What are the prerequisites of Effective Planning?

Planning does not substitute facts for judgment. It does not substitute science for the manager. However, some general principles can be followed to make planning effective.

  • Make plans simple and easy to understand. When the plan itself is complicated, it invites misunderstandings among the members of organisation.
  • Be selective in the plan. Successful managers never try to cover too much territory.
  • Plan should be geared to meet, the needs of those who implement it.
  • A plan should be thorough, it should not omit any function or sub-function and should not overlook any necessary details. At the same time, controversial statements should be avoided/ignored.

According to Gary Dessler, to plan effectively the managers should consider the following points:

(i)  Develop accurate forecasts : Forecasting can be made accurate by educating the forecasting users in the art of relating the forecasting techniques to practical problems and also encouraging the people who are entrusted with the forecasting job to look into the informational needs of managers.

(ii)  Gain acceptance for the plan: It is necessary to secure the acceptance and commitment from them. This can be done by soliciting the subordinate’s participation in the planning process itself.

(iii)  Plan must be sound one: To increase the efficiency of plans, managers are advised to follow an open-system approach where they recognize and pay concentration to the complex environment in which their organisation is functioning, apart from judging pros & cons of a plan.

(iv) Develop an effective planning organisation: Planning involves answers to several questions. The solution for these questions requires a blueprint for planning and a ‘planning organisation’ as such.

(v) Be objective: The managers should, not hesitate to verify the truth behind the pessimistic notions or beliefs. To see that planning is successful, managers must be objective.

(vi) Measure firm’s market value: One of the primary responsibilities of a manager is to measure the total market and see that the organisation’s share in the market is as large as possible. For this the manager should estimate the firm’s share in the market.

(vii) Decide in advance the criteria for abandoning a project: A plan should always include a specification, agreed on in advance for abandoning the plan. Managers should least hesitate in disconnecting the unproductive connections in the product/ project structure.

(viii) Set up a monitoring system : Plans should preferably be subjective to regular appraisal and review. Every plan should be refined and restructured on the basis of accurate and timely information.

(ix) Revise the long-term plans every year: Management should review long-term plans annually so as to match external opportunities with organisational resources in a proper way. By reviewing the progress made on the plan, the reasons for under performance or over-performance can be found out.

(x) Fit the plan to the situation : These days planning has become situational. A change in any part of the environment must be sensed and appropriate strategy must be determined to cope with the change”.

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