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Planning is the primary management function that gives focus to any organization. Without proper planning, there will be no achievements in any organization. Planning defines an organization on the basis of work undertaken, customers targeted, why it performs its duties and the future focus for the organization. Without planning, all other management functions cannot be performed well. This is why managers in every organization should work on their planning skills in order to improve the organizational performance leading to attainment of the targeted goals.
Planning is the key function that encourages innovation because it is a decision-making process, which gives rise to creative thinking that improves performance. This leads to growth and expansion of an enterprise, which is one of the most important aspects in any institution. Planning helps the process of management by defining the organizational objectives and goals and gives a close focus to organizational goals for employees. Planning reduces uncertainty about the future because it defines the organizational future plans (Alexander, 2011). It also improves the employees’ morale by helping them define their duties in the organization. Planning facilitates all other functions in management such as coordinating, organizing, controlling, staffing and provides organization with order.
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Planning helps the organization have a competitive format in the business atmosphere. Hence, it helps managers have the right attitude to the work environment. Management becomes easier where there is a proper planning and helps managers understand their weaknesses and strengths (Alexander, 2011). This gives a proper look on issues of the organization leading to higher performance in the organization. Planning improves the organizations competitiveness, giving it strength to maneuver in the world of business competition. When there is proper planning, the company is able to propel through any hardship without affecting the performance of the organization (Morphet, 2012). In any organization, the management should have the ability to effectively plan methods, which help the organization propel through the world of competition.
Types of Planning
Planning can be divided into three major types. These are operational planning, tactical planning, and strategic planning. The top management in every organization sets strategic plans. These involve the long-term plans for the organization that are to be the framework of the organization for the period. These may include expansion of the business and other long-term goals, which help in customer satisfaction (Morphet, 2012). These goals must feature the improvement in productivity, profitability, and customer service. The top-level managers provide plans that are the framework to the middle and low-level managers. The lower-level managers are the persons who implement plans passed down by the top management. The strategic plans feature the plans that can take tears before they are implemented. Plans such as improvement of infrastructure and industrialization of the organization need more time before they can get implemented. Tactical plans are also very important in any organization (Morphet, 2012).
These are plans the middle managers are responsible for. Their goals are to provide support to the strategic plans. They reduce the major plans by dividing them into the constitute plans that are workable for the distinct parts of the organization. Due to the broadness of the strategic plans, they need to be split into smaller constituent parts, where they will be implemented in a more elaborated manner. This is where the tactical plans are enacted. They give each distinct department of the organization a role to play in the attainment of the assigned goals. This is why planning, as a function of management, is very important in any organization.
Operational plans are the plans that are made by the low-level managers about daily operational tasks within the organization. Routine tasks should be well-planned by the low-level management, so that the routine work in the organization would not stand still at any moment. Operational plans can be either single-use plans or routine plans. Single-use plans are plans that are intended for use only once. Routine plans are laid down and used on a daily basis. There are also the ongoing plans that are policies, rules, or procedures. These help managers in citing their routine responsibilities. These are the rules that every employee must abide to as long as he is working for an organization.
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Contingency plans should be put into consideration in every organization. These plans are very important in the modern rapidly changing business environment. Modern business environment is very spoilt, and every organization should adopt measures to adapt to such business environment (Gahlot, 2010). These plans allow for flexibility in the field of business. If the ongoing business does not perform well, one can shift into another business sphere, which can give better results. If the current business is running at a loss, the top management should not have to waste a lot of time sitting down and looking for solutions, but to change the business into another more profitable business.
This gives clear evidence that planning is a very primary function of management. Management cannot perform well without proper prior planning. Hence, this gives managers a crucial task to make plans before getting involved in their enterprises.
Functions of Management
To be successful in organizing function of management that deals with resource utilization and relationship among the workers, there is a need the planning. Planning is a function that works hand in hand with all other functions of management. Organizing function deals with implementation of plans that are set. Organizing all workers in an organization needs proper prior planning so that every employee can know the responsibility he/she is responsible for to in the organization. Every employee understands what is to be done and at when the work should be carried out. Staffing function of management deals with acquiring qualified personnel to work in the organization. During staffing, work done by individuals is analyzed to get the actual picture what personnel are needed.
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During staffing, managers should follow the rules that were set during the planning process. Directing function of management needs planning, so that managers could know where they are directing the workers. No rules can be followed in the case where there are no plans. Every management will be very successful when there are appropriate plans lay down. The different levels of management perform different tasks in the management process.
Steps of Management
The top management performs the duties of laying down plans that are to be followed through out the organization. The management must be an example in the organization, so that other junior staff members can follow. The top management is endowed with the responsibility of appointing the middle-level management. This top management is the one that controls all other departments. This is the department that deals with the foreign affairs and controls all the finances of the organization. It is the overall management department that all other departments report to. This is the law-making body that controls all other distinct parts of the organization.
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Middle-level management is below the top management, and it helps the top management in performing their duties. They make departmental goals and rules that govern the distinct departments. They are the middlemen between the lower-level managers and the top management, and they also define and communicate the organizational policies and plans to the lower management. They are endowed with the power to implement motivational systems through out the organization to create good interrelationship between the workers in the organization.
The first level management consists of supervisors, foremen, and heads of the departments in the organization. They are the people who are at the roots of the organization and who deal with the workers at the ground level. These are the people who are the implementers of the organizational goals and who know the complaints of workers on the ground. They should report the workers’ complaints to the middle manager for the problems to be further channeled to the top management. They report on the performance of workers to the middle managers that then channel them to the top management. The first managers are the role-models to workers and should always motivate workers.
Planning is a very primary function of management. Planning should be undertaken before any other function is to be carried out. Organizing as a function of management cannot bear fruits without the planning function. Hence, planning must come first for management to perform well in any organization. All the types of plans should be laid down before initiation of any organization. This is because no organization can go on without the goals and targets that are to be achieved in the organization. If the organization is initiated without any objectives, it will automatically collapse. Goals and objectives govern every organization to work hard so as to achieve its goals. When there is a proper planning utilization of resources, the processes become better and lead to good results during the realization of organizational goals (Gahlot, 2010). Plans will help have peace and respect to each in the organization due to good leadership that is emphasized in the organization. This helps to have healthy working environment and gives motivation to workers in the organization.
Planning ensures that all factors required for production, good coordination in all departments, realization of the organizational goals and objectives are put in place. Planning also assembles all resources such as human resources and raw materials for better attainment of the organizational goals (Gahlot, 2010). Planning the future of the organization is very important, because the fame of the organization does not show when the organization is starting, but is very important, as it grows old. This shows that the organization management has to put in place measures and good plans that will sustain the organization to achieve its goals and objectives. Planning gives the workers the moral code to work with in order to take the organization to higher levels, which will make them gain more fame as workers of the organization.
Planning has led to major developments due to competition, hence, more innovations in the world of business. It has led to growth in terms of infrastructure and other major developments in the world. It has also led to better relationships between organizations, hence helped in the world’s globalization and communication. It has led better international relations, leading to trade from country to country, improving living standards in many countries. A plan laid is like a half-implemented deal. Thus, planning is very important in every case of life.