Business Studies Part I
Business Studies Part II

Planning: Meaning

Planning: Definition
Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do, when to do and who has to do it. Thus, it involves setting objectives and developing an appropriate course of action to achieve those objectives.

 Planning is deciding in advance what to do and how to do. It is one of the basic managerial functions. Before doing something, the manager must formulate an idea of how to work on a particular task. Thus, planning is closely connected with creativity and innovation. But the manager would first have to set objectives, only then will a manager know where he has to go. Planning seeks to bridge the gap between where we are and where we want to go. Planning is what managers at all levels do. It requires taking decisions since it involves making a choice from alternative courses of action.  planning, thus, involves setting objectives and developing appropriate courses of action to achieve these objectives. Objectives provide direction for all managerial decisions and actions. Planning provides a rational approach for achieving predetermined objectives. All  members, therefore, need to work towards achieving organisational goals. These goals set the targets which need to be achieved and against which actual performance is measured. Therefore, planning means setting objectives and targets and formulating an action plan to achieve them. It is concerned with both ends and means i.e., what is to be done and how it is to be done.

The plan that is developed has to have a given time frame but time is a limited resource. It needs to be utilised judiciously. If time factor is not taken into consideration, conditions in the environment may change and all business plans may go waste.  One of the ways to do so would be to define planning as setting objectives for a given time period, formulating various courses of action to achieve them, and then selecting the best possible alternative from among the various courses of action available.

Planning is deciding in advance what to do and how to do. It is one of the basic managerial function. Planning involves setting objectives and developing an appropriate course of action to achieve these objectives. It bridges the gap between where we are and where we want to reach.

Planning provides direction for action by deciding in advance what has to be done, how to do, when to do and who will do. When we try to seek answers to the above questions, which are well planned then directions are automatically highlighted.

Planning may not work in a changing environment. The environment consists of a number of dimensions, economic, political, social, legal and technological dimensions. The organisation has to constantly adapt itself to changes. It becomes difficult to accurately assess future trends in the environment. Planning cannot foresee everything and thus, there may be obstacles to effective planning.