Planning refers to the management process of setting organisational objectives and targets for a given period and formulating an action plan to achieve it. Planning process involves steps:
• setting-up of objectives,
• developing premises,
• identification and
• evaluation of alternative courses of action,
• selection of feasible alternative,
• formulating derivative plans,
• implementation and follow up, etc.
Features of planning:
• achievement of objectives,
• primary function of management,
• continuous process, etc.
• provides directions for action,
• reduces the risk of uncertainty,
• reduces overlapping, etc.
Forecasting provides logical basis for the preparation of plans after analysing present situations and likely trends in future. Advantages of planning helps in facing complexities of modern business, facing competition, provides warning signals, etc. A good plan should have the characteristics of clear objective, proper understanding, comprehensive, etc. Limitations of planning are categorised into internal and external.
Internal limitations of planning creates rigidity, ineffective in dynamic environment, reduces creativity, involves huge costs, etc.
External limitations of planning are natural calamities, technological changes, changes in government policies, etc.
For making planning effective factors responsible are consciousness for planning, initiative at top level, proper communication, participation in planning, etc. Plans are broadly categorised into two groups namely single use plans and standing plans. Single use plans are of two types like programme and budget where as standing plans consists of objective, policy, strategy, procedure, rule and method.