Planning quite logically, therefore, comes first before executing of all other managerial functions as it involves establishing the objectives necessary for all group efforts.
Planning is a deliberate and conscious act by means of which managers determine a course of action for pursuing a specific goal.
Planning to a manager means thinking about what is to be done, who is going to do it, and how and when he will do it.
Likewise, planning and controlling are inextricably bound up.
Control without a plan is meaningless because the plan provides the basis or standard of control.
The effectiveness of a plan relates to the extent to which it accomplishes the objectives.
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The efficiency of the plan, however, means its contribution to the purpose and objectives, offset by the costs and other factors required to formulate and operate it.It may also be treated as a process of thinking before doing.Management has to plan for long-range and short-range future direction by looking ahead into the future, by estimating and evaluating the future behavior of the relevant environment and by determining the enterprise’s own desired role.There are, however, differences between decision making and planning.Decisions can be made without planning but planning cannot be done without making decisions.This is also the widely accepted conceptual framework of management.Planning involves selecting missions and objectives and the actions to achieve them; it requires decision making, which is choosing from among alternative future courses of action.– Weihrich and Koontz It is, therefore, a rational approach to achieving pre-selected objectives.Goals represent an end state — the targets and results that managers hope to achieve.Action statements represent the means by which an organization goes ahead to attain its goals.Two conceptual reasons supporting systematic planning by managers are limited resources and an uncertain environment.Resource scarcity is a very important consideration for any organization today.