Why we are not getting the results in our favor? We find ourselves in a dilemma, what to do and what not to do? We are always tense to complete our works. Why we are always in a fire fighting situation and then end up with the losses and failures? One big reason for our failures most of the time is our bad approach towards planning.
Planning is the first and foremost step to reach to our goals and objectives. Whether you are a student, teacher, athlete, actor, doctor, lawyer, engineer, an individual, family, any business or any organization, setting objectives and trying to achieve them is an important task. We may have different types of goals and objectives with varying degrees of importance and time spans. But, there is one thing that remains common is to devise a plan that will significantly help us to achieve our goals.
Planning is the determination of a futuristic course of action. It involves deciding beforehand, what is to be done, when is it to be done, how it is to be done and who is going to do it. Planning is all pervasive function; it is present in all the segments and is required at all the levels of the organization. It’s a continuous process and plans are made for a specific term, say for a month, quarter, and year and so on. Once that planning period is over, new plans are drawn, considering our present and future requirements and conditions.
We can say planning is an intellectual process. It helps us to decide in advance the ways to deal with the situations, which we are going to face in future. Planning involves logical thinking and rational decision making. It is through planning we can make optimum utilization of all available resources. It’s the planning that aims to give us the highest rewards at the minimum possible cost. Planning increases the overall efficiency of any organization. Modern day organizations face many risks.
It’s planning that helps to forecast these risks and gives us better leads to take the necessary precautions to avoid these risks. It prepares individuals and organizations for future uncertainties in advance. The plans of all departments of any organization are well coordinated with each other. Similarly, the short-term, medium-term and long-term plans of an organization are also coordinated with each other. Such proper coordination is possible only because of efficient planning.
Planning helps the management of the organization in its better coordination process. Some of the popular organizational theorists and thinkers like Koontz and O’ Donnell suggest that plans are the selected courses along which the management desires to coordinate its group action.
Planning also becomes necessary for individuals and organizations to keep a good control. The actual performance is compared with the plans, and deviations (if any) are found out and corrected. It is impossible to achieve such a control without right planning. In the case of deviations, steps may be taken to find out the reasons for such deviations. Thus, planning helps in exercising effective control by an individual or an organization. It’s rightly said by management thinker, H. G. Hicks, “planning is clearly a prerequisite for effective controlling. It is utterly foolish to think that controlling could be accomplished without planning; without planning, there is no pre-determined understanding of the desired performance.”
We must understand the essentials of a good planning. Our plans must be based on a clearly-defined objective and must be put in simple words. It is equally important for our plans to be rationale and appropriate and our plans should be comprehensive. Our plans must also provide for a proper analysis and classification of actions.
It is because of good planning that brings the organization together. But the importance of planning also lies in its holistic approach. Although organizations might make plans for different departments within the same organization, however all the departments together are trying to achieve a desired objective? It’s the unity in an organization that will always lead to success and hence, the integrated approach which planning imparts to an organization is ultimately very important. In today’s world organizations face competitive and volatile environment. It is imperative for today’s organizations that they must have flexibility in plans if any unseen events happen. So, tomorrow if a competitor comes with a new strategy, or any factor poses a threat to an existing plan, they will have an answer already in the pipeline in their plan. We must always have a plan ‘B’ and plan ‘C’ to counter any threats. Because of this reason of flexibility, organizations will not panic, but instead they will just pay attention to the execution of their new plans. It is highly important for our plans to be free from social and psychological biases.
Whenever any organization may plan its things, it must deeply look at its planning, so that it can at anytime refer to the plan and find out whether the organization is on a right track or not. When the plans are implemented in a right manner, the results will always be pleasing to the organization. But it is equally true that planning also suffers from certain limitations. Our planning is mostly based on forecasts and if viable information unavailable, planning is sure to lose its worth. Planning is a costly and a time-consuming affair but to make plans realistic, it is necessary that sufficient time should be given to the planning process. The effectiveness of planning may also become limited due to some external factors like natural calamities, wars, changes in political and economic situations etc. But the rewards from good planning to any organization are always greater than its costs. Some of the limitations can also be overcome by taking the right measures. Although organizations that use formal planning do not always outperform those that do not plan, but most of the research studies undertaken reveal that there is positive relationships between planning and performance.
Planning is the basic requirement of any organization for the survival, growth and success. There is a great possibility of avoiding failures if we believe in effective planning. When effective planning is adopted, we will have a competitive edge over others who do not plan.
Planning enables us to discover new ways and explore new opportunities. Planning may bring contentment to the individuals and the organizations and eventually will lead to rewards and success. It’s the planning that will allow us to convert our targets into fine achievements. The efficiency of our planning will determine whether we will achieve our objectives or not and it will also help us in better utilization of available resources.
(The author is Assistant Professor, ITM University Gwalior, and Educator at Unacademy and Editor in Chief at startupdailytips.com. He can be breached at: [email protected])