What is the meaning of Planning in Management?

Planning is an important function of management. Planning is an activity by which managers analyze present conditions to determine ways of reaching a desired future state. Planning is both an organisational necessity and a managerial responsibility. Through planning, organizations choose goals based on estimates or forecasts of the future. Concern for future is intensified by the fact of relentless, unremitting change. The purpose of planning, in the words of Dalton McFarland, is two fold: to determine appropriate goals, and to prepare for adoptive and innovative change.

Planning is an intellectual process, the conscious determination of course of action, basing of decisions on purpose, facts and considered estimates. (Harold Koontz and Cyril O’Donnell).

The plan of action is, at one and the same time, the line of action to be followed, the stages to go through, and methods to use. It is a kind of future picture wherein approximate events are outlined with some distinctness, whilst remote. According to George Terry, “Planning is the foundation of most successful actions of all enterprises”.

Planning is defined as the activity by which managers analyse present conditions to determine ways of reaching a desired future stage. It embodies the skills of anticipation, influencing, and controlling the nature and direction of change. (Dalton McFarland)

Planning is the function that determines in advance what should be done. It consists of selecting the enterprise objectives, policies, programmes, procedures, and other means of achieving the objectives. In planning, the manager must be able to manipulate abstract ideas and anticipate the impact of the many possible outcomes as they affect the enterprise as a whole. (Theo Haimann).

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