What is a plan and why do we need them? A plan is a course of action that involves goal setting, objective definition and analysis of raw information to predict future movements. In business, planning refers to a more elaborate way of solving problems: defining goals, establishing the strategy required to achieve it, and creating plans for supplementing the strategy. Effective planning streamlines the entire organization and maximizes the efficiency. Planning is done for four reasons:
The relationship between planning and performance depends on the financial performance and good implementation of plans. Many argue that extensive planning before actually being in the situation is not ideal, whereas evidence based planning and management can provide a much better outcome. Planning extensively only in theory is not encouraged due to practical difference in assumed and real life situations. Any plan should be implemented short term, augmented as per feedback, and re-implemented.
Goals are objectives that you need to achieve from planning. Goals are required in any walk of life, business s or otherwise. In management, goals might be real, stated, or financial or strategic, based on the conditions upon which they are classified. Most goals are used a performance standards as well as final objective for the group to achieve.
The need for plans is that they provide a comprehensive big picture of the entire problem solving process: from identification to end stage consequences of implementation. Plans outline the path needed to be taken to satisfactorily reach a goal. There are various types of classifications of goals stated by an organization:
Goals can be set either at the top of the managerial pyramid and flow downwards from there, or be mutually defined by superiors and their subordinates. A well-written goal has the following features:
Setting goals involves review and evaluation, along with informed inputs from other group members and proper amendments as per their recommendations. Proper feedback should be welcomed from better flow of information and transparency in the workplace.
Contingencies affecting planning include the manager’s hierarchy, the uncertainty in the surrounding environment, and the duration of commitments in the future. Managers can make decisions themselves or involves their team members and subordinates for more assistance. Constant changes in contemporary constraints should be taken into account and anticipated accordingly.
Plans which are flexible, yet specific are the prerequisite for dynamic situations. Planning must take into account the environmental uncertainties, and all the managerial levels should be involved in it due to diversification of alternatives and lack of time and information. All decisions taken should be anticipatory, not reactionary.