What is Planning?
Planning is the basis of all other managerial functions. Planning is essential to prepare organizational goals and involves decisions about the most optimal ways and means to achieve those goals. It requires structuring projects and courses of action, time-frames, and responsibilities with appropriate metrics to measure progress.
Planning is a continuous process that integrates various activities of an organization and should be a mandatory requirement across all levels of management. The very survival and prosperity of any organization primarily depend upon its approach to planning.
Why is Planning so important?
Read more about what is planning and what makes it such a critical function for any organization.
- Planning is integral to contemporary organizations:
The complexities and chaos of modern business, driven by rapid technology and cultural values, mean that a business needs to prepare for various eventualities constantly. Planning becomes essential for companies accounting for continuous shifts in consumer tastes and economic trends.
- Planning boosts performance:
When you set goals for teams and individual employees with appropriate metrics in place to measure performance, there is an automatic increase in an all-around effort. Studies have consistently proved that good planning has almost always led to better performance.
- Planning helps focus on objectives:
The fundamental aim of diligent planning is setting clear objectives and providing the perfect road to achieve them. Well-planned goals never fail to provide direction; when all available resources are directed towards reaching them, it invariably results in maximizing the focus on reaching defined goals.
- Planning perfects the allocation of resources:
All organizations must accomplish the most out of the finite collection of resources at their disposal, be it finance, human resources, or technology. Planning helps in anticipating, harnessing, allocating these resources properly, minimizing wastage and optimizing performance.
- Planning promotes control:
Effective planning helps create effective metrics to measure the progress of work. There is conscious reliance on the team and individual performance, which ensures monitoring and paying attention to detail. With clear quantitative and qualitative targets, planning instills a sense of control. This means one can take remedial action without delay.
- Planning limits business failures:
Organizational failures are almost always a result of bad planning. Good planning means being prepared for all kinds of contingencies and demands a protocol for utilizing all available resources in the best possible way. This naturally means that an organization that runs with excellent planning tools sharply reduces the chances of failure.
- Planning manages risk and uncertainty:
Managing risk is a vital element of an organization’s success. Even the most dominant corporations have no control over the economic and competitive environment around them. Unforeseen circumstances can strike without warning and must be dealt with quickly. Planning encourages the development of models that can predict these unexpected events and prepares managers with pre-determined contingency plans to deal with them. The changing pace of businesses and industries forces organizations to rapidly adjust their strategies by being habitually tuning to planning.
- Planning nurtures collaboration:
Promoting team-building and a spirit of collaboration is a core benefit of sound planning. People know their designated responsibilities and are aware of how their work contributes to the organization’s success as a whole. They take pride in their roles and find the space to practice professional ethics with good governance.
An earnest approach to planning forces organizations to take a realistic and practical view of their strengths and weaknesses. They have complete clarity about areas of vulnerability and can turn weaknesses into opportunities. A significant outcome of good planning is the ready availability of tools in the form of data and information. The pre-set objectives, plans, policies, schedules, and rules serve as guidelines for quick and decisive turnarounds in the face of adversity.