Following are some of the characteristics of Planning:
(i) Planning is a primary function of management: When planning, the manager decides which of the alternatives should be followed, which policies, procedures, programmes, projects and so on would be set up.
(ii) Planning is goal oriented : Planning is aimed at defining the organisational goals and design appropriate action plans in order to achieve these goals.
(iii) Planning is an intellectual process : In the words of Theo Haimann, “Planning requires a mental predisposition to think before acting, to act in the light of facts rather than of guesses, and generally speaking to do things in an orderly way”.
(iv) Planning is pervasive : Planning is all pervasive and it embraces all segments and levels in the organisation.
(v) Planning is continuous function: To keep the organisation as a going concern, it is essential that planning must be done continuously.
(vi) Planning involves choice between alternatives : Planning involves choice among alternatives courses of action. If there is only one course, objective, policy, programme or procedure, perhaps then there exists no need for planning.
(vii) Planning is concerned with the accomplishment of group objectives: Planning is thus aimed at setting group goals and organisational goals rather than concentrating on individual goals.
(viii) Planning is flexible : No plan is rigid. When a plan is adopted, it chalks out a definite course of action. But the future assumptions upon which the planning is based may force managers to change the original plan.