responsibility is given to employees and the level of authority and responsibility depends upon the objective of a business.

So planning always proceeds and remain at no.1 as compared to other function.

3. Planning is Pervasive

it is not only restricted in top-level it is used by managers at every level.

Formation of major plans and policies is the biggest challenge for top-level management whereas departmental managers form plans for their respective departments. And lower-level managers support the plan overall objectives and to carry on day by day activities.

4. Forward looking

Aim of every plan is to look forward or planning is a futuristic function. But It is never done for the past. But on the basis of past experiences managers make predictions and assumptions for the future.

5. Continuous process

It is a never-ending process because changing environment plans also need to be updated or sometimes it needs to be changed the whole. So after making plans also planners keep making changes in the plans according to the requirement of the company.


If a plan is formed in the boom period and during its execution, there is a depression period then planners have to make changes in the plan according to conditions.

6. Decision Making

When there is a variety of options available to the organization then they need decision making for selecting the most suitable alternative. We cannot imagine planning in the absence of choice because in planning function managers evaluate various alternatives and select the most appropriate.

7. Mental Exercise

It always demands higher thinking, that is why it is kept separate from operational activities. It requires predictions and assumptions regarding the future are made by scanning the environment properly. But most of the alternatives are rejected in the planning and the most suitable is selected which again requires a higher level of intelligence.

Importance of planning

1. Provide Direction

It always aims to provide directions to the efforts of the employees towards a particular end. It makes clear what employees have to do, how to do etc.

By deciding in advance how work is going to be complete, planning provides direction for action.

Employees already know in advance in which direction they have to work. On the other hand, If there is no planning, employees don’t know what they have to do and the organization will not able to achieve their desired goal.

For example

suppose a company fixes a sales target under the process of planning. Now all the departments, e.g., purchase, personnel, finance, etc., will decide their objectives in view of the sales target.

2. Reduce overlapping and wasteful activities

Organizations keep in mind the requirements of all departments and then make the plans. Departmental plans are taken from the main plan of the organization. And it will result in the form of co-ordination in all departments.

On the other end, if all the employees present in the organization work according to the plan then there will be unification in the activities.

3. Reduce Risk Of uncertainties

Many times organizations have to face unexpected situations every day. Planning helps the manager how to solve uncertainty because planners try to foresee the future by making some assumptions regarding the future keeping mind their pat experience and scanning of business environments.

4. Decision making

Planning is all about results to be assumed in advance and predictions are made for the future. So, such predictions and targets help managers in fast decision making.

5. Promote innovative ideas

Planning always demands a higher thinking level and it is a mental process. Everyone cannot perform it because the whole upcoming time worker’s efforts depend on the quality of the plan organization form.

SO, there is the scope of finding better ideas, better methods, and procedures to perform a particular job.  Planning makes managers think differently and assumes future conditions. So, it makes managers thinking more creative.

Process of planning

1. Setting up of the objectives.

The planning process begins with setting up of objective because all the policies and methods are based on objectives only. Managers make a plan according to the physical and financial resources of the company.

2. Developing premises.

After setting up of objective next function of planning is to make assumptions regarding the future.

Premises are the base on which plans are made. But It is like a forecast made keeping in view existing plans and any past information.

3. Listing the various alternatives for achieving the objectives.

The next step in planning is managers make a list of alternatives through which we can achieve our objectives but there are many ways for that and managers must know all the ways to reach goals.

4. Evaluation of different alternatives.

After the list of alternatives presented along with the assumptions by the manager, the manager starts evaluating the positives and negative of every alternative.

5. Selecting an alternative.

After evaluating the positives and negatives of all alternatives managers list out the most suitable for the organization because there is no mathematical formula to select the best alternative. Sometimes a manager selects the combination of two or more alternatives.

6. Implement the plan

The manager prepares or drafts the main and supportive plans on paper but there is no use of these plans unless and until these are put in action. For putting plans into action managers start communicating the plan to all employees.

7. Follow up.

Planning is a never-ending job so the manager’s job not gets over after putting the plan into action. Managers check the plan carefully while it is implemented. And while implementing plan there are so many adjustments to be made.


Planning is always futuristic because it is always done for future.

It is primary function of management.

A properly written plan tell when, how, where to be accomplished. Objectives are the most important features of planning.

Frequently asked questions

1. Why planning is important?

Planning is important because they help us in achieving organization goals in a systematic manner with optimum utilization of resources.

2. Planning is not guaranteed of success of a business?

It is right to say that planning is not a guarantee of success of a business because planning function is based on certain assumptions regarding the future and no one can give guarantee that assumptions regarding the future are hundred percent accurate. the planning function suffer from certain limitations which is any five limitations of planning

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